Conservation Based Tourism
Ocean Blue Adventures is a pioneering organisation in South Africa conducting professional conservation orientated whale and dolphin marine eco-tours. In cooperation with the Qolweni Community Development Trust the emphasis of all our operations is placed on conservation through community development, education and research. Ocean Blue Adventure’s aim is to give a holistic real marine experience to all our guests aimed at raising awareness of marine mammal conservation and the direct need to realistically conserve our oceans.
We are the proud holders of a specialist permit which allows us to carefully approach whales, offering our guests the unequalled opportunity of a really up-close and personal encounter with these majestic animals. Ocean Blue Adventures prides itself on the experienced qualifications and enthusiasm of our informative guides as well as our vast knowledge and passion for our marine environment. As they are wild mammals and we are visiting them in their own territory, we are acutely aware of not encroaching on them and we strive to ensure that they remain totally wild and unharassed.
While we make every effort to provide a memorable experience for our passengers, we place high importance on conducting tours in a way that is ethically and legally responsible and puts the well-being of the animals encountered first.
ORCA Foundation Volunteer Program
Want to help us conserve?
Our Volunteer Program is a vital aspect of our commitment to Marine Conservation, Research, and Education. Participants of all ages from across the world enjoy the opportunity to make a meaningful contribution, both to our self-funded research projects and educational outreach programs in the local community. Led by seasoned Marine Conservation professionals, the experience is both uplifting, informative, and most importantly, fun. Read on below to find out more about some of our exciting projects.
South African Boat-Based Whale and Dolphin Watching Permit Regulations
- Members of the general public may not approach within 300m of whales or dolphins by sea or air.
- Ocean Blue Adventures is one of the two permitted whale watching companies in the Plettenberg Bay area, and may approach whales up to a distance of 50m. Only one vessel may conduct an encounter at a time.
- Once at 50m, if the animals approach the boat, we may stay in position and travel with them.
- A total of 30 minutes is allowed within the 300m radius. This includes 20 minutes with the animals and 10 minutes for approach and departure.
- We are to approach the animals from the sides and never from in front or behind. Furthermore, we may not wait in front of the whales for them to approach . they must always have the right of way.
- Within the 300m radius, we will drive boats at a slow speed, never exceeding 10 knots and at a no-wake speed within the 50m radius.
- If the animals exibit behaviour that suggests disturbance or avoidance, we will leave the animals.
- We may not approach whale mother-calf pairs. If these are encountered, we will leave the animals immediately. We may not approach whales in the Robberg Marine Protected Area.
- It is not permitted to feed, touch or make excessive noise in the presence of the animals seen on the encounters.
- We also undertake to be respectful of all other marine life encountered on the excursion, including Cape fur seals, seabirds, sharks etc.
- Nothing may be thrown in the water.