South Africa


The humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) is one of the most well-studied species of baleen whale and occurs worldwide in all ocean basins. These whales are migratory and typically follow the usual baleen whale paradigm of moving between summer feeding grounds in high latitude regions and winter breeding grounds in low latitude regions. Different populations of READ MORE


On Tuesday 3 October, the Mammal Research Institute’s Whale Unit started their annual southern right whale aerial survey which aims to monitor the population of right whales along the South African coastline. This survey has been carried out annually since the first survey in 1979, making this year the 39th consecutive annual right whale survey READ MORE

Killer whale morphotypes of South Africa

Here in Plettenberg Bay we are lucky enough, on occasion, to see the ocean’s apex predator, the killer whale (Orcinus orca). The killer whale is a cosmopolitan species, which means that it is found in all the oceans of the world. In fact, it is so widely distributed that it is the second-most widespread mammal READ MORE

Orcas in South Africa.

Our last post was about orcas, how they live and hunt around the world (see our homepage). When orcas are seen close to the coastline in South Africa it’s always great news, for most it is a novelty to see these animals. The distribution of orcas within the southern African region is widespread, occurring both READ MORE

Red Tide

Over the past few weeks there have been several reports of the presence of red tide in various locations along the South African coastline, in particular off Algoa Bay (Port Elizabeth) and more recently off Plettenberg Bay and Knysna. ‘Red tide’ is the common name for a phenomenon known as an algal bloom. Algal blooms READ MORE

Oil spills in South Africa.

“What is an oil Spill?” An oil spill is a release of a liquid petroleum hydrocarbon into the environment due to human activities and is a form of pollution. Oil spills normally refer to the marine environment when oil is released from tankers, offshore platforms, drilling rigs and wells. “What effect do oil spills have?” READ MORE

The African Penguin Endagered seabird

The African Penguin (Spheniscus demersus) is  one of our most endangered seabirds.  There are only an estimated 55 000 of these endemic birds left in South Africa, about 5% of the original population. There are only 2 major breeding colonies, one in Port Elizabeth and the other in Simons Town