Marine – Port Elizabeth pelagics
About the Birding
As one departs from the old Port Elizabeth harbour, look for predominantly coastal species. This could include Hartlaub’s, Kelp, and Grey-headed Gulls, the White-breasted and Reed Cormorants, and Common (summer), Swift (Greater Crested) and Sandwich Terns. South African Fur Seals are normally visible, resting on the quays in the harbour itself. The bay is fantastic for both African Penguin and Cape Gannet, both of which visit these waters from the nearby St Croix and Bird Island colonies.
About the Birding Site
Marine habitats are perhaps the least explored areas of the Eastern Cape and pelagic trips offer the thrilling opportunity to access species that are typically not easily seen from shore. The open seas are an extremely challenging habitat in which to look for and identify birds and one is usually required to travel 10-20km offshore to find a high diversity of offshore seabird species. The weather plays an important role in the lives of pelagic species and, generally, the rougher the conditions the better!
Other Related Information
Pelagic trips from Port Elizabeth usually depart from old Port Elizabeth harbour at roughly -33.9665, 25.6335 though specific details are usually communicated to you by the skipper several days before the scheduled departure. Note that pelagic trips usually demand that several days are kept open, to ensure suitable weather conditions.
Recommended accommodation nearby:
No Birder Friendly Establishments are currently available in Port Elizabeth, although a variety of accommodation options are available to suit all budgets and requirements.