Islands off Port Elizabeth - Bird Watching, Whale Watching
Islands around Port Elizabeth - Photo Courtesy Zerbet
Bird Island, Seal Island and Stag Island lie in close proximity of Port Elizabeth (53 km) and about 7 kms from Addo Elephant National Park. Bird Island is spread over 47 acres and is the largest of the Algoa Bay islands. Seal Island (1.5 acres) and Stag Island (0.25 acre) are smaller. These islands are covered by sparse growth of mixed vegetation that provide cover for some seabirds.
More than 50 species of seabirds, shorebirds and terrestrial birds have been recorded on the islands. These are the only islands off southern mainland Africa where Roseate Tern breeds regularly. The islands are also home to majority of global population of the African Penguin and a large populations of Cape Cormorant. Bird Island is one of only six breeding sites in the world for the Cape Gannet. The Kelp Gull and African Oystercatcher are found throughout the Algoa Bay complex and are found in the islands as well. The island group is also known to hold large numbers of Antarctic Tern. The Seal island is also home to Cape Fur Seals (thus giving the name “Seal Island”).
Licensed boat-based whale and dolphin watching tour in Algoa Bay offer guests close-up encounters with the Birdlife and wildlife on the islands. Species which can be seen on the cruises are humpback whales, Southern right whales, Bryde's whales, bottlenose dolphins, common dolphins, humpback dolphins, African penguins, African black oystercatchers, Cape gannets, Cape fur seals, Cape cormorants, white-breasted cormorants, various shark species and various pelagic birds including terns, skuas, petrels, shearwaters and albatrosses.
These Island excursion offer a compelling option for all travellers to Port Elizabeth and is a must visit for wildlife and bird photographers.