Bay of plenty: Raggy Charters offers award winning tour of Algoa Bay


For most of us, Algoa Bay is that big expanse of water off Beach Road and, although we may enjoy the odd swim, snorkel or surf, most of us know so little of what this magnificent wilderness has to offer.

There are two island groups in the Bay - the St Croix group and the Bird Island group, which are home to the planet’s largest African Penguin and Cape Gannet colonies, respectively. Beneath the waves, orcas, reefs, diving, sardine runs, sharks, seals, whales and dolphins abound and the bay is filled with historical sites including over 300 shipwrecks of significant size.

Now, the best way to experience what Algoa Bay has to offer is to take a Penguin Island Tour with Raggy Charters. The boats depart the Port Elizabeth Yacht Club every morning, weather permitting, at about 8.30.

Their skippers and guides know the Bay as well as you know the route from your home to your local Spar and, if there are whales and dolphins to be found, they will find them.

Importantly, Raggy Charters are the only licensed whale-watching business in Algoa Bay and they are very environmentally-conscious. They work closely with a number of top marine scientists and conservationists and, each year, their conservation arm, Bay Watch, publishes a calendar containing magnificent photographs taken in the Bay.

Lloyd Edwards, the owner of Raggy Charters, is among the world’s leading marine photographers and in 2014, the company won the national Lilizela Tourism Award for the best Visitor Experience of the Year in Marine Adventures.

Leaving the harbour for the Penguin Island Cruise, one feels a sense of adventure and the anticipation of finding something unusual. The smell of the sea, the rise and fall of the swell and the endless horizon in one direction, and a new perspective of the city in another, is an awesome experience.

The chances of seeing penguins in their natural environment are certain, of finding dolphins high and of seeing whales, in whale season are high too. Seals, sharks and the occasional orca, sun fish or whale shark can really make this trip exciting. Sitting a few meters of the leeward side of St Croix Island and watching the penguins as they clumsily climb the island is simply amazing.

However, it is the knowledge of Lloyd and his crew and their obvious love of their work that makes this trip so worthwhile. By the time you return to the Yacht Club at midday, you will have cleared all the cobwebs from your work crazed mind and be ready for another frenetic day in the urban jungle.

To fully experience Algoa Bay for yourself, call 0731522277 or visit today.

The Bay Watch Calender for 2016 is now available and can be ordered from Raggy Charters.  The calendar is ideal as a corporate gift as it is designed to carry a sponsor’s logo.