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Marine Safari Adventures
Africa is famous for its iconic wildlife. Terrestrial giants such as the lion, leopard, cheetah, African elephant, the two species of rhinoceros and the giraffe captivate the minds of nature lovers and the hearts of safari travellers. However, if you delve deeper under the surface (quite literally) you will find a world full of equally as amazing wildlife in the oceans off the African coast. We invite you on a marine safari.
As can be witnessed on our swimming with sharks page, the underwater world of the African oceans are a fantastic habitat to explore. Common shark species encountered on our Ultimate Wildlife Adventures are the great white shark, whale shark and lesser known sharks such as the broadnose sevengill shark, mako shark, blue shark, hammerhead shark, copper shark and reef sharks.
These magnificent large fish are complemented by the presence of iconic marine mammals such as the cape fur seal and various species of dolphins and whales, as well as the African penguin.
Cape fur seals are abundant off the coast of the southern coastline of South Africa. They can be often spotted swimming in the ocean and even on land in Hout Bay and Cape Town. The real highlight is getting in the water with these friendly and inquisitive mammals. They are extremely playful and will swim very close to you for several minutes at a time as can be seen on the promotional video of one of our partners in Hout Bay, South Africa.
Dolphins are a regular sighting when on boat tours off the coast of Cape Town and in the Indian Ocean. Species include the well known bottlenose dolphin, indo-pacific humpbacked dolphin and the long-beaked common dolphin.
Whales are a huge attraction in the winter months off the southern coastline of South Africa. Common whale sightings include the southern right whale, humpback whale, and Bryde's whale. Sperm whales and blue whales are also present in the open ocean but not often seen. Orcas (killer whales) are present in False Bay and have reportedly been responsible for the demise of the great white shark in those waters since 2017. Whale watching tours are abundant in South Africa with particular hotspots being Hermanus and Gansbaii on the Garden Route of the Western Cape.
The final marine attraction is one of the most peculiar as penguins are more commonly associated with arctic scenes than Africa. However, a colony of over 3000 African penguins have called the beaches close to Simon's Town on the Cape Peninsula home. Viewing the penguins is easily accessible and they can be seen on Foxy Beach, Boulders Beach and even in the car parks or taking a stroll into town! Swimming with the penguins is a leisurely activity as you can do this off any of the beaches the penguins inhabit.
You will have probably heard of Africa's Big 5. The lion, leopard, elephant, Cape buffalo and black rhinoceros are on the wish list of every safari guest. In more recent times South Africa have coined the term 'the marine Big 5' that includes five impressive species that inhabit the waters of South Africa. They are the southern right whale, great white shark, cape fur seal, dolphin and the African penguin. South Africa is therefore home to the Big 10. We love to combine the safari areas in the north of the country with a stay in Cape Town, the winelands or the Garden Route in the south so you can witness these 10 amazing species all on one trip.