At the southernmost point of Africa, where the Indian and Atlantic Oceans collide in a cauldron of creation, lies one of the most distinct marine ecosystems in the world. It is home to some of the ultimate creatures of the water and puts an ocean safari on the must-see list.
The meeting point of the colder water of the Atlantic Ocean, flowing down the west coast of the continent, and the warmer water of the Indian Ocean, hugging the east coast, has led to this unique habitat. From the comfort of a specially adapted seafaring vehicle, visitors can marvel in reverence at the unique characteristics of a smattering of aquatic species including sharks, whales, dolphins, seals, penguins, and over a thousand species of fish.
There are vast stretches along the African coastline where visitors are sure to discover the local marine marvels, mostly from June till September when it is bloom time for mating and breeding. From the Cape Coast, all the way up the East coast of Africa and into northern shores of Egypt and Morocco, the antics of species big and small, powerful and dainty will create the most memorable of encounters.
Enjoying this fantastic experience and delving into the mysteries of the water world and its inhabitants, is an alternative safari experience without rival. Designated conservation zones abound for those interested in safaris to observe the water-loving creatures of the continent, whether they are breaching, lob-tailing, fluking, blowing, or spy-hopping.
Although an ocean safari is without strenuous exertion on the part of the participant, those prone to feeling queasy on moving objects in water should make provision with appropriate medication. An experience like this is about so much more than merely looking for, and observing, the vast array of marine life. Experienced skippers and sometimes scientists on board will divulge lesser-known facts about specific species, as well as the trials and tribulations of marine conservation.
To marvel at the majestic marine life of Africa, there are a variety of ethical operators to choose from and that cruise the waters all along the coastline.
Southern right whales, humpback whales, and Bryde’s whales can be spotted from Hermanus on the Garden Route to the east coast of KwaZulu Natal. Whale sharks are also sometimes seen around Tofo in Mozambique.
In South Africa, visitors can get up close and personal with great white sharks during cage dives in Gansbaai and Mossel Bay. The boat trips in False Bay to marvel at the breaching of the great whites also make for an unforgettable experience.
Observe the massive colonies of seals at close quarters on the Skeleton Coast and Swakopmund in Namibia and Cape of Good Hope and Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape of South Africa.