For most the only reason why Gansbaai, South Africa is even on the map is due to the dense populations of Great White Sharks that favour our coasts. And although we are quickly becoming known as the Great White Capital of the World, there is another big attraction which, thanks to their flocking to Gansbaai, grabs the attention of many a visitor annually.
This fairly new attraction, which will hopefully become just as famous as the Big 5, is the Marine Big 5. Let’s meet them:
The Great White Shark
Known as the King of the Oceans, the Great White Shark has always fascinated us and left us nothing short of awe-inspired. These lone, apex predators roam the world’s oceans over and have been known to swim thousands of kilometres in one trip. These majestic creatures have found is fitting to make the coastline of Gansbaai, South Africa their favourite vacationing spot and we are all too pleased about it.
The Southern Right Whale
These gentle giants gather in the sheltered bays of Walker Bay every year between May and December and lends to Gansbaai’s nickname as the Big 2 Town. Southern Right Whales are the 4th largest whales in the world and are in fact, baleen whales. These massive mammals, along with some of their cousins, can be seen spyhopping, lobtailing and frolicking in the shallows all around Gansbaai while they calve and nurse their young.
The Cape Fur Seal
Just off the coast of Gansbaai and adjacent to Dyer Island, we find the home of our friendly, flipper-y friends, the Cape Fur Seals. The outcropping is currently occupied by a 55000 strong population of these chubby seadogs and some argue might also be the reason why our Sharky friends love these waters. Cape Fur Seals, also known just a s Brown Fur Seals, can often be found swimming along with viewing and shark boats.
The African Penguin
Neighbours to the noisy Cape Fur Seals, we find our most eloquently dressed pelagic bird, the African Penguin. These charismatic sea birds have made their home on Dyer Island and now share strict conservation from our local Non-Profit Organisation, D.I.C.T. These monochromatic birds are the only species of penguin found in South Africa, living on islands dotted along the South African coastline.
Last, but definitely not least is the Sweetheart of the Seas, Dolphins. An array of different Dolphin species visits our coasts every year, along with the other members of the Marine Big 5. These docile darlings delight in playing and surfing the waves all along our endless pristine beaches. We have even been lucky enough to witness a school of almost a 100 strong in the last few years – a real viewing delight!
Now that you have met the Marine Big 5, why not grab the chance to see them face to face? We have a variety of different activities in which to get involved that will bring you up close and personal to your favourite Marine Big 5 member!