The Garden Route’s coastline stretches for more than 300kms between Mossel Bay and Plettenberg Bay and boasts a rich diverse marine life with more than 100 species of different fish.
National Marine Week is celebrated every year during the second week of October in South Africa. Its main purpose is to build awareness about the marine and coastal environment. It also promotes the sustainable use and conservation of these resources for the benefit of present and future generations.
To celebrate Marine Week we took a look at 5 ways to explore the marine life along the Garden Route. From shark cage diving in Mossel Bay, to whale watching in Knysna – you are spoiled for choice on ways of discovering the aquatic jewels of this region.
Shark Cage Diving
Great White Sharks are some of the most feared creatures lurking in the depths of the ocean. Meet these fascinating creatures in their natural environment by going on a famous shark cage diving trip.
White Shark Africa in Mossel Bay has a proud history in White Shark research, conservation, filming and education so you can be sure that you will be diving with people that have a huge passion and love for these animals and their environment.
Contact them to experience the Great White Shark in its natural environment.
Explore Rock Pools
Create memories with your children and take a stroll among the rock pools dotted along the coast to discover the smaller elements from the shore.
At high tide the sea covers the shore completely, but when the tide goes out on a rocky shore many pools of salty water become exposed where lots of small sea creatures and plant life live. Have fun exploring them together with the family. Learn to identify the common small fish and shellfish, starfish, crabs, insects and different types of seaweed and shells. Look out for the famous Knysna pansy shell. If you have a small net, carefully scoop small animals into a bucket for a closer look, then return them to the rock pool.
Snorkeling with Seahorses
The calm, shallow waters of the Knysna Lagoon, shelter a number of unique marine species and its also endemic Knysna Seahorse.
Seablue Scuba Safaris, takes visitors on memorable excursions to spot this beautifully unique and endangered creature and explore the waters of the protected lagoon. To celebrate the iconic Knysna Seahorse, the acclaimed artist Charles Frank and his assistant Themba Charlie made an underwater sculpture of the seahorse in 2014. Unbelievably it was modeled entirely underwater as a symbol to encourage people who care about the environment to come and celebrate this unique and splendid ecology!
Whale watching season in South Africa runs from June/July through to December. Traditionally the best months are September and October when the whales come right into the bays to breach.
There are various whale watching spots along the coast from which you can watch these majestic creatures right from the shore, but to really get a close up view, join Ocean Blue Adventures, based in Plett, on board the Blue Flag accredited boat for a specialised and information-rich whale watching experience.
The knowledgeable guides and skippers of Ocean Adventures will treat you to magnificently close encounters with the Southern Right Whale in the Bay or Humpback Whales along the coastline.
Swimming with Seals
Robberg has a 6000 strong seal colony that spends the summer sunbathing on the rocky shore and cooling off in the safe waters.
Swimming with these curious and playful marine mammals offers the ultimate human/animal interactive experience. Equipped with a snorkel and mask you can dive with them as they search for food and discover their superior swimming skills first hand. Play with them in the waves and enjoy them in their natural environment.
Jamin Adventures is the only company that offers this once in a lifetime experience in Plett. Contact them today and book your spot.
The Garden Route also boasts with two Marine Protected Areas (MPA) namely Goukamma MPA, which stretches approximately 14km from Buffels Bay to Platbank and one nautical mile (1.85 km) out into the ocean, and Robberg MPA,approximately 9.5 km long with a combination of sandy shores and rocky shores.
Protected marine areas around the world aim to conserve sea life and promote conservation (and effective management) of our biodiverse marine environments to sustain and preserve for generations to come.
Dav1es Property Management offers the perfect family accommodation to use as a base to explore the wonders of the Garden Route. Have a look at our availability chart and book you next holiday today to take pleasure in these magical worlds around us!