Travel bucket list idea:
Pelagic bird-watching off Cape Point
Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa|www.capetownpelagics.com
With its location near the southern tip of Africa, Cape Town offers remarkable opportunities for pelagic birding (species that spend most of their time on the ocean, apart from when nesting).
Pelagic birding trips in the company of expert guides take keen twitchers up to 40km south of Cape Point, to the edge of the continental shelf. From petrels and fulmars to the remarkable Black-browed Albatross, this full-day trip is a sure-fire opportunity for birders to tick a number of species off their ‘life list’. In winter you’re also likely to spot Southern Right whales en route.
What’s more, Cape Town Pelagics donates all profits to seabird research and conservation, including Birdife International’s ‘Save the Albatross’ fund.
Getting there & doing it
Birding trips with Cape Town Pelagics depart from Simonstown or Hout Bay harbour, a 30-45-minute journey from central Cape Town. Trips get booked up months in advance, so plan accordingly.
Lifejackets are provided, but warm waterproof clothing is essential. Binoculars and cameras are, of course, a must. A light lunch is included. Sea conditions can be rough, so anti-nausea medication is advisable.
When to do it
Pelagic birding trips are offered year-round; the trips depart at 7am, and usually return by 3pm.
March-April offers perhaps the finest weather, with mild temperatures, sunny days and less of the Cape’s infamous south-easterly wind. Winter conditions can be rough and cold.
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