Friday, July 26, 2013

Hippo Festival starts tomorrow.....

The St Lucia Hippo festival starts tomorrow 27 July.....! Come and join us for some family fun.

 photo HippoFestival.jpg The days programme is as follows so make sure you don't miss any of the excitement!  photo HippoFestivalprogram.jpg

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Whale watching in St. Lucia, Kwa-Zulu, Natal

Whale watching is very popular among locals and tourists alike all along the East coast of South Africa.  There are prolific sightings off the coast at St Lucia when the whales travel to and from their breeding grounds in southern Mozambique.  Sightings consist largely of Humpbacked Whales, and occasionally Southern Right Whales. From mid-May to mid-September, the whales are moving north and from September to December they return south, heading for the nutrient-rich waters of Antarctica.

The Humpback Whale is approximately 15m in length and weighs in the order 30 tons. It also has long, narrow flippers. They perform spectacular 'breaches' - leaping out of the water which is wonderful to view out at sea in their natural habitat from a boat.

The Southern Right Whale is also approximately 15m, but is heavier weighing 50 – 60 tons. This whale does not have a dorsal fin and is often covered in wart like growths.

The best way to view whales and dolphins up close is from a boat. There are reputable, licensed boat-based whale watching cruises available in St Lucia.  We at the Santa Lucia Guest house are more than happy to advise you during your stay with us on the best times and weather for whale watching.  We also make reservations on behalf of our guests for whale watching excursions should you so wish. 

Something to remember - unless you are aboard a boat licensed by the Department of Marine and Coastal Management you are not allowed by law to approach within 300m of these marine animals. Permit holders are all members of the South African boat-based Whale Watching Association and as such are required to adhere to a strict code of conduct regarding interacting with whales. They have also completed a course which includes the theory of approaching whales and dolphins as well as practical instruction on the correct way of doing so.