Marine life around Mossel Bay
3 min read
Mossel Bay is famous for its excellent wild and marine life. We’re here to tell you all about some of our favourite sea creatures to spot while staying at De Bakke Santos.
The South African coastline is blessed every June/July to October/November with magnificent whales. Usually, September and October are the best months to do whale watching, as the whales come into the bays to breach. Southern Right Whales are spotted most frequently, as they come into the bay to calve. Humpback Whales, Killer Whales, and Bryde’s Whales are also often spotted along the Garden Route coast and Mossel Bay has become a hotspot due to the weather conditions in the protected bay. You can either watch from the shore – step right out of your chalet or caravan at De Bakke Santos with a pair of binoculars. Or you can take one of the many boats that go out onto the water to get a closer look.
Mossel Bay is known to be home to Great White Sharks, fascinating and often misunderstood creatures. White Shark Africa was founded in 1995 and does great conservation, research, and education work. The company also offers shark experiences, where you can meet the sharks up close in their natural environment. They aim to turn your 90% fear and 10% respect into 90% respect and 10% fear. WSA works hard to ensure that the experience is not harmful or disruptive to the sharks by using bait that is natural to the environment and avoiding tactics that would have the sharks bang into the cages, as this hurts them.
Dolphins can also be found in the Mossel Bay waters. Frequent sightings occur right on our doorstep at Santos Beach and bay, as well as near the harbour and along the St Blaize hiking trail. Schools of dolphins can be spotted all year around and the most common ones found are the Heaviside’s Dolphin, Common Dolphin, Dusky Dolphin, and Bottlenose Dolphin. In 2021 there was a very rare sighting of Humpback Dolphins swimming with a new-born Common Dolphin along the harbour wall. Experts say that the calf must’ve only been a few days old. The schools can be anywhere in size from 50 to 500 dolphins.
Seals are in abundance in Mossel Bay. There is a Cape Fur Seal colony on an island just off the coastline of Mossel Bay. Seal Island is populated by over 2500 seals and is often surrounded by Great White Sharks looking for a meal. Boat trips leave the harbour in Mossel Bay frequently to give its passengers the opportunity to get a closer look at the seals. On quiet mornings the seals can sometimes be spotted near Santos Beach and in the harbour.
There are many rock pools to explore along the Garden Route coastline. We recommend the pools at The Point, as well as the pools on the western end of Santos Beach. Look out for sea anemones, schools of small fish, crabs, octopi, and other small creatures. This is a great activity for parents with young children. Be sure to look out for the iconic Knysna pansy shell.
If you are willing to drive the extra mile, you can do a seahorse safari in the Knysna Lagoon. Visit Seablue Scuba Safaris to catch a look at the Knysna Seahorse and see it in its natural waters of the protected lagoon.
If you have any other sea animals that you love spotting in Mossel Bay, please let us know! We are always excited to learn about new animal life in our surroundings. Our friendly team at reception will also be able to assist with any questions you may have. Have a look here at some of the game reserves and water activities you can visit in the area if you want to experience the wildlife in Mossel Bay.