Throughout the year a host of wonderful marine and bird life is encountered in our bay.
There are many other pelagic birds in the area as well as the endangered African oystercatcher which live along the shores.
As our bay is so full of surprises and we are often amazed by the wonderful sightings that include whales, dolphins, marlin, sunfish, sharks and even the cape clawless otter.
See below a list of marine life and land animals we could encounter on our trips around the bay and the peninsula.
SOUTHERN RIGHT WHALE
Southern Right Whales can be spotted during the winter months, June to October.
Brydes Whales are permanent residents and can be seen in our waters year round
From mid June to October we see the Humpback Whales on their annual migration from the Antarctic.
The Minke Whale is a very rare visitor and we would be extremely lucky to have a sighting.
These are sighted throughout the year but are most prevalent in the summer months. They are often spotted surfing the bow waves of the yacht.
Common dolphins are very agile and one of the fastest swimmers, they occur in large of over 2000 dolphins on the open sea.
Humpback dolphins are rare and shy and are also endangered worldwide. Small pods live along our coastline.
GREAT WHITE SHARK
The great white shark is known for its size, with mature individuals growing up to 6.4 m in length and 3,324 kg in weight. They are also spotted more regularly during the winter months
Unlike most sharks, hammerheads usually swim in schools. We often see them from the yacht specifically as we get closer to Robberg
Ragged-tooth sharks have a plump, dark-brown to olive-grey body and a pale underbelly – the numerous dark spots fading with age
Arguably the fastest fish in the sea the maco shark can attain bursts of speed of up to 45 km/h and are often seen performing spectacular leaps from the water – this characteristic behaviour is not fully understood.
THE AFRICAN PENGUIN
Also called Jackass penguins, they make donkey like braying sounds to communicate
AFRICAN BLACK OYSTER CATCHER
South Africa’s second most endangered coastal bird
Cape Kelp Gulls can be seen picking up shellfish and repeatedly flying up several meters and dropping them onto the rocks below in order to break them open.
CAPE FUR SEAL
A large colony of Cape Fur Seals lives on the Robberg Peninsula and can be very entertaining to watch
It has an elongated body, a spear-like snout or bill, and a long, rigid dorsal fin which extends forward to form a crest
Turtles are endangered world – wide and unfortunately, it is the nesting females that are most at risk when they come ashore to lay eggs.
Sunfishes are so called because of their habit of drifting at the surface as if basking in the sun
CAPE CLAWLESS OTTER
In Plettenberg Bay there is believed to be at least 4 family groups of Cape Clawless Otter. Tracks are regularly seen on the main beach at the Piesang River, along Lookout Beach, in and around Salt River, Natures Valley and at the Matjies River bank near Arch Rock, Keurbooms.
THE KNYSNA SEAHORSE
The Knysna seahorse is the best known, and is the only seahorse that is endangered. Knysna seahorses are found only in the Knysna, Keurbooms and Swartvlei estuaries on the south coast of South Africa.
Beach walkers and nature lovers of the Garden Route delight in finding this rare beauty intact and washed up by the Indian Ocean currents. The Pansy Shell, (also known as a Sand Dollar) makes its appearance on the Keurbooms Beach, Plettenberg Beach
The Knysna Loerie, or Knysna Turaco, is usually seen flying between forest trees, or hopping with agility along branches. Turacos are social, moving in small, noisy flocks.
ORANGE BREASTED SUNBIRD
Found primarily in the southern cape fynbos areas. They breed when the fynbos Erica flowers, typically in May. The male defends its territory aggressively, attacking and chasing intruders.
land animals of interest
A common occurrence throughout the Garden Route, these beautiful creatures are quite shy and scatter quickly when disturbed
Dassies can often be seen running around on the rocks at Robberg Nature Reserve
In addition to very interesting behavioural research on natural populations, vervet monkeys serve as a nonhuman primate model for understanding genetic and social behaviours of humans. They have been noted for having human-like characteristics, such as hypertension, anxiety, and social and dependent alcohol use
The Cape or southern grysbok is a small antelope that is endemic to the Western Cape region of South Africa
Some species can learn simple tricks. They can be semi-domesticated and are kept as pets to control vermin. However, they can be more destructive than desired; when imported into the West Indies to kill rats, they destroyed most of the small, ground-based fauna.
Blue duikers stand around 35 cm tall at the shoulder and weigh 4 kg. They are among the smallest species in the antelope family
The Elusive Robberg Leopard has been spotted a few times and spoor is regularly seen to verify his existence
Today, many people consider the caracal an “exotic” pet, although they do not behave domestically in captivity. Despite its wild attitude, attempts have been made to crossbreed caracals with domestic cats to produce a “domestic” caracal.
Genets are slender cat-like animals with a long body, a long ringed tail, large ears, a pointed muzzle and partly retractile claws. Their fur is spotted, but melanistic genets have also been recorded.