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Review of Ocean Safaris

Ocean Safaris
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Ocean safaris whale and dolphin watching We are legally permitted to conduct close encounter experiences !!!! Exploring the bay for over 10 years, Ocean Safaris, a family run business, lets the wildlife and weather shape your journey, giving you a unique opportunity to see some of the ocean’s largest and most mysterious inhabitants in their natural environment.We are fair trade and green ticket accredited. What do I bring along? Yourself, your family and your friends. There is no particular dress, we suggest you wear comfortable clothing and shoes and bring along a jacket. Sun screen, hat and sunglasses are also good items to pack. Camera’s and other gadgets are allowed on board at your own risk. What will I be doing? Exploring the coastline and rich waters in and around our bay, searching for whales, dolphins, seals, sharks, seabirds and more. Come on a voyage of discovery as you search for Plettenberg Bays majestic creatures of the deep. What will I see? Our climate is changing and these changes seem to be affecting our marine life, in particular the Southern Rights. Over the past two years, sightings of Southern Right whales have dropped, but we see more Brydes and Humpbacks than before. Our dolphin sightings are awesome and include the playful Bottlenose, energetic Commons and the highly endangered Humpbacked dolphins. A variety of sea birds are sighted as well as the ever growing Cape Fur seal population. We see many different animals that come into our bay to say hello. Particular species cannot be guaranteed as these animals are being viewed in their natural environment but times of year can depict their occurrence. This is a true “seafari” and every one is different, you never know what you will find …. How will I know what to look for? Highly qualified and experienced marine guides aboard will guide you through the different species you are likely to encounter, showing you how to identify them and where to look. They will be on hand to answer any questions you might have, talk about the history, geology and wildlife during your adventure! What about the boats? Ocean Safaris boats are inspected regularly by the South Africa Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA). With over 10 years of experience operating marine tours in the area ensures we have the right vessel and equipment to help guarantee your safety on every tour. Where is ocean safaris? Milkwood Centre, Hopwood Street, Central Beach , Plettenberg bay GPS: 23° 23.344' E 34° 03.354' S Due to limited numbers, all trips require prior booking. Don’t miss your place! Please note all cruises are weather dependent and at skipper’s discretion an alternative vessel may be used at times These cruises get you as close as legally possible to unforgettable encounters with whales, dolphins and seals at work and play.
Reviewed November 20, 2011

My wife and I have just returned from a wonderful trip to South Africa except for one facet - a whale watching trip with this company.
When driving to the beach we heard a weather warning for Plettenberg bay. I asked the staff at Ocean Safari whether it was still safe to go. Their reply was once we saw whales we would forget about the swell on the ocean.
Ocean safari seem to have two boats with one being considerably bigger than the other. The larger boat was undergoing a refit and therefore the company was using it's smaller boat, as I witnessed the day before we were due to go. We had booked to go on the 1100 hrs trip. The company contacted us at 0810 hrs to tell us that the trip had been brought forward to 0900 hrs. We declined and cancelled. They contacted us again to tell us that we could go at 1200 hrs which suited us.
On arrivalwe were told that we would be going out on a boat owned by Ocean Blue company which are based next door to Ocean Safari. The boat they used was bigger than the smaller of the Ocean Safari boats but not as big as the other one.
We set sail. One could see the ocean boiling at the point where the shelter afforded by Plettenberg Bay dissapated. I heard the guide remarking the the skipper that it was going to be really rough out there.
He was not joking. This turned out to be a frightening experience. The swell in the ocean was at times up to 10m. The boat was at the extremity of its capability to deal with these condiitions. Many people on board were ill, including my wife.It took her until 1900 hrs that evening before she recovered. There were plenty of whales - you could only see them for fractions of a second. At one stage the skipper of the boat refused to pursue some whales because conditions were so dangerous- his words.The journey out and back to the Bay was truely dangerous.The boat would be sitting on top of a huge swell and then come crashing down followed by the bow at times seemingly almost vertical with the swell towering over it.
Upon return I went and spoke to the Ocean Safari staff to ask for a refund and, surprise surprise I was refused. The staff member tried to tell me that the conditions were caused by the combination of a high tide and sea conditions. I pointed out to her that high tied was not until after 1600 hrs- this left her somewhat tounge tied. I spoke to the manageress by telephone and again was refused any refund.
Clearly this company are more interested in money than customer satisfaction or seemingly safety. The bottom line is that this trip clearly endangered lives. The boat should never have put to sea in these conditions.My advice is to heed weather warnings before choosing to embark on any such voyage.
The price for the trip is 650 rand per person. In terms of South African prices , clearly far too much. We saw more and better whale action whils't on the beach at St Francis Bay and Port Elizabeth.
I am of the opinion that all Ocean safari customers on this day were being grouped with Ocean Blue because Safaris' boat was even smaller.

7  Thank philandanne18
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"whale watching trip"
in 8 reviews
"humpback whales"
in 11 reviews
"life jackets"
in 5 reviews
"seal colony"
in 10 reviews
"rare sighting"
in 2 reviews
"southern right whales"
in 4 reviews
"sea sickness"
in 3 reviews
"white shark"
in 5 reviews
"bottle nose dolphins"
in 2 reviews
"boat ride"
in 4 reviews
"sea life"
in 3 reviews
"rough seas"
in 2 reviews
"cape fur seals"
in 3 reviews
"on the rocks"
in 2 reviews
"an awesome experience"
in 2 reviews
in 8 reviews
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77 - 81 of 89 reviews

Reviewed September 22, 2010

It was great! One of the most memorable highlights of our honeymoon. Reception was warm hearted and skipper and guide great. Saw plenty of whales and seals got very close would definitely be back next year.

Thanks for making it special for us

Marcel & Alda Daniels

1  Thank marceldaniels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 16, 2010

We were given coffee and biscuits while waiting for the trip. They are the only ones that have an in shop toilet .There was a lot of infomation on all activities in the area. There are displays of all marine life in the shop as they do a lot of research into Whales and Dolphins.
On proceeding to the boat we were given a bottle of cold water and a life jacket for the trip. On boarding the boat we were instructed as to the launching and return trip to the beach. The guides were very helpfull and gave us a lot of usefull infomation on all the Whales and Dolphins we encountered. I was able to get photographs that will rival any that I have seen in magazines. Thank you Oceansafaris for a great trip and memory.

2  Thank whitewolf_10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 14, 2009

We went on a whale and dolphin watching excursion with Ocean Safaris. This particular branch was in Durban and left from Ushaka Marine World. I called late one night, around 6pm but was able to reach someone for an outing the next morning.

We arrived right on time, 8:45 am. We told were told 8:45 am probably in case people were late; the tour was supposed to start at 9 and we still had to walk down the beach a ways in order to get to the boat.

We waited for about 35 extra minutes for the rest of our group to show up and only one other couple actually showed up. I really dislike how nothing in South Africa ever starts on time.

We had two guides, one female and one male. We went out in a boat that had one long center bench made to sit on horseback style and the sides of the boat were hard, inflatable plastic. You sit on the side, facing inward and put your feet underneath some straps on the floor. If you lean backwards you won't fall out because the straps hold your feet in.

It was a really really windy day so the water was very rough. The guides explained what exactly we were looking for and anytime someone saw something we were supposed to point it out just in case it happened to be whales or dolphins.

At one point the female guide spotted a whale and we saw him blow from a distance about three times. We tried to sneak closer but there is a law stating you cannot get closer than 100m to whales in the water. There was another boat following us, it seemed like a family boat. They had their motor on full blast rather than letting their boat drift as we were. The whale went down and we never saw him again.

After that we failed to anything else. From the time we left the dock to the time we got back it took almost exactly two hours.

When we boarded the boat they took everything we did not want to get wet (cameras, glasses, jackets, etc) and put it in a large heavy burlap type bag. They said if we actually saw something they'd get the cameras otherwise it would delay us in trying to see whales and dolphins if everyone was always trying to get their cameras out and put them away.

I know that it's never guaranteed to see wildlife because they cannot be controlled but was still a lit bit disappointed.

Overall I thought the operation of the outfit was smooth and easy.

If you bring things you don't want to take on the boat there are lockers that everyone can use.

One word of note: they accept cash only to be paid before the tour departs.

2  Thank kits55
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed January 30, 2018
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Thank _Pouls_Manders
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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