Dolphins in South Africa
I was in S Africa in March and wanted to find Heavisides/Havisides Dolphin.
A more complete trip report got swallowed by WordPress, jeez but I hate that site. But want to pass a few notes along.
I asked Birding Africa for a guide to go north, which is the normal range for the Dolphin. They gave me Kim Wright, who is a native of South Africa and a brilliant naturalist and guide. She has been active in dolphin conservation for decades, and she asked a marine biologist friend about it. He said they come closer to shore in the mornings, up until 10 am, and said to try Three Anchor Bay/Green Point/Mouille Point. These are like 1/2 kilometer from downtown CT!
So Kim and I got to that area around 8 am, the sea was dead calm. We stayed with it for an hour because the sea was so calm, and around 9 am we had a pod of 6-8 Havisides Dolphins feeding off shore. “Hot damn”, I said.
I went to De Hoop based on Curtis Hart’s trip report but dipped on the Clawless Otters and Dolphins. A local guy said the best place for Dolphins was between Moselle Bay and George, which turned out to be good advice. About 10 km east of George, mid afternoon, I found a steady stream of Indo-pacific Bottlenose Dolphins moving East. Groups of 6-8 would ride the surf in and when the wave broke they would flip up into the air. They did it over and over again. If I get another life I wanna come back as a dolphin!
Kim’s friend also said that the vast majority of Tursiops off S Africa are aduncus, which makes ID a little less probematic.