Algoa Bay & the Sundays River Estuary Hot
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Algoa Bay is home to 45% of the worlds remaining African Penguin population and up to 68% of the worlds Cape Gannets.

The Sundays River and estuary, are boarded by South Africa’s most extensive coastal dune fields. These provide excellent landscape photographic opportunities. The river mouth is also excellent for watching various shorebirds and migrating waders and the coastal thickets contain bushbuck, common duiker and vervet monkeys.

At sea a variety of marine mammals including common dolphin, humpbacked whale and cape fur seals can be seen feeding alongside African Penguin, Cape Gannet and several tern species. 


Best Time to Photograph
Mid morning is the best time to be at sea and before the wind picks up and makes travelling difficult. The estuary mouth is best visited at dusk and preferably on an out going tide. The dune fields can be visited either at dusk or dawn when the shadows are long.
Type of Photography
  • Birds
  • Pelagic Birds
  • Landscapes
  • Marine mammals
Best Time of Year
Throughout the year
Photographic Tips
Boat trips up the Sundays River and out to sea in Algoa Bay are extremely rewarding. Keep your camera well protected against sea spray and also well protected in padded bags when traveling on rolling seas.
Recommended Gear
Mid Range zoom lenses are the most useful for photographing from a boat. High ISO and shutter speeds compensate for any rolling movements of the boat. A towel to wipe off all camera gear is also recommended. Sea-sick tablets may be worth taking before departing on any sea trips. Be well prepared at all times and carry liquids, sunscreen, a hat and warm clothing.


Site Highlights
Sundays River Estuary
Algoa Bay boat cruise
Sundays River-boat cruise


Season and Weather
The Sundays River and Algoa Bay lies in a malaria free area with unpredictable but largely summer rainfall, where temperatures can reach within the 30 degrees. Winters are mild and temperatures seldom drop below double digits.
Other Activities
  • Birding
  • Fishing
  • Marine mammal watching
  • Boating
  • Walking & Hiking


Closest Town
Getting There
The Sundays River can be reached through the town of Colchester lies off the N2 and is approximately 40 km’s east of Port Elizabeth. From Colchester continue eastwards on the N2 until the R72. Follow the R72 until the small town of Alexandra. Woody Cape is well signposted from this point.
Algoa Bay


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Peter Chadwick
Author: Peter ChadwickWebsite: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
As a dedicated conservationist, Peter Chadwick has 30 years strategic and operational conservation experience in terrestrial and marine protected area management. He has worked within all of the major biomes in southern Africa as well as having provided expert conservation advice at a global level. His conservation and wildlife photography is a natural extension to his conservation work where he has numerous opportunities to capture photographs that showcase the beauty and complexity of the outdoors. Peter’s photography is internationally recognized, with this work appearing globally in a wide range of print and electronic media.