Welcome to the Whales Festival

4 June 2022 │The Willows Resort

The Annual Festival to Welcome the Humpback Whales back on their northward migration to waters off the East Coast of Africa. Visitors can learn about the migration and marine life, visit exhibition stands and support local music and crafts! This festival is conducted by Raggy Charters.

It is fitting to start the Whale Migration Celebrations in Gqeberha (Port Elizabeth) this year as we are
now 1 of only 5 Whale Heritage Sites in the World. This achievement was announced at the 2021
festival that was switched from ‘in person’ to ‘online’ overnight due to covid-19 regulations changing
the night before the event. This however did not dampen spirits and all talks and fun that could be
had with limited numbers was shared online on the day.

So with this prestigious title of Whale Heritage Site, we have changed things up a little this year and
are starting celebrations with a banger of a festival on 4th June 2022 at the Willows Resort on Marine
Drive. Thereafter. there will be about 30 celebrations in the form of talks and festivals big and small
going up both the African East and West Coasts. This year the East Coast will spread a little further to
Lamu in Kenya and the West Coast as far as Libreville in Gabon. This route and these celebrations
are put together by The World Cetacean Alliance, Raggy Charters who is partner to The World
Cetacean Alliance
, and all whale enthusiasts along the African coastline.

All 30 locations will be celebrating the Humpback Whales who make this long journey, the longest
migration of all mammals. All is about creating awareness of the importance of migrating whales in
the ecosystem. The whales feed, poop, migrate, and dive deep (which circulates essential nutrients
throughout the ocean). This behaviour supports healthy marine ecosystems and the growth of
phytoplankton, which locks in a huge amount of carbon from the atmosphere. We are very happy to
inform all that due to becoming protected the humpback whale population has recovered from near
extinction. There is a current population of about 80,000, up from a very a low 10,000.

The event being held on 4th June in PE is way more than just a get-together, it is to celebrate
these magnificent marine mammals who visit our beautiful Algoa Bay on during their migration
journey. The day will be a family orientated educational experience intended for all to learn
something and of course have fun at the same time.

Visitors will be welcomed by the sounds of African drums and marimba’s. Interesting talks will be
presented in the function room at the Willows Resort. First one starting at 10am by Lloyd Edwards of
Raggy Charters on the Whale Migration and Whale Entanglements in rock lobster ropes and buoys.
NSRI will be there to demonstrate the disentanglement process. Followed by Dr Julien Benoit, a
French paleontologist currently working at the University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, Gauteng
at 11am about “Evolution of Dolphins Brain and Intelligence”.

All can enjoy Interactive NPO and Tourism Exhibits, a guided coastal walk, treasure hunt and survival
activities will be on the go too.
Cape Recife Lighthouse Tour and a Sacramento Trail walk and talk will be on offer (Please pre-book
with Alan Tours). Learn to sew your own reusable shopping bags at the festival (Please pre-book with Sharon of Sew
Creative). Do some whale watching from the air – HPTC will be there to offer helicopter rides.
Various food trucks will keep the hungry satisfied and live music by local muso’s will play from
12noon to 7pm closing time.
Visit the Welcoming the Whales Facebook Page Bay Whale Festival for the program
We look forward to seeing you all there.

Algoa Bay is the marine protected area of the Addo Elephant National Park and Addo Tourism will be there to introduce to the amazing opportunities of this coastal section of the park in addition to our exciting Addo Tourism experiences: Kuzuko Lodge, Addo Indlovu Spa, and Addo Wildlife.