Richards Bay Accommodation & Tour Venues

...to the ends of the earth...

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A beautiful majestic display of spray by the Whale's tail flip

 HIPPO & CROC tours and Boat Based Whale Watching aboard the ADVANTAGE CHARTER - ST LUCIA within a WORLD HERITAGE SITE, iSimangaliso Wetland Park, on the southern most tip of THE ELEPHANT COAST 

Tel: +27(0)35 590 1259 or 590 1199
Cell: 083 487 2762 (Riëtte) | 082 879 4261 (Danie)

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A surf launch off the St Lucia coastline is an experience on it’s own, not to mention the fact that this launch is the first phase of a two hour journey to experience whales. In St Lucia it’s almost always an early morning call that begins with a short journey over the 400m of beach, on a 4X4 vehicle, that brings one to the formidable craft that have been specifically designed and built by Danie Bennett, co-owner of Advantage Cruises.  Danie Bennett of Advantage Charter is a legal Boat Based Whale Watching Permit Holder in St Lucia, permit issued by Marine and Coastal Management.

Daily Activities:
  • Deep sea Fishing
    Deep-sea Fishing - Advantage Charter
    (32ft Yeld cat)(2x250HP Suzuki engins)
    (A full day of game, bill and bottom fishing with experienced skipper Danie - all bait and tackle supplied - just bring own food & drinks)
  • Umfolozi/Hluhluwe Game Reserve
    A full day of game viewing the big 5 in two of the oldest Game Reserves in Africa - prices includes lunch, soft drinks throughout the day & all entrance fees.
  • Cape Vidal Experience
    A full day of snorkelling at the most beautiful beaches on the North Coast - view stops en route - walking trails etc. Prices includes soft drinks throughout the day, all entrances fees, all snorkelling equipment and a "never to forget" fish braai for lunch.
  • Eastern Shores 4x4 Experience
    The same itinerary as for Cape Vidal experience, but on return you go on a 4x4 route only available to certain tour operators that will show you the true beauty of the Eastern shores.
  • Hippo Tour
    - Advantage Cruiser
    2 Hours to explore Lake St. Lucia for hippos, crocs, fisheagle, heron, mangroves, kingfishers, mudskippers etc.
    Children under 10 years half price/under 2 years no charge
  • Hippo Tour
    - Advantage Cruiser
    2 Hours to explore Lake St. Lucia for hippos, crocs, fisheagle, heron, mangroves, kingfishers, mudskippers etc.
    Time: 12:00
    Children under 10 years half price /under 2 years no charge
  • Hippo & Croc Tour - Advantage Cruiser (Winter)(mid Apr-mid Sept)
    (2 Hours to explore the St Lucia Estuary with skipper Riëtte, Dave or Berno for hippos, crocs, fish eagle, heron, mangroves, kingfishers, mudskippers etc. Relax and hear about the Wetland Park and what she has to offer .
  • Hippo & Croc Tour - Advantage Cruiser (Summer)(mid Sept-mid Apr)
    (2 Hours to explore the St Lucia Estuary with skipper Riëtte , Berno or Dave for hippos, crocs, fish eagle, heron, mangroves, kingfishers, mudskippers etc.The boat has bar and toilet facility
  • Night Drive
    + 3 Hours(within the Eastern Shores to view nocturnal animals with a qualified guide)
  • Turtle Tours
    During November, December and January - Enquire at office.
    Time: Midnight

  • Crocodile feeding
    At the Croc Centre (Saturdays)
  • Crocodile feeding
    At the Croc Centre
    (Summers only - the crocs don't feed well at night in Winter
    Time: 18:30 (Wenesdays)
  • Whale Watching
    WHALE WATCHING( seasonal ) mid-May - mid Dec
    2 hours aboard the ADVANTAGE CHARTER with renowned skipper Danie Bennett to see whales from as close as 50m! Advantage Cruizer is a legal permit holder to take you boat based whale watching in St Lucia. The most fun you will have with your clothes on!
    (**If you do NOT see a whale after 2 hours on the ocean, 50 % will be refunded to you in cash!!! **)   

  • Birdwatching walking trails (+ 4 Hours)
    Dates: Every day from R120-00.00p/p
  • Night Drive
    + 3 Hours(within the Eastern Shores to view nocturnal animals with a qualified guide)
  • Marine Mammal Experience (Dec -May)
    An approximate 2 hour trip aboard the ADVANTAGE Charter with qualified guide and skipper DANIE BENNETT, to experience the thrill of surf launching with the possibility of seeing turtles, sharks, dolphins, pelagic sea birds, flying fish. Depending on wind conditions we will visit the Jolly Rubino shipwreck.

  • Khula Cultural Tour

Hippo & Croc Tours

The Greater St Lucia Wetlands Park, a World Heritage Site - explored from aboard the ADVANTAGE CRUISER.

Our passenger ferry, the ADVANTAGE CRUISER, custom built to venture in shallow water and environmentally friendly engines for a minimum impact on the ecology complying with EPA standards, departs from an easily accessible jetty in the heart of ST LUCIA. The boat consist of a lower covered deck, with an added sundeck upstairs for the person seeking a suntan whilst onboard.

En route the 2 hour cruise we will show you some of the largest vegetated dunes in the world, a variety of prolific bird life can be viewed, oyster banks which was once part of the ocean are passed at the islands at Honeymoon Bend.

At this point crocodiles basking in the sun is one of the main attractions. Then for the main highlight we turn and venture north towards "The Narrows" for the Hippo’s! Riëtte Bennett, co-owner of ADVANTAGE CRUISER, is also on occasion your lady "captain" ,together with Dave and Berno who helps out as relief skippers, these qualified Theta guides will enthusiastically give you a full educational talk on the mangrove swamps, the hippo’s, crocs, and the eco systems, the Wetland Park and what she has to offer.

The boat itself has ample walking space for the avid photographer, with intermittent stops en route next to all the highlights you will be given the opportunity to take photographs for memories to last a lifetime.

ADVANTAGE CRUISER has toilet facilities, a cash bar as well as tea/coffee facility, a sophisticated Public Address system and comfortable upholstered seats and is wheelchair friendly.

Catering can be done on prior arrangement and more and more tour groups are making use of this facility to eat onboard whilst touring ,as this allows for more time to get to the next stop on your itinerary.

ADVANTAGE CRUISER operates 7 days a week, it is a 2 hour trip, and if need be, departure times can be negotiated.

Our concession allows us to operate within a pristine part of the Wetland Park, and the boat complies with all the Park Authorities’ regulations and Department of Transport permits.

Hippo & Croc Gallery

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Whale Watching

Boat Based Whale Watching aboard the ADVANTAGE CHARTER - ST LUCIA - a legal Boat Based Whale Watching Permit Holder - within a WORLD HERITAGE SITE ,THE GREATER ST LUCIA WETLAND PARK - on the southern most tip of THE ELEPHANT COAST

THE WHALE WATCHER - Danie Bennett

This is something exceptionally special, and anyone that is wanting a memory to last beyond a lifetime should pay us a visit .

Our ocean going boat, the ADVANTAGE CHARTER, is built eco-friendly with passenger safety and comfort in mind and engines complying with EPA standards.

In the safe hands of experienced and renowned skipper Danie Bennett, you wil be taken through the waves to see the gigantic HUMPBACK WHALE.

THE WHALES migrate pass this stretch of coastline between the months of mid May to end of November , to calf and breed in the warm waters of the Indian Ocean.
You may be fortunate to witness a mother feeding a new born calf, or a male breaching, lifting a body mass of about 40 tons clear out of the ocean a mere 50 meters away from the boat !!!! or maybe just swimming alongside the vessel .

SHARING TIME WITH THESE PLAYFUL GENTLE GIANTS OF THE OCEAN IS A SOUL –STIRRING EXPERIENCE, AN INVESTMENT YOU MAKE IN YOUR OWN LIFE, AND SOMETHING NEVER TO BE FORGOTTEN.

You may also see a variety of pelagic bird life, dolphin frolicking alongside the bow of the boat, sea turtles in season, shark, marlin and other interesting marine mammals .

We need about 3 hours of your time, of which the actual tour duration is approximately 2 hours on the ocean, and then 30 minutes on either side to get you to-and from the launch site.
This in itself is an adventure, as you meet at a central booking office, from where you will be taken to the launch site with a 4 x 4 truck onto the beach.

***** From the time that you meet at the office till 3 hours later when you return from your trip , cameramen will be taking video footage of yourself and your sightings and a personalized DVD of yourself aboard the Advantage Charter can be bought at the WHALE SHOP about an hour after your return*****

Danie Bennett has a treasure house full of knowledgde about the Whales, and will give a full educational talk of- for instance : what part of the whale was used decades ago to make a ladies’ corset ? etc, and then a hydrophone on board will allow you to on occasion listen to the whales singing which can bring a tear to your eyes.

If you have been out at sea with Danie for the entire 2 hours and you have NOT seen any whale , you will get 2/3rd's of your money refunded the moment you return to the office. Please do make sure that you go with a legal operator like Danie , ask us for a list of all the legal permit holders in South Africa , as we do have illlegal operators that will offer you a ''2 hour deepsea trip'' and try to take you whale watching under the auspices of a sightseeing trip . These operators might not be insured , make sure you are on a legal,permitted fully insured vessel before you go out to sea .

Whale Watching Gallery

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Contact details:
Tel: +27 (0)35 590 1259 or 5901199
Fax: +27(0)35 590 1053
Cell: 083 487 2762 (Riëtte) | 082 879 4261 (Danie)

E-mail an Enquiry