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  • Barbara Ann Kinghorn

'PENGUIN PALS' - Coral Tree Guests are friends of SANCCOB

Did you know that the largest breeding colony of African Penguins on Earth, right here in our Bay, is in deep trouble? In the past five years the number of penguin breeding pairs on St Croix Island and Bird Island in Algoa Bay, has dropped alarmingly.

Conservationists believe this is because the penguins’ habitat has been wrecked by human indifference to their needs, and the consequent catastrophe of industrial over-fishing, pollution, increasing shipping activity and bunkering in Algoa Bay.

Penguins in Algoa Bay live with increasing stress and dwindling food resources. Many have to be rescued and brought to SANCCOB (Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Sea Birds) to be healed, rehabilitated, and ideally, released back to the wild.

At Coral Tree Guest House, we always encourage our guests to consider participating in our 'PENGUIN PALS' initiative. This begins with an excursion to SANCCOB, near the Cape Recife lighthouse. It's a fascinating and enjoyable outing (especially for the children), where visitors can see this rehabilitation centre in action, learn about these and other amazing sea creatures, and also discover more about the sad environmental situation that our African Penguins are facing.

Young Coral Tree guests learning about the Hungry Penguin

Visitors will also realise that everyone, whether old or young, can play a part in saving endangered South African sea birds, such as the African Penguin!

Here are just a few ways that 'Penguin Pals' can help to make a difference:

  • Help SANCCOB to raise funds, by buying lovely gifts from their shop

  • Adopt penguin chicks and pay for their care into adulthood

  • Give some of their money, time, or talents to assist SANCCOB

  • Become active volunteers, or interns, to assist SANCCOB in its work

  • Young people can also volunteer at SANCCOB. There are 2 'Saturday clubs' that have been set up for young supporters:


'PENGUIN PAL' activities for young guests at Coral Tree Guest House

Following your visit to SANCCOB, Coral Tree Guest House also offers some optional extras that encourage an ongoing mindset of penguin conservation. For a small fee, we can host children's activities where young guests can have some fun while continuing to learn about penguins and their struggle for survival.

By appointment, Barbara guides age-appropriate, penguin-related art activities right here at The Coral Tree Cottage.

These sessions are both recreational and creative, with the positive outcomes of great childrens' artworks and also, quite simply, a bigger circle of 'Penguin Pals' (... our Coral Tree Cottage sea birdie buddies ) who support SANCCOB!

This 'Penguin Pal' made some salt ceramic penguins.



SANCCOB Gqeberha (formerly Port Elizabeth) "Penguin and other sea bird conservation, rehabilitation and environmental education"

Physical Address:

Marine Drive, Cape Recife, Gqeberha, 6011


9am to 4 pm (7 days a week)

Depending on current COVID-19 restrictions. Please call to check.


063 942 4702

Volunteer Information:

Please call +27 41 583 1830 or email


A note from Taryn Joshua, SANCCOB’s Education Supervisor:

Our Saturday clubs for this year are ending this month [Nov 2021] and will start up again in Feb 2022. Prices may increase, but I will advertise again on FB at the beginning of the year. I will be having a few holiday activities in December and hosting a holiday club in January in collaboration with SST. All of this will be advertised on our FB page as well.


Thank you for reading this blog post. Please use the Social Media links below if you'd like to share it onward, and if you have any comments or questions you are most welcome to contact Coral Tree Guest House at


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