Although the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast is renowned for its sightings of humpback and southern right whales migrating in the cooler months the sighting of two pods of orcas came as a shock to well-known local fisherman and waterman, Rustin Naidoo.
On Tuesday morning, Naidoo was aboard his commercial fishing boat, Lucky Lady, 3 kilometres offshore on the deeper line of the world-famous Aliwal Shoal when he and his crew spotted the first pod of around six orcas. As if this wasn’t exceptional enough, the crew then spotted another pod of 15 to 20 orcas just 1 kilometre apart.
Coming from a long line of sardine seine netters, Rustin has been fishing since the age of four, and said he can only recall one other sighting of orcas in the area:
“I’ve only seen orcas once before when I was fishing on my dad’s boat as a youngster. I’m at sea daily and haven’t seen anything quite like this since. It was really beautiful. They were just cruising and playing in our wake.”
Rustin said the cooler sea temperatures could account for the orcas’ appearance, and that they’re often known to settle in an area for a while, giving visitors to the KZN South Coast a rare opportunity to spot this incredible marine animal. Aliwal Shoal is one of two Marine Protected Areas found in the region, and with its Blue Flag Beaches and quality surf conditions, the KZN South Coast is a true ocean-lovers paradise.