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PONTA DO OURO INFORMATION AND HISTORY

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PONTA DO OURO GPS COORDINATES :

26°50.32'S 32°53.10'E

Ponta de Ouro (The Point of Gold), is the southern most resort on the Mozambican coast. The easiest entry is through Kosi Bay border post and Ponta de Ouro is 15kms from the border.
There are numerous dive sites and coral reefs. This is a tourist destination to please any person interested in scuba diving, deep sea fishing,snorkelling, swimming on white sand beaches. The resorts include Ponta Malongane, Ponta Mamoli and Ponta de Ouro. There is everything to satisfy your wish to swim in beautiful clear water,swim in the warm waters of the Indian Ocean or just to stroll along beautiful beaches. There is holiday accommodation to meet the needs of anyone looking for tourist accommodation of the best.

 

Maputaland Geographically Maputoland is the area stretching from Lake St Lucia in the south up to Maputo in the north. This was the area under the control of chief Maputa in the early 1770s.
The dune forests, lakes, coastal plains and swamps which make up the eco system are unique in southern africa

The border is open from 08h00 to 17h00 each day, peak season periods, please check times.

 

MORE INFORMATION

 

Currently Ponta Do Ouro does not have a bank or ATM available so don’t forget to draw money, ZAR widely accepted. A couple of places will take credit cards.

 

POnta do Ouro Mozambique Ponta do Oura diving Ponta do Oura diving with dolphins

 

DOLPHIN CARE - AFRICA

 

Introduction:
DolphinCare-Africa was founded in 1998 and is a non-profit organisation (section 21). DolphinCare-Africa actively works at conserving the local dolphin population and the environment in which they live in. Their projects include education, conservation, investigation and general community awareness on dolphins. Work is undertaken at Dolphin EnCOuntours in Ponta do Ouro in Southern Mozambique.

 

Vision, Task and Hope:
On a wall of a church in England there is a sign that reads “A vision without a task is but a dream, a task without a vision is a drudgery; a vision and a task are the hope of the world”. DolphinCare-Africa has a vision, a task and a hope for the future of our planet and all of its inhabitants.
                       
DolphinCare-Africa’s vision is as follows:

  • To ensure that the dolphins in southern African waters are protected.
  • To consistently distribute information concerning the dolphins and their plight.
  • To educate people on safe procedures when swimming with wild dolphins.
  • To ensure that the dolphins are not harassed by the ever-increasing number of tour operators in the area.
  • To observe and learn the life-cycle, habitats and threats to the survival of the dolphins.
  • To institute effective conservation measures.

DolphinCare-Africa’s task is to ensure that:

  • To ensure that their vision is achieved.
  • They enlist the support and participation of people who share the love of dolphins.
  • Information is distributed, which requires printing and distribution of pamphlets at information stands and fairs.
  • To maintain a successful research centre; this will require research materials, computers and other dolphin-related equipment.
  • They increase their knowledge of the dolphins, and share it with the public.
  • They obtain assistance in hosting charity drives in order to finance their efforts.
  • They gain public support in pressurizing the industry and positively influence the future of cetaceans (sea mammals of a group including whales and dolphins) in southern Africa.

DolphinCare-Africa’s hope is that:

  • The future of cetaceans will be secure.
  • Our children and the children of the future will also have the opportunity to observe dolphins in the wild.
  • That our oceans will be capable of sustaining life for all sea creatures.

The Plight of the Dolphins:
How us as human beings affect these delightful and magical sea creatures, the dolphins:
Pollution:
Thousands of dolphins are affected by the pollution content in our oceans. Research suggests that some of the first born calves are lost due to the high level of toxins in the mother’s milk.
Environmental Degradation:
With the increase of port and harbor development globally, the home ranges of dolphins are affected.
Fishing Industry:
DolphinCare-Africa does not support commercial fishing industries; as a large number of dolphins are lost in the commercial fishing trade due to fishing techniques that include purse seine fishing, trawlers and long-liners. The tuna industry holds the largest dolphin mortality rate and even though measures have been put in place to avoid this mortality it is not 100% fail-safe and we are still losing dolphins to this industry!
Dolphin Harassment:
With the increase of people who wish to partake in swimming with wild dolphins the risk of dolphin harassment is apparent. One should ensure that the organisation they are entrusting this experience, to be well trained in wild dolphin behaviour and that the dolphin’s best interests are paramount.

Education, Conservation and Investigation.
Education:
One of DolphinCare-Africa’s functions is to educate the general public about cetaceans and specifically the dolphins. To inform the public of the actions that can be taken to prevent or halt threats to the dolphins, and the environment. To update the public about the dolphins and advise them of safe boating practices. Printing and selling a ‘spotting guide’, with fin identification pictures of the dolphins in the area of Ponta do Ouro.

Conservation:
DolphinCare-Africa proactively conserves the dolphins, their habitat and eco-system. This would extend to the regular feeding reefs, the eco-systems of these reefs as well as protective bays and the shoreline the dolphins inhabit. The flyers and or pamphlets that DolphinCare-Africa distributes will hopefully promote safe boating practices and skipper conduct around the dolphins.

Investigation and Research:
With the input from scientists and marine biologists from Mozambique and South Africa, effective investigations and research into the behavioural patterns of the dolphins are recorded. The most important information recorded is feeding, mating and birthing, migratory patterns, territorialism and stranding.

 

DolphinCare-Africa believes that the dolphins make an empowering statement in conservation. They are the mascots of the sea and what better way to educate and heal than through our seas’ friendly ambassadors.

Successful Projects:
Photographic Fin Identification Techniques:
Photographic fin identification techniques are been continuously researched and recorded on the free-ranging inshore Bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops adunctus) in the Ponta do Ouro region.

Individual photo-identification has been used in field studies in the Ponta do Ouro region since 1995. The most noticeable feature for most dolphins is the shape of the trailing edge of its dorsal fin. This fin tatters easily and through these notches DolphinCare-Africa can identify most of the dolphins in the area. However, due to the time spent in the water with the dolphins other identifiable body markings are also recorded. These include, scarring, scratches, notches out of pectoral flippers, tail flukes as well as the location of parasites on the body and pigmentation markings.

DolphinCare-Africa’s photographic fin identification program started in December 1995. They have since recorded and photographed an estimated 200 dolphins. Through the recordings of the dolphin photographic fin identification program there has been a steady population growth, over the nine year period. A number of the identified dolphins are resident to the area. DolphinCare-Africa believes that photo-identification also serves to obtain an improved representation of the population dynamics of the dolphins.

Dolphin Monitoring (Boat based) and Behaviour Analysis:
To obtain an accurate distribution of cetaceans, DolphinCare-Africa has recorded all their launches and spotting logs of the cetaceans that frequent the waters of Ponta do Ouro. The recordings of Whale-sharks sightings are also included in the project.

All cetaceans encountered by DolphinCare-Africa are recorded, these include:

  • Humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae),
  • Southern right whale (Balaena glacialis),
  • Spotted dolphin (Stenella attenuata),
  • Spinner dolphin (Stenella longirostris),
  • Inshore Bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops aduncus),
  • Humpback dolphin (Sousa chinensis) and,
  • Common dolphin (Delphinus delphis).

Photographic fin identification research is an ongoing project which includes underwater videography and underwater still photography. This assists in identifying the dolphins as well as recording their behaviour. Loggings are completed for every launch and dolphin spotting. In addition, dolphin group dynamics and human dolphin interaction, is observed and researched. All information researched is sent through to the relevant scientists and research centres that support DolphinCare-Africa.

Education through Dolphin Swim Programs:
DolphinCare-Africa has undertaken studies on the behaviour of dolphins around boats and people, which have been successfully conducted with Dolphin Encountours. The educational dolphin swim program encourages a greater understanding and awareness of the marine environment, the dolphins and our planet. DolphinCare-Africa believes that when facilitating an intimate experience with nature, awareness is created.

Dolphin Swim Program Procedures:
A strict code of conduct and briefing before swimming with the dolphins is given to all participants. When dolphins are located, the dolphin’s behaviour is monitored and assessed before interaction takes place. Various dolphin behaviour patterns are used to confirm if the dolphins are sociable or not. In the event of the dolphins demonstrating avoidance behaviour, the dolphins will be left alone and the group will endeavour to find a more sociable pod. Only four to six participants are allowed in the water at one time. The participants enter the water with a swim facilitator (they are trained to swim with the dolphins in a non-invasive manner). The swim facilitator’s job is to ensure that the rules are adhered to. This includes no touching and swimming directly to or behind the dolphins, count the number of dolphins in the water, identify the dolphins and create an interest with them.

Through the years of observing and interaction with the dolphins, DolphinCare-Africa and Dolphin Encountours have built up a trusting relationship with a number of pods. It is apparent that there are a number of dolphins that do enjoy human interaction. The dolphins that DolphinCare-Africa and Dolphin Encountours look out for when on the dolphin swim programs include Aurora, Bo, Cheeky, Danny, Gman, Saturn, Silk and Sunshine (these dolphins love human interaction).

Dolphin EnCOuntours, Ponta do Oura: b elieves that the marine environment is extremely important, not only for the local community that depends on the various marine related activities that take place at Ponta do Ouro, but also for the delicate marine environment that is under constant threat. Raising the awareness of the locals that live in Ponta do Ouro, and the tourists that partake in a multitude of different marine and water sport activities, we hope to protect and conserve the marine environment and the animals it supports for future generations.

Through these beliefs, Dolphin EnCOuntours was founded in Ponta do Ouro and is an educational dolphin and marine centre with a number of informative displays, explaining the potential risks and harm caused by diving, swimming, driving on the beach, etc. Dolphin EnCOuntours Ponta is the central data collection point for sightings of dolphins, whales and whale-sharks. The Centre houses a three dimensional life-size model of a humpback dolphin (Sousa Chinensis). It is from this centre that ongoing research is undertaken, data recordings of the dolphins are documented, and lectures and slide shows are given. The general public can learn about dolphins and whales by observing the information at Dolphin EnCOuntours Ponta.

DolphinCare-Africa wish to raise funds to finance a reliable research centre, given the unique relationship that they have developed with the dolphins. It is DolphinCare-Africa’s intention to offer the opportunity of studying dolphins in the wild to undergraduates in both South Africa and Mozambique. With the distribution of their Code of Conduct they hope to educate the public about the coastal environment and the threats it is under.

Ponta do Ouro Lifeguards:
DolphinCare-Africa together with Dolphin EnCOuntours have initiated the first life guard station in Mozambique. In 2003 they successfully trained six local members of the community for the lifeguard position. The lifeguards not only watch over bathers but also monitor recreational fishing boats, limit jetski activities in bathing areas and aid in keeping the beach clean.

Watch and Protect the Dolphins:
With the ever increasing demand that is being placed on the dolphins from other operators, DolphinCare-Africa’s campaign is against dolphin harassment. Due to the increasing water sports and activities in Ponta do Ouro it is important to educate people on the dolphins and to make sure that safe dolphin swim procedures are put in place. DolphinCare-Africa’s objective is to watch over the dolphins and protect them where and when their habitats become threatened.

Ponta do Ouro Turtle Monitoring Program:
2007 sees us launching the turtle program with the objectives of Tagging, monitoring and collecting data on Dermochelys coriacea [ Leatherback] and Caretta caretta [ Loggerhead ] turtles.
Study area: From southern Mozambique border to Malongane point.

 

Contact Details:
For more information about DolphinCare-Africa please contact:
Angie: 09258 82 271-6010
E-mail: dca1@mweb.co.za
Website: www.dolphincare-africa.org.za
Postal Address: PO Box 2318, Cramerview, 2060

Bank Details:
Bank: Nedbank
Branch Code: 146905
Account Number: 1469057964
Account Name: DolphinCare-Africa
Cheques to be made to: DolphinCare-Africa

 

The activities at and around Ponta do Ouro in the extreme south, Ponta Malongane, and northwards towards Inhaca Island and Maputo, make this a haven for all nature lovers and adventurers, young and old. The area is totally unspoilt, rustic and relatively uninhabited from a population perspective.

There are to main seasons at Ponta do Ouro, one wet and the other dry.
The wet season, from November to March, has a monthly average temperature of between 26°C and 30 °C (80°F and 86°F), with cooler temperatures in the interior uplands.
The drier season is from April to October and has June and July temperatures averaging between 18 - 25 degrees Celcius.
The region enjoys a sub-tropical climate with most of the rainfall being recorded between December and March.
The summer months from November to April are characterised by warm temperatures accompanied by relatively high humidity levels whereas the winter months are moderate to warm with much lower levels of humidity.

Average Temperatures:
January +- 25 degrees C
April +- 23 degrees C
July +- 20 degrees C
October +- 25 degrees C

The warm waters of the "Mozambique Current" flow southwards from Madagascar to within 10 Kms of the coastline. The sea temperature generally tracks the land temperature and will go up to 28 degrees in the summer months and down to 21 degrees C in the winter months. This is an ideal ecosystem for the vast number of species of game and reef fish, dolphins, whales and turtles that traverse this area as well as for all of the other activities suited to an "all year round" warm water location.

The coastline from Ponta do Ouro to Inhaca Island is saturated with the most beautiful and pristine hard and soft coral reefs, home to a bewildering variety of game and reef fish, turtles dolphins, whales, sharks and rays. Unlike the coral reefs in South Africa, most of these reefs have remained untouched for nearly 2 decades during the civil war.
This again provides an ideal ecosystem for scuba divers and snorkellers alike.

The terrain consists of long and uninterrupted stretches of white sand beaches, high primary sand dunes, coastal forests, inland flood plains and numerous lakes and accompanying marshlands, making it an ideal playground for 4X4 vehicle/ biking and hiking enthusiasts. The roads from the South African border to the various locations are currently sand roads and therefore require 4X4 vehicles to adequately traverse them. However, use of vehicles of any description is strictly prohibited along the beaches.

In order to make use of these activities, guests are however required to bring along whatever equipment and accessories that they may require as very little, apart from diving equipment, is available for hire in the area.

 

 

 

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