There is a reason why St Lucia Tours & Charters Safaris – trading as Advantage Tours, is a highly sought after whale/hippo/croc boat cruise/tour operator on the St Lucia Estuary, especially with international tourists.
Initially founded by Danie and Riette Bennett in 1991, Advantage Tours has been a legal Boat-Based Whale Watching (BBWW) operator in St Lucia section of the iSimangaliso Wetland Park, and neighbouring harbour city of Richards Bay since the early 90s. Their tour guides are very knowledgeable and passionate about what they do.
In addition, emphasis on preserving the St Lucia Estuary and conservation of its wildlife, safety of passengers on the boat cruises and top-notch hospitality has certainly hit a cord with visitors to the area over the years.
For your peace of mind, Advantage Tours’ vessels are inspected annually by the South African Marine Safety Authority (SAMSA). All their guides are registered with Tourism KwaZulu Natal and other authorities. They also frequently undergo relevant safety courses.
Visiting the area over a few days? From their game reserve guides to their boat skippers, they also know almost every accommodation establishment in the St Lucia area inside and out. Let them know about your particular needs and they will assist with building your very own custom itinerary.
Services offered at Advantage Tours:
Whale watching in St Lucia and in Richards Bay got them started off and are operated during the humpback migratory season each year, from June 1 until December 1.
The whale watching in St Lucia is some of the best along the South African coastline and begins with a surf launch, which can only be enjoyed by adults for safety reasons. Whale watching in Richards Bay is done on a bigger, more steady boat and is launched via a dock and port, making this available to children over 4 years and their families.
Advantage Tours also offer Boat Cruise experiences to see and learn about the Hippopotamus, Nile crocodile and the estuary’s birdlife. They also do Deep-sea Game Fishing charters, Big 5 Safaris with an open game drive vehicle to the nearby iMfolozi/Hluhluwe Game Reserves.
Book a full day Beach and Bush Safari into the iSimangaliso Wetland Park with snorkelling at Cape Vidal beach if the tide permits. They also do interesting guided walking trails, 2.5-3 hour visits to the Zulu Khula Community for Zulu cultural experiences and Horse Riding, and Birding Trails with amazing guides who specialize in birdlife and photography.
Outside the whale-watching season, you can join them for their Dolphin Tour with surf launch.
Planning an office function, family celebration, group or school outing? Advantage Tours’ 40-seater vessel in Richards Bay is ideal for harbour cruises all year round.
Reviews from people who have used Advantage Tours previously
“We have been in South Africa on safaris and took this tour (advantage whale group) focusing on hippos. It was great to see them so close…. playing, swimming, a baby and a mama. An hour tour would have been enough…. plus it was rather chilly (early August). Trip was educational. …. it was less than US$20 per person,” wrote StaceyA1967 on their TripAdvisor page.
Marnix V added; “Great whale watch trip. Guide was a great help predicting where the breach would come. We got some extra time when on the way back 3 whales proved to be very active. One of the best trips we have ever made. It was a pity that we did the trip on our last day in South-Africa otherwise we have booked several more.”
To find out more or to book a tour with Advantage Tours, call 035 590 1259 / 035 590 1180 / 083 487 2762 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit them at the Dolphin Centre, next to SHOPRITE Supermarket, 1 Mckenzie Street, St Lucia Estuary, or online at advantagetours.co.za. Here is their location on Google Maps. Also follow them on Facebook HERE.