Bidding for penguins

SANCCOB Eastern Cape Benefit Auction

SANCCOB (the Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds) is hosting its annual benefit auction on 22 October 2016 at the St Francis Links to raise funds for its seabird centre in Cape St Francis (Eastern Cape). SANCCOB’s centre in Cape St. Francis offers a 24-hour, 365-day rescue service for seabirds and admits approximately 300-400 seabirds for rehabilitation every year. Recently, the importance of SANCCOB’s work was highlighted when 92 oiled African penguins and 51 chicks were admitted to
the centre following an oil spill in Algoa Bay.

Since 2013, the annual SANCCOB Eastern Cape Benefit Auction has been a vital fundraising event in aid of SANCCOB’s year-round seabird conservation work. It is a premiere calendar event for supporters – including celebrities and special guests – who get a chance to bid on prized items and unique getaway experiences.

SANCCOB proudly welcomes the dazzling Shenay O’Brien, of Idols South Africa fame, as the special MC for the evening.SANCCOB

Eastern Cape Benefit Auction Event details

Date: 22 October 2016 (Saturday)
Venue: St Francis Links Golf Club, St Francis, Eastern Cape
Time: 17h30 for 18h00
Dress: Smart
Tickets: R275 per person (includes welcome
Bookings online at
Limited tickets available


72 penguins rehabilitated after Algoa Bay oil spill

SANCCOB, SANParks and the NSRI release 72 penguins rehabilitated after Algoa Bay oil spill.

Penguins boxed and ready to go - SANCCOB Cape St FrancisThe Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds (SANCCOB), the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) and the Marine Rangers from the Addo Elephant National Park – South African National Parks (SANParks) have released 72 rehabilitated African penguins back into their colony in St Croix Island following a recent oil spill in Algoa Bay (Port Elizabeth).

This is the second group of penguins released by SANCCOB and SANParks after the oil spill that occurred in late August 2016. SANCCOB’s centre in Cape St Francis admitted a total of 92 oiled African penguins and 61 penguin chicks with help of SANParks and the NSRI. A smaller group of 14 rehabilitated penguins were also released at St Croix Island after being approved for release by
SANCCOB’s team.

Juanita Raath, SANCCOB’s Rehabilitation Coordinator in the Eastern Cape, said, “We are extremely happy to release such a big group of penguins back into the wild today and give these individuals a second chance at life. With the current South African population numbers at just over 19 000 breeding pairs, saving each individual penguin is crucial to the survival of the species. We are
thankful to all the partners involved in making this a successful rescue operation and to all the volunteers and supporters for standing side-by-side with us throughout the rehabilitation process.”

SANCCOB’s team of staff and volunteers washed the first penguins on Sunday, 21 August, with the last bird being washed on Thursday afternoon, 25 August. The entire washing and rinsing process of each bird can take up to two hours followed by a comprehensive rehabilitation programme.

Penguins are only released once SANCCOB’s staff have determined that their feathers are waterproof, their blood tests do not show any signs of infection and that they weigh at least 2.8 kilograms. Each penguin also receives a special transponder micro-chip that allows conservation staff and researchers to effectively monitor the birds after being released. A number of washed penguins are still in SANCCOB’s care together with more than 60 penguin chicks that still need to grow into healthy juveniles before they can also go back into the wild.

The African penguin is endemic to southern Africa. It was once one of South Africa’s most abundant seabirds, but has suffered a massive population decline. Algoa Bay, where St Croix Island is situated, is home to about 60% of the world’s African penguin population. In the early 20th century the total wild population was estimated at one million breeding pairs; today the total estimate is less than 25 000 breeding pairs left in South African and Namibia, with only 19 284 breeding pairs recorded in South Africa in 2015 (South African Department of Environmental Affairs: Oceans and Coasts). Due to its rapid population decline, this iconic species, which breeds at 29 locations in South Africa and southern Namibia, was listed as Endangered on the IUCN Red List in 2010.
The exact cause of the oil spill is still to be confirmed by authorities investigating the matter.

penguin release off St Croix

Press release
Nada Manengela, SANCCOB Marketing and Fundraising Coordinator
Email:; Tel: (042) 298 0160;

Penguin Art on display

Penguin Art Display at Cape St Francis Lighthouse

Louannr Mostert and Luan Cloete at SANCCOB Penguin Art Exhibition

Louanne Mostert and Luan Cloete at SANCCOB “Beacon of Hope” Penguin Art Exhibition

Local Santareme artist Luan Cloete held an exhibition of his paintings of penguins at the Cape St Francis Lighthouse yesterday afternoon. On display were his paintings of individual birds, beautifully painted and instantly recognisable to those who have gotten to know some of the permanent characters living at the facility. Next to each painting, Luan composed a short interpretation of each painting.

The paintings have now also been compiled  into a calendar for 2016 aptly named “Beacon of Hope”. So if you are doing some last minute Christmas shopping looking for the perfect gift, get over to the SANCCOB facility in Cape St Francis and purchase a calendar for a gift that will give the receiver 12 months of joy.

Whilst the exhibition was open to the public only for the afternoon, Louanne Mostert of SANCCOB has said that they hope to be host another showing next week so watch this space for news on a further showing.

And some great news on the iconic lighthouse. With the refurbishing of the exterior of the lighthouse now complete, final touches are being made to the interior and the news is that it should be open for lighthouse tours again this coming February.

Harcourts - The Masters


SANCCOB Penguin Holiday Festival:

SANCCOB Penguin Holiday Festival: 20 – 29 DECEMBER 2015


We need your help with the following:

Golf Day, Saturday 26 December:

  • 3 x Meal Vouchers (each should be two vouchers for two people – 4 ball competition)
  • 10 x bottles of shooters
  • Items for raffle (snacks, clothing, golf related, wine)
  • Monetary Donation toward the Player Gift Packs (Total: R4500)

Koos Kombuis Performance, Sunday 27 December:

  • Monetary Donation toward Koos Kombuis Performance Fee (Total: R4500)
  • Monetary Donation toward Stage sound and lights (Total: R1500)

Wendy Oldfield Performance, Monday 28 December:

  • Monetary Donation toward Wendy Oldfield Performance Fee (Total: R5000)

Gerald Clark Performance, Tuesday 29 December:

  • Monetary Donation toward Gerlad Clark Performance Fee (Total: R5000)

Hotdog Stall at SANCCOB Centre:

  • Tinned tamato and onion mix
  • Tomato sause/ Mustard Sause /Chutney
  • Serviettes
  • Margarine

3 x Raffles at other events:

  • Snacks (biscuits, biltong, nuts, dried fruit
  • Preservatives (jams, marmalades, pestos, fruit & veg, etc)
  • Wine/Wiskey/Brandy
  • Clothing and accessories: caps/t-shirts/keyrings/bags/books/magazines/calendar
  • Vouchers (beauty/meal/experience)

We need these items by no later than 19 December 2015 – so please confirm whether you’d be able to help us out of one or more of the above listed items.

Many thanks and regards,

Louanne / 083 874 3067

SANCCOB celebrates the endangered tuxedoed African penguin


Penguin Release

SANCCOB (the Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds) in Cape St. Francis (Eastern Cape) is celebrating African Penguin Awareness Day on 17 October 2015 with a public penguin release at the Seal Point Lighthouse and a Penguin Benefit Event at The St. Francis Links. Funds raised on the day will go towards the centre’s on-going conservation work with endangered African penguins.

African Penguin Awareness Day, celebrated internationally on 17 October 2015, is a day dedicated to raising worldwide awareness about the plight of the endangered African penguin – the only penguin endemic to the African continent. The penguin festivities will kick off on Saturday morning (17 October) at 10h00, with a public penguin release of African penguins, next to the Seal Point Ligthouse in Cape St. Francis. Members of the public are invited to adopt and then release the penguins themselves, and to join the SANCCOB rehabilitation team for a private seabird centre tour at 12h00 or 15h00.

The second annual penguin benefit event, hosted in partnership with Graham Beck Wines and The St Francis Links, takes place from 18h30 at The Links Golf Estate. At only R250pp for a ‘penguin pass’, the Benefit Event includes a special presentation by a Graham Beck winemaker, who will be pairing their full Game Reserve range with a delectable three-course gourmet meal. The evening also includes a ‘mini’ benefit auction, led by the witty Jo Brown, with some fantastic getaway experiences up for grabs:

  • Three-day adrenalin adventure in Plettenberg Bay, including zip-lining, abseiling, canoeing, kloofing, swimming with seals and skydiving;
  • Five-day expedition through the eastern outskirts of the Garden Route, from 4×4 drives and hiking in the Tsitsikamma, cruising on the Knysna Lagoon and paragliding in Wilderness;
  • Four-day self-exploration of the Baviaans Kloof, including golfing, game drives and good food;
  • Big five and ocean safaris in Mossel Bay;
  • Two-day hotel-stay in the Mother City (Cape Town), a special guided tour of SANCCOB’s seabird rehabilitation facility in Table View, Shark-cage diving in Gansbaai and game viewing in the Addo Elephant National Park;
  • Two-day four-star golfing in the Magalies Mountains and sundowners on the Harties Dam;
  • Whale watching, horseriding, scuba diving, surfing, gourmet meals and four-star stayovers along the local coastline; and
  • Escaping to Penguin Paradise by releasing and viewing African penguins in their two Eastern Cape colonies, Bird & St Croix Islands.


Penguin adoptions, pendants and limited-edition SANCCOB-Graham Beck wine hampers will also be on sale.

The proceeds raised on the evening will contribute towards the rehabilitation of approximately 350 seabirds, admitted annually at SANCCOB’s seabird centre in Cape St. Francis and to maintain an oiled wildlife response team in readiness to respond to oil spills along the South African coastline – as was recently demonstrated by a mystery oil spill in Algoa Bay, which resulted in the oiling of 30 African penguins and the abandonment of four African penguin chicks.

This year’s African Penguin Awareness Day promises to entertain young and old. “We would like to invite everyone to join SANCCOB and our partners in celebrating the charismatic African penguin on this special day. The funds raised will help us to rescue, rehabilitate and release the seabirds we admit to our centre every year, and help us to be prepared for oil spills like the recent mystery oil spill in Algoa Bay,” said Louanne Mostert, SANCCOB’s Development and Marketing Coordinator.

To read more about the SANCCOB festivities on 17 October 2015, to book your seat at the benefit event or for penguin adoptions, visit the SANCCOB website:, or contact Louanne Mostert at or 083 874 3067.


Cape Gannet carcass found on St Francis beaches

cape-gannetSANCCOB (the Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds) based next to the Seal Point Lighthouse in Cape St. Francis has received numerous reports of Cape gannet carcasses along the St Francis coastline.

During the course of the past two weeks, residents reported nearly 15 bodies to be scattered along the Cape St Francis and St Francis Bay beaches. SANCCOB’s Veterinary team conducted post mortems on five of these bodies, and the findings indicate that the main cause of death is most likely to be seal predation.

Should you have a towel or plastic bag at hand, SANCCOB kindly asks the public to assist them in collecting these bodies and take it to their Seabird Rehabilitation Centre in Cape St. Francis – not only will it keep our beaches clean, it will also help SANCCOB to conduct post mortems and further investigate the cause of death of these precious seabirds. Please keep animals away from the carcasses to prevent the potential spread of disease.

SANCCOB will keep the community posted on any further developments or findings.

Communique from Louanne Mostert – SANCCOB, Cape St Francis