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  • Cape Recife Nature Reserve, Cape Recife, Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape, South Africa

  • Longitude: 25.690357
  • Latitude: -34.01312
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  • Rates may vary and reduced rates may apply to additional persons. All rates are indicative only, may be seasonal and are subject to change without notice.



SANCCOB is a registered non-profit organisation (NPO 003-134) whose primary objective is to reverse the decline of seabird populations through the rescue, rehabilitation and release of ill, injured, abandoned and oiled seabirds – especially endangered species like the African penguin.

The organisation works closely with colony managers to identify birds in need of care in the wild and bring them to one of our two centres in South Africa: Cape Town (Western Cape) and Port Elizabeth (Eastern Cape). 

In a normal year where no oil spills occur, SANCCOB treats up to 2 500 seabirds, of which approximately 1 500 are African penguins. The remainder include various cormorants species (including the endangered Bank cormorant and Cape cormorant); various species of terns; pelagic birds such as albatrosses, gannets and petrels; oystercatchers, gulls, pelicans and other coastal birds found in the region. On average, 24 different seabird species are rehabilitated every year. 

SANCCOB is an internationally recognised leader in oiled wildlife response, rehabilitation and chick-rearing; contributes to research which benefits seabirds; trains people to care for the birds and educates the public to develop behavioural patterns which benefit marine life and the environment. 

Our Programs:

  1. Education - SANCCOB offers environmental education lessons to schools & groups for all ages and interests to create awareness about the environment. Holiday and Saturday clubs are hosted for those children that are especially interested in nature. Tours of the facility begin with an informative talk on the “plight of the penguin” and other seabirds and SANCCOB’s role in their conservation.
  2. Adoptions -Adopt and name a rescued penguin in rehabilitation for R600, or one of our home pen birds which live permanently at SANCCOB because they cannot survive in the wild for R1000. This adoption fee goes towards the support of these birds during their stay at the centre.
  3. Fundraising events - Throughout the year SANCCOB hosts events such as moonwalks, penguin releases and a penguin festival to raise funds for our seabirds. Keep a look out on our social media pages for these events. Facebook @sanccobec, Instagram @sanccobec18

Flying Penguin Café

Come and visit us! Take a fun hike along the beach, explore the rock pools and enjoy the beauty of the area. View the Cape Recife lighthouse that has stood guard over Algoa Bay since 1851. When you have finished your adventure, come and enjoy a steaming mug of filter coffee, something cold or a scrumptious snack at our Flying Penguin Café. We are open daily to all visitors and the venue is available for small business functions and events.

Volunteer Programme

The centre is dependent on volunteers who offer their skill to assist in rehabilitation, education and front of house reception work. We run ongoing training sessions covering all aspects of marine animal rehabilitation. Our volunteers are equipped to handle daily incidents, as well as oil spill disasters or other emergencies. Local and overseas volunteers play an integral part in operations at our centres, providing thousands of hours of much-needed conservation work on a daily basis. Volunteers must be over the age of 18, hardworking and passionate about saving seabirds.

For under 18 years: Our Port Elizabeth centre has specially designed Little Blues and Penguin Protectors programmes for children under 18.

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