Did you know – St Croix Island

St Croix Island is the largest of 3 islands located in Algoa Bay, some 3.9km from the shore of Port Elizabeth. The 12ha Island is rocky with very little vegetation. Two old stone buildings are still remaining, used in the past by guano collectors and currently as shelter by researchers.  A wooden cross replica can be seen, to remind us that the island was found by Bartolomeu Dias in 1488, who planted one on the island which he called “Santa Cruz” (Saint Cross, Saint Croix) island. The rocky island also inspired the explorer to call the bay, “the bay of the Rock”, which later became the “bay lagune” in Portuguese as “Bahia de Lagoa”, to eventually become the “Algoa Bay” we know today.Wooden cross replica and african penguins St Croix Island is home to thousands of African penguins, the number of which has drastically declined in the last 5 years. This unexplained sudden decline from more than 70,000 penguins to less than 20,000 has been a great concern amongst ecologists and conservationists, and this has led to numerous studies and ongoing research with several TV footages (BBC, Arte, etc.).