Geotourism MapGuide: A travel guide to the places most respected and recommended by locals.
inspire me!
Inspire Me!
Review great places recommended by locals. Give thumbs up or add to your Trip Planner.
Show Me:
  Nature-Based Experience

West End Ecology Tours

 5 Thumbs Up! Give your thumbs up.
 
|
 

At West End Ecology Tours, our motto is "Ecology and Fishing To Benefit Humanity," and Bahamashost© Certified Tour Guides, Keith and Linda Cooper, are ready to offer an incredible experience in the rich diversity of historic West End. The Eco-system of West End provides a migratory pathway for numerous bird species and marine life. We not only teach you about the local ecology, but also how vital it is to protect our natural resources for future generations.

Our Bahamian ecology and fishing experience is simple, pure, and natural, offering a series of ecology and fishing tours in the western jurisdiction of Grand Bahama Island. We also have a Vacation Program designed for families, couples and close friends that combine a stay at vacation resorts or home rentals. Our tours offer an opportunity for visitors to interact up close with wildlife.

You can explore the fishing village of West End, including its coastline, outlying bush, ponds and wetlands, which are home to a number of birds that migrate into the area during the months of October thorough April. Over 150 species of birds have been recorded and verified by Cornell University E-Bird web site. A number of rarely seen birds have been observed in the area. The seas and mangroves around West End are breeding zones for numerous Spotted Dolphin pods and their calves, Loggerhead and Green Sea Turtles, Caribbean Stingrays, Green and Blue Herons, and White Crown Pigeons can be found in the marine sanctuaries around nearby Sandy Cay, Wood Cay and Indian Cay.

For the adventurous, there is the option to hand feed wild stingrays, elegant winged angels of the sea, in their natural environment; go on the Lionfish Spear Hunt and learn about this invasive species that is threatening our indigenous fish population; appreciate nature firsthand by spending the day on deserted Sandy Cay, along with an optional add-on for lunch made the Bahamian way - fresh conch salad, exotic fruit, or grilled fish prepared on the beach or at the boat wreck site..

Types of Experiences and Trips Provided

Stingray Feeding Tour at Sandy Cay

The tour departs from Old Bahama Bay and lasts approximately 3.5 hours. The tour is dependent on the tide and weather conditions. It is best to arrive at the cay as the tide is rising to ensure maximum time to feed the rays. The captain provides all lite refreshments, water and beverages for guests. The boat trip to the cay is approximately 30 minutes each way.

Sample Stingray Feeding Itinerary:

10:00 a.m. - Boat Departs Old Bahama Bay dock.

10:30 a.m. - Arrive Sandy Cay
Briefing of stingray foraging habits and instructions on how to properly hand feed them. Cut squid and fish are used to attract rays to the shoreline. The stingrays live in and around the cay. The estimated numbers of stingrays that may appear vary from three to seventeen.

10:35 a.m. - Feeding begins.

11:10 a.m. - Snorkel with rays for an up close interaction in the their habitat zone.

12:30 p.m. - Option 1 - Walking tour of the cay, exploring native flora and fauna, including numerous cormorants, seagulls, pelicans, conchs, and predator fish - juvenile barracuda and shark pups - that frequent the cay.

Option 2 - Snorkel a sunken wreck located nearby to Sandy Cay that is sitting in less than 10 feet of water. This is the most popular option. The wreck is teeming with thousands of native and exotic fish, an occasional stingray and shark may make an appearance.

Option 3 - Visitors may opt time permitting and subject to weather conditions to experience one of the most incredible shallow reef eco-systems at Indian Cay Reef. "NIRVANA" will take your breath away and is guaranteed to have fish on the site. One may spot a shark, moray eel or tarpon that frequent the area.

1:45 p.m. - Prepare for return to West End.

2:15 p.m. - Arrive Old Bahama Bay dock.

Boat Descriptions:
“Boat of ELY” - 20 foot Mako equipped with a 150HP Outboard Engine - can seat 4-6 persons depending on total number of adults and children. It is chartered on a half or full day basis. Additional boats for larger groups subject to availability. First aid,  VHF Radio and emergency equipment on board. Maximum 15 guests on cay. 

Recommended Equipment To Bring:
Snorkel gear (mask, snorkel and fins), waterproof beach shoes, bathing suit, beach towels, sunscreen and bug spray. (A limited supply of snorkels, masks, and fins are available on board the boat).

Costs and Fees

Ecology Tours:

  • Stingray Feeding Tour @ Sandy Cay - Nature Preserve
    Boat charter (up to 6 persons) - $599 half day / $799 full day
  • Snorkel the Coral Reefs - Indian Cay, Wood Cay and Settlement Point
    Boat charter (up to 6 persons) - $599 half day / $799 full day
  • Bird Watching - Mangroves, South Coast or The Cays
    Boat charter (up to 6 persons) - $599 half day / $799 full day
  • Dolphin Watch - The Cays or Reefs (Seasonal May to August)
    Boat charter (up to 6 persons) - $599 half day / $799 full day
  • Sea Turtle Watch - The Cays (Seasonal March to October)
    Boat charter (up to 6 persons) - $599 half day / $799 full day

Fishing Tours:

  • Reef Trolling (includes bait/water/soft drinks)
    Boat charter (up to 4 persons) - $599 half day / $799 full day
  • “On da Ocean or In da Bay” Bottom Fishing (hand line)
    Boat charter (up to 4 persons) - $599 half day / $799 full day
  • Lionfish Hunt Spearfishing (sling/pole)
    Boat charter (up to 4 persons) - $599 half day / $799 full day
  • Lobster Fishing | Seasonal August 1 to March 31 (sling/pole)
    Boat charter (up to 4 persons) - $599 half day / $799 full day

Hotel Accommodations

Vacation packages are available for couples, families, nature enthusiasts and groups. There are three excellent resorts and lodges to choose from - Old Bahama Bay (Beachfront Luxury). Blue Marlin Cove (Deluxe Condominium) and Bootle Bay Fishing Lodge (Budget).

Call 242-727-1156 or email westendecologytours@gmail.com for rates and information or visit our web site www.westendecologytours.com

Please note:

  • The full-day experience begins at 8:00 a.m. and ends at 4:30 p.m. (subject to seasonal changes)
  • The half-day experience begins at 8:00 a.m. and ends at 12:15 p.m. (subject to seasonal changes)
  • Tour times are subject to change, depending on the local tide chart.
  • Single and multi-day charters are available for groups with a minimum of four persons up to a maximum of 15 persons.
  • The sea turtle watch tour is March to October.
  • The dolphin watch tour is March to August.
  • The lobster diving tour is August to March.
  • Lionfish Hunt and Spearfishing (Year Round)

Seasons Open and Departure : Year Round

Accessibility Notes: Not suitable for persons with mobility impairments.

 Eco-Friendly Notes

Your support will benefit our youth GO Eco-experience and fishing guide training programs for youths 8-15 years of age.

We have been successful in our efforts to educate our youth about environmental conservation and education, under our parent non-profit organization West End Eco-Fishing Camp Association (WEEFCA). We offer specific programs for them, geared toward Eco-tourism, competitive junior sailing and pathways to careers as Eco-guides, which is the logical step in our next phase of training and education on sustainable jobs within the community.

 Locally or Family-Owned Business Notes

The historic settlement of West End is the home base for West End Ecology Tours, developed in 2010 and owned and operated by Keith and Linda Cooper. The Cooper's goal is to encourage the protection of the natural resources, minimize degradation of the shoreline, and to provide sustainable solutions for fisheries and backyard farming. It is their vision to have the cays and seas around West End designated a Marine Protected Area by the Bahamas National Trust.

Keith's family (Williams-Ash families) has resided in West End since the mid 1800's. As a child, Keith was taught by his late grandmother Julia Ash the basic elements of how the sea and land provided sustenance for many families residing in the coastal community during the 1900's.

Keith moved back to West End to work at Old Bahama Bay as Director of Resort Sales (2004-2007), where he enjoyed providing guests with exceptional customer service and a memorable experience during their visit to West End. He encouraged guests to venture out into the West End settlement to visit local sites, pubs and food vendors situated along the waterfront and ensured that the local community would benefit from the numerous groups booked at the hotel. Another important suggestion included recommending that resort guests enjoy the ecology by trying their hand at reef or troll fishing and snorkeling the pristine shallow seas along Sandy Cay, Wood Cay and Indian Cay.

The Coopers are very supportive of the youth and worked tirelessly to develop environmental stewardship programs for the community and to encourage entrepreneurial opportunities focused on Eco-tourism. The Coopers have partnered with resident stakeholders to add four unique Mini-Sea Parks along the shoreline to provide rest stops for visitors and residents to enjoy the natural beauty of the sea. This proved to be a very successful program and brought awareness to the community to prevent further degradation of the shoreline and Eco-systems throughout the area.

 Pet Friendly Notes

Pets are not permitted.

For More Information, Contact:

Mr. Keith Cooper

westendecologytours@gmail.com

#5 Bayshore Road, P.O. Box F-44585, West End, WG
(242) 602-0641

No comments have been made about this nomination. Be the first to add a comment!

Related Places:
 Action...
West End Eco-Fishing Camp Association (WEEFCA)
   
Login or create an account to save to your trip planner
 

West End Eco-Fishing Camp Association (WEEFCA)

West End Eco-Fishing Camp Association (WEEFCA) is a youth oriented community based organization...

 Community
St. Mary Magdalene Church
   
Login or create an account to save to your trip planner
 

West End

West End, the Capitol of Grand Bahama Island, is located approximately 25...

-+
AtlasHybrid.Imagery(Satellite)OpenStreetMap

Boundaries and names shown do not necessarily reflect the map policy of the National Geographic.

Latitude: 26.685053000
Longitude: -78.962557000
Elevation: 4 FT (1 M)
Keith G. Cooper
Meet the Contributor:
Keith G. Cooper
 Thumbs Up Place Nearby
 
(93.4 miles / 151.1 kilometers)
 
Bimini Sands Recreation & Activity Center
Our organized activities include: Bimini Island Boat Tours - travel on a 40-foot pontoon tour...
 
Bimini Under Sea
Bimini Undersea offers unique Dolphin Excursions 3 to 4 times weekly (upon demand) aboard the...
 
Birding Tour
Andros has over 168 species of birds and attracts birdwatchers from near and far. Participants...
 
Cape Santa Maria Sandy Cay & Iguana Tour
This tour allows you to observe Bahamian rock iguanas in their natural habitat ΜΆΜΆ dry scrub...
 
Great Inagua Tours
Mr. Colin Ingraham has been a tour guide for over twenty years, specializing in birding and...