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The DYER ISLAND CONSERVATION TRUST (DICT) in conjunction with its tourism partners MARINE DYNAMICS and DYER ISLAND CRUISES manages a variety of conservation and community development projects, too many to describe in detail. FACES OF NEED projects with the African Penguin and the Great White Shark as focal points are well established and world reknowned – many international conservation and tourism awards illustrate this. Shark research includes shark fin identification and tagging and tracking of this critically endangered species. The Fishing Line Recovery and Recycling Program (FLRRP) along the Gansbaai shoreline, with specially designed disposal bins has been. This innovative project aims to reduce the severe environmental damage caused by discarded fishing line on our coastline. 

The AFRICAN PENGUIN AND SEABIRD SANCTUARY (APSS) is however the prize feather in the Trust's already impressive cap. A custom designed, world-class, marine bird rehabilitation centre, the APSS provides temporary rehabilitative care to displaced, injured, oiled and abandoned marine birds, with a special focus on the endangered African Penguin. Featuring a unique rehabilitation area with a specialised floor, laboratory and clinic, the APSS rehabilitation techniques were honed to afford birds individual treatment with minimum stress. This maximises their rehabilitation and affords them the best chance of survival when released back into the wild. Through continued research, education and awareness programmes, the APSS, aims to mitigate the human impact on marine bird colonies.

DYER ISLAND is one of more than a hundred Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas in South Africa and is recognised as such by BirdLife International. It is seen as one of the prime eco-tourism destinations along the South African coast and exposes visitors to the Southern Right Whale, the iconic Great White Shark, the Cape Fur Seal, the endangered African Penguin and various visiting dolphin species. The area is also home to a wide variety of seabirds.

DYER ISLAND CRUISES and MARINE DYNAMICS have been established as the tourism partners supporting DICT and offer world class eco-tourism experiences. Both operate out of The Great White House in Kleinbaai along the beautiful Cape Whale Coast. The establishment features a restaurant, bathroom facilities and curio shop. In the conservation and education room clients receive an in-depth briefing by the resident marine biologist regarding the area, the Trust's conservation work and safety. Every guest is equipped with inflatable life jackets and wet weather gear in case of cooler weather conditions. It is a short walk down to the harbour from where whale watching, or shark diving excursions begin.

DYER ISLAND CRUISES, together with The Marine Big FiveTM, offer whale watching on the custom designed Dream Catcher during Southern Right Whale season between June and December. Stops along the cruise include a visit to the shark cage diving vessels to view Great White Sharks. One can also be lucky to view different Dolphin species playing in the bay. Other visiting whale species that are observed on occasion are the Bryde’s Whale and the Humpback Whale. The highlight of these outings is certainly the visit to Dyer Island where the penguins and seals are studied from the vessel. The on board biologist and experienced crew further enhance an educational and life-changing experience.

With MARINE DYNAMICS visitors experience an incredible shark cage diving adventure on board the custom designed boat, Slashfin, (named after one of the visiting sharks). This is a world hot spot for the Great White Shark viewing and an on board marine biologist educate clients as they get up close and personal with this amazing apex predator. After these outings guests return to The Great White House for warm soup and to warm up in front of a cosy fire during winter or in summer to enjoy the warm sun. A debriefing follows and the trip footage can be bought. A visit to the newly build African Penguin and Seabird Sanctuary (APSS) before or after these excursions is recommended strongly.The Great White House accommodation in Kleinbaai is all about comfort and simplicity. Fitted with beautiful rustic hardwood floors, a fireplace for those cold winter nights and open-plan living the chalets offer a relaxed and cosy atmosphere. The three stylish fisherman cottages are in close proximity of the Great White House Restaurant; open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The Great White House will cater to all your needs, providing superior service and peaceful accommodation in Gansbaai, South Africa.

The area around Kleinbaai and Dyer Island is hugely underrated as a top birding destination. Besides the AFRICAN PENGUIN, endemic species associated with the Benguela current include the BANK, CAPE and CROWNED CORMORANTS, CAPE GANNET and AFRICAN BLACK OYSTERCATCHER. Breeding records on Dyer Island also include species such as LEACH'S STORM-PETREL, ROSEATE TERN and small numbers of CASPIAN TERNS, together with large numbers of SWIFT TERNS. COMMON and SANDWICH TERNS are abundant in summer with fair numbers of ANTARCTIC TERNS being present in winter. ARCTIC TERNS also pass through seasonally on their epic migratory journey to the southern oceans. The area further has huge potential for pelagic birding and specialised cruises for this purpose are being considered. Pelagic species that are encountered seasonally include PARASITIC JAEGER, SOUTHERN GIANT PETREL, WHITE-CHINNED PETREL, CORY'S and SOOTY SHEARWATERS, SUBANTARCTIC SKUA and EUROPEAN and WILSON'S STORM-PETRELS. Spectacularly both SHY and BLACK-BROWED ALBATROSSES are recorded fairly regularly.  To this should be added that Kleinbaai is in close proximity to other top birding destinations of the Overstrand such as Witkrans, Platbos, the Uilenkraals Estuary, the Danger Point peninsula, Hermanus and many more. It therefore serves as a perfect base to explore the birding delights of surrounding areas. Detailed description of some of the top birding destinations of the region are available here: Visiting birders can expect wonderful birding experiences while being exposed to whale watching and shark cage diving. Reservations with DYER ISLAND CRUISES and MARINE DYNAMICS ensure that ‘Your choice make a difference’ and contributes towards fulfilling the DYER ISLAND CONSERVATION TRUST's dream to ‘Discover and Protect’.


The Great White House: Veronique Fredericks

+27 (0)28 3843273

Marine Dynamics Shark Tours

+27 (0) 82 380 3405

Dyer Island Cruises Marine Big 5 and Whale Tours

(0) 82 801 8014

The African Penguin and Seabird Sanctuary

+ (0) 73 022 8737

(There are many images available in the PHOTO GALLERY link above).