Birding Routes

INTRODUCTION TO BIRDING ALONG THE CAPE WHALE COAST Show details

ENDEMIC BIRD SPECIES OF THE CAPE WHALE COAST REGION Show details

PELAGIC ENCOUNTERS FROM KLEINBAAI IN ASSOCIATION WITH THE DYER ISLAND CONSERVATION TRUST Show details

THE ROOIELS SITE - IN SEARCH OF THE CAPE ROCK-JUMPER Show details

AFRICAN PENGUINS AND CORMORANTS AT STONY POINT Show details

THE HAROLD PORTER NATIONAL BOTANICAL GARDENS Show details

BIRDING AT THE KOGELBERG BIOSPHERE RESERVE AND KLEINMOND Show details

BIRDING AT ROOISAND ALONG THE BOT RIVER ESTUARY Show details

BIRDING AT FISHERHAVEN & THE HAWSTON SEWAGE WORKS Show details

THE VERMONT SALT PAN Show details

BIRDING AT ONRUS AND HARDERBAAI Show details

BIRDING ALONG THE HEMEL & AARDE VALLEY AND ROTARY WAY SCENIC DRIVE Show details

BIRDING ALONG THE HERMANUS CLIFF PATHS AND THE KLEIN RIVER ESTUARY Show details

THE FERNKLOOF NATURE RESERVE AT HERMANUS Show details

BIRDING IN AND AROUND STANFORD Show details

FROM STANFORD TO THE UILENKRAALS ESTUARY AND BEYOND Show details

THE DANGER POINT PENINSULA Show details

DYER ISLAND AND SURROUNDS Show details


DYER ISLAND (34˚ 36’55.43”S 19˚ 21’16.17”E), managed by CapeNature, is classified as an Important Bird and Biodiversity Area (SA 120) and recognised as such by BirdLife International. More information on conservation issues affecting Dyer Island is available at the following link:
http://www.birdlife.org.za/conservation/important-bird-areas/iba-directory/item/262-sa120-dyer-island-nature-reserve

The area around Dyer Island and Kleinbaai 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. It is normally not possible to visit Dyer Island, but many spectacular birds can be seen from the boats of the whale watching and shark diving operators working in the area.

Dyer Island (Wilfred Chivell)
African Penguins (Richard Masson)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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 the LEACH'S STORM-PETREL, ROSEATE TERN and small numbers of CASPIAN TERNS, together with large numbers of SWIFT TERNS. The COMMON and SANDWICH TERNS are abundant in summer with fair numbers of ANTARCTIC TERNS being present in winter. The ARCTIC TERN also passes 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 now being offered by the Dyer Island Conservation Trust. Pelagic species that are encountered seasonally include the PARASITIC JAEGER, SOUTHERN GIANT PETREL, WHITE-CHINNED PETREL, CORY'S and SOOTY SHEARWATERS, SUBANTARCTIC SKUA and EUROPEAN and WILSON'S STORM-PETRELS. Spectacularly BLACK-BROWED, SHY and WANDERING ALBATROSSES are recorded fairly regularly. A detailed description of these pelagic cruises from Kleinbaai is available elsewhere on this web page.

On a pelagic cruise with DICT (Richard Masson)
Albatross! (Carin Malan)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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. The Faces of Need projects with the African Penguin and the Great White Shark as focal points are well established and world renowned – 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 hugely successful. This innovative project aims to reduce the severe environmental damage caused by discarded fishing line along our coastline.

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 fishermen 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.

Great White Shark (DICT)
Southern Right Whale (Anton Odendal)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



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.

African Penguin & Seabirds Sanctuary (APSS) (Anton Odendal)
#Every Bird Counts (Anton Odendal)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



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 from which to explore the birding delights of surrounding areas. 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 makes a difference’ and contributes towards fulfilling the DYER ISLAND CONSERVATION TRUST's dream to ‘Discover and Protect’.

(Note that there are links to more information, trip reports and the like below the photographs that may be used to further plan a visit to the area).

Penguin chicks in rehabilitation
Southern Giant Petrel in rehabilitation (Dickie Chivell)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE UILENKRAALS VALLEY TO BAARDSKEERDERSBOS AND BEYOND Show details

BIRDING IN THE OVERBERG WHEATBELT IMPORTANT BIRD AND BIODIVERSITY AREA - INTRODUCTORY OVERVIEW Show details

WHEATBELT BIRDING CIRCLE ROUTE 1: KARWYDERSKRAAL AND SWART RIVER ROADS Show details

WHEATBELT BIRDING CIRCLE ROUTE 2: THE OUDEKRAAL ROAD Show details

WHEATBELT BIRDING CIRCLE ROUTE 3: THE PAPIESVLEI AREA Show details

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Show details