A bird-lover’s paradise
Bird Island lies about 100m off the shore of Lambert’s Bay on the Cape’s West Coast. It offers visitors a rare opportunity to see the blue-eyed Cape gannet up close. Bird Island is one of only six sites world-wide where Cape gannets breed, and it is the only breeding site easily accessible to the public.
The island, which is almost 3 hectares in size, is connected to the mainland via a breakwater. It is an important breeding and roosting site for seabirds, particularly Cape gannets and cormorants. Cape fur seals can be seen sunning themselves on the island’s rocks.
In the island’s well-situated gannet lookout, visitors can get close to the birds and witness their unique mating dances. The bird hide is signposted with interesting information about these seabirds and their habits.
The lookout provides an excellent vantage point for visitors to study the island’s gannets. There are signs across the island providing background information on the West Coast’s birds.
Visitors should cross the breakwater carefully. Entrance is prohibited if rough seas make it too dangerous to cross the breakwater.
How to get there
If travelling from Cape Town, take the N7 towards Clanwilliam. On the approach to Clanwilliam, take the R364 Graafwater/Lambert’s Bay road to the coast. Once in Lambert’s Bay, follow the signs to the harbour and Bird Island. The whole journey should take no more than four hours.
GPS: 32 5 22.13 S 18 18 8.95 E
Summer hours (1 October to 31 March) 07:00 to 19:00
Winter hours (1 April to 30 September) 07:30 to 18:00
Tel: +27 (0)71 657 5651 or +27 (0)82 336 5936
Accommodation and permit bookings Tel: +27 (0)21 483 0190
(Bird Island pictures by Kim Stevens)