What to Do
The island, which is almost three 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.
When you arrive at Bird Island, the obvious attraction are the blue-eyed Cape Gannets but be sure to also enjoy the fascinating Walkthrough Museum (affectionately known as the Bone Box) where visitors can observe many different sea mammal and sea bird skeletons, like the Cuvier’s beaked whale, Cape fur seal, dusky dolphin, and of course Polly, the life-sized southern right whale.
GPS: 32 5 22.13 S 18 18 8.95 E
Reserve hours: 08:00 to 18:00
Tel: 087 087 3951
Permit bookings Tel: 087 087 8250
Bird Island Nature Reserve Filming
Bird Island is roughly three hectares in size and connected to the mainland of Lambert’s Bay by a breakwater. It is one of just six breeding colonies of Cape gannets on Earth and is also an important nesting and roosting site for a variety of other seabirds. Cape cormorants and kelp gulls are common.
A hide-cum-interpretation centre has been built at the site where visitors can observe and film at close quarters the activities of these resolute birds.