Bird Island lies a stone’s throw from Lambertsbaai on the West Coast.
Located on the West Coast Way Wild Route
Please be advised that Bird Island will be closed on the 19th April 2018. For further queries please contact the reserve.
Please be advised that there currently is ongoing construction work at Bird Island. From 25 January 2018 guests will only have access to the bird hide. The curio shop, office and toilet facilities will be out of bounds. We apologise for any inconvenience.
Bird Island Nature Reserve is located in Lambert’s Bay on the West Coast Way Wild Route. In the late 1800’s to the early 1990’s guano (it’s a slightly fancier word for gannet dung) was collected from the island. This guano was used to make fertilisers. Unfortunately, during this time penguin eggs of African penguins were also collected. This meant that the once thriving penguin colony all but disappeared. After environmentalists addressed the issue the penguins came back!
Bird Island is one of only six places in the world where Cape Gannets breed and here you can see the Cape Gannet from up close.
If you are visiting the West Coast you should not miss out on the opportunity to see the blue-eyed Cape Gannet on this small island of about 3 hectares in size. Of the six breeding places in the world, this one is the easiest to access as it is connected to the mainland via a breakwater and this means it can be reached on foot. Make sure you tread carefully. If the seas are too rough and conditions are too dangerous, no access to Bird Island will be granted.
Apart from thousands and thousands of Cape Gannets, and Cape cormorants, other seabirds also breed and roost here. They seem to make newfound best friends with the Cape Fur Seals who share the sunny spots on the rocks and the frolicking space in the water with them.
The scarcer off-shore food is, the more cormorants can be seen on Bird Island. Usually, White-breasted Cormorants and Crowned Cormorants can also be seen. Also roosting terns and seagulls.
A special gannet lookout – in just the right spot – has been erected. Once you have read the interesting sign-posted information on your way to and in the hide get down (and quiet although the birds make quite a racket) and watch the gannets and other birds. If you are lucky (and many visitors are) you will see the unique mating dances of the gannets.
In summer Bird Island is open from 7h00 to 19h00. In winter (starting in April and ending in September) it is opened from 7h30 to 18h00. Once you have reached the town of Lambertsbaai, follow the signs and watch your children get more excited as they near the harbour, and then the island.
Find the Bird Island Nature Reserve on the West Coast Way Wild Route.
Open 7 days a week
R40 per adult and R20 per child
Distance from Cape Town: 256km
Where: Lamberts Bay
Coordinates: 32.0901° S, 18.3026° E
Contact: (c) +27 (0)71 657 5651| www.capenature.co.za/reserves/bird-island-nature-reserve/