Dyer Island and Geyser Island Provincial Nature Reserve

This is one of the latest Ramsar wetlands in South Africa that we have not visited yet. A more complete report will be posted once we have visited the wetland.

Designation date: 29 March 2019

Dyer Island Nature Reserve lies off the south-western Cape coast, about 10km south-east of Gansbaai. The well known Danger Point Lighthouse is approximately 13km away.

The Reserve comprises of two islands adjacent to each other, Dyer and Geyser Islands. The bigger Dyer Island is approximately 20.77ha in size, while Geyser Island is a rocky outcrop of approximately 3.89ha and lies about 150m to the southwest of Dyer. The two islands are separated by a sandy bottom channel known as Shark Alley.

The reserve is managed by Cape Nature.

Dyer Island is considered by Birdlife International to be one of 103 Globally Important Bird Areas (IBAs) in South Africa. 21 bird species breed on the island, including endangered seabird species such as the African penguin, Cape Cormorant and Bank Cormorant. Several species of shorebird breed on the Island, including African Black Oystercatcher, White-fronted plover and Kittlitz’s plover.

Geyser Island is one of 48 Cape fur seal colonies within the Benguela Upwelling Ecosystem.

The marine waters surrounding the Dyer island Nature Reserve are also inhabited by a number of shark and other fish species, e.g. endangered Galjoen, as well as whales and dolphins.

Abalone is an abundant and valuable resource in and around the reserve, and despite the strict control and regulatory measures it is illegally harvested and over-utilised.

Recreation and tourism opportunities are limited to the marine section and include boat based tourism, e.g. Whale watching and Shark cage diving.