Dyer Island

Our Cape Town shark trips are conducted just off Dyer Island and Geyser Island in Gansbaai. The South African nature reserve lies 9 km from the coastal village of Gansbaai and is the easternmost bird sanctuary in the Western Cape, being inhabited primarily by waders and marine birds. Special protection is given to endangered African penguins, endangered Roseate tern and the Bank cormorant. Other birds include different types of cormorants, terns and Black Oystercatcher (Haematopus Moquino - African Black Oystercatchers). The two islands are referred to by bird researchers as one of the most important conservation areas in South Africa.

Dyer Island Information - Cape Town shark Trips in South Africa

Dyer Island Cormorants

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Penguin numbers on Dyer Island were around 25000 in previous years. Cormorants and pelicans also inhabited the island in abundance.
Nowadays, penguin stock has been reduced to approximately 5000 due to man’s interference and the poaching of pelican eggs has also resulted in these birds seldom being spotted on the island.

This decrease took place in the late nineteenth century, when penguin eggs were a delicacy. Even ornithologists would not refrain from abducting penguin and pelican eggs.

Shark Alley
Dyer Island MapDyer Island MapAdjacent to Dyer Island is Geyser Rock, inhabited by a colony of 50 000 seals. Between the two islands lies the famous "Shark Alley", the proud location of our daily shark adventures from Cape Town.

During the months of May until August, Great White sharks appear more and more, as large numbers of seal pups are born at this time and are an easy prey for the ocean's greatest predator.
It is important to note however, that shark sightings are possible all year round.

The area around Dyer Island and Shark Alley is ideal for shark cage diving and offers an excellent opportunity to observe Great White sharks. 
These magnificent creatures have the ability to jump with immense speed and force out of the water and it is an amazing experience to witness this breaching activity of the Great White, especially when he is on the hunt.

History of Gansbaai and Dyer Island
The coastal village was founded in 1881 by fishermen and the town got its name due to the vast numbers of wild geese residing in the area.

The island was named after the American Samson Dyer, who lived here in the early 18th century. Dyer was a businessman and saw great potential in the exploitation of the islands. Guano was removed in large quantities and sold either as fertilizer, or to Europe for the manufacture of explosives. Only in 1980 was the mining of guano discontinued.

Many seals were killed for their fur and meat and all edible birds' eggs were collected and sold on the mainland.
It was the penguins especially who had to suffer from the poaching of guano. They were forced onto solid ground to build their nests and their young became easy prey for many seabirds, in particular the Kelp Gull "Larus dominicanus".

Thanks to numerous conservation measures that have been implemented, stocks have recovered, however pollution of the seas and overfishing of many a maritime region is a great concern for animal rights activists in South Africa.

Should you be interested in shark cage diving, please do not hesitate to contact us.

We look forward to your inquiry.

Your Cape Town Shark Tours Team


Contact for Dyer Island