I remember when I was still a kid (not even in school yet), my parents and some of their friends took a long weekend and went to Lambert’s Bay. Most of what I remember is from watching the VHS tapes afterwards. Yes, I am that old! Anyway, there was a lot of laughing, crayfish diving and some helium balloons in a Spur Steak Ranch somewhere on the way back. And I also remember the bird island. Mostly because you have to walk over the breakwater wall and my mom hates water and getting too close to the edge (she even hates driving through Chapman’s Peak!).
So when we were invited to Muisbosskerm (an open air seafood restaurant on the beach) for a birthday lunch one Sunday, I suggested afterwards to my now husband that we should drive into Lambert’s Bay and see if we can find the bird island. I wanted to refresh my memory and it is not often that I get to show him a place that I have been to in the past and he hasn’t. For some reason we didn’t even try finding it on the phone’s GPS. Could be because we both had Blackberrys at that stage. But we did find it. It was slightly windy that afternoon, but it is the West Coast after all.
The Bird Island Reserve is part of CapeNature. They have since built a great bird hide where you can sit in silence an watch the blue-eyed Cape Gannet from a few feet away. They have also put up a few information posters about the birds and their habitat and behavior which is also a great addition. The Bird Island Reserve is one of only six breeding spots in the world of the blue-eyed Cape Gannet and cormorants. It is really impressive to watch these beautiful and noisy birds.
- Entry R40 per adult, R20 per child (wild card members has free access)
- Directions: 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.
- Office hours: 08:00 to 18:00
- Permit bookings Tel: 021 483 0190
Visited: October 2013