Dyer Island Cruises

Welcome to the Official Dyer Island Cruises *5-Star* boat-based whale watching

Grade

Pretty Wild

Disabled Friendly

Yes

Accommodation

No

Team Building Facilities

Yes

Family Friendly

Yes

Scientists, conservationists, tour guides – nature lovers! Every single member of our team was hand-picked because of their professionalism, experience on the ocean, and for their love of South African wildlife.

It is merely a 2-hour drive from Cape Town, where a beautiful drive along the Cape Whale Coastline will induce your senses to get back in touch with nature and enjoy your Marine Big Five Sea Safari with us.

At Dyer Island Cruises, we pride ourselves on being able to cater to every taste and every age. Whether you’re a wildlife enthusiast or just enjoying South Africa’s natural wonders, we have something for you. Dreamcatcher is the first boat in South Africa to be designed specifically for whale watching. It is extremely comfortable and spacious, with two onboard toilets, observation deck, PA system and even a hydrophone! Dreamcatcher complies with all the safety regulations set out by the marine authorities, with comfortable life jackets used during the trip.
The boat is surveyed annually by the SA Maritime Safety Authority, conforms to its specifications and is licensed for 50 passengers and 6 crew. Safety equipment includes first aid kit, radio and cellular phone. She also has a lovely observation deck for photography enthusiasts
Everything we do at Dyer Island Cruises is about one thing – you – and our whale watching boat is no exception. Meticulous thought and attention to detail have been dedicated to the creation of this vessel so that we can offer you the best possible experience, and unbeatable value for money.
Dyer Island Cruises live by the ‘Discover and Protect’ slogan, and we strive to provide you with the utmost conservation oriented and respect ethos offered on the market. Both are BEE Level 1 companies and certified by Fair Trade in Tourism. Our main concern is directed at the Sharks and the health of the local ecosystem that attracts White Sharks into the area. We will show you the true Great White Sharks, not those depicted in many movies and images. White Sharks are amazing, captivating and wonderful animals, perfectly adapted to the ocean and represent the ultimate predator in the marine world. They deserve our deepest respect and admiration.
The Great White House (GPS located) in Kleinbaai, will be your welcoming host for the duration of your excursion, with secure parking, accommodation, restaurant, coffee shop, gift shop, conference and education centre, relaxing garden, luxury bathrooms with hot showers, free internet access and free digital camera download facilities available for our guests. This center is a Wi-Fi hotspot and offers truly unparalleled services in the area, and you will feel comfortable from the moment you step through our doors. Wilfred Chivell, the owner of Dyer Island Cruises and Marine Dynamics, is certainly the most knowledgeable person about the ecosystem and varied wildlife found on and around Dyer Island. His care and dedication to the health of this sensitive eco-system has lead to the launch of different conservation projects for the area: The ‘Faces of Need – Artificial Penguin Nest Project’, aimed at creating 2000 artificial nests on Dyer Island; the ‘Bird Rescue Initiative’ has over the years made him the prime transporter of injured and oiled marine birds from the island to shore, from where they are transported to SANCCOB; the ‘Marine Litter Project’ aimed at educating the public and local communities about the devastating results of pollution on wildlife while also initiating clean-up operations of the coast.
We are providing training and job opportunities for people from the local communities to become involved in the booming tourism industry. As one of only two BEE level 1 companies in the Gansbaai area, we employ a majority of previously disadvantaged people from the local community, and we encourage them to further their education, training, and horizon to get a better grasp of life and the world. Although this has become a business necessity in South Africa, we view this venture as a way to secure the future for South Africa, a country where tourism has the potential and certainly will become a major source of income and employment. This aim can only be achieved through education and involvement.
Dyer Island is a 20ha Nature Reserve, situated 8.5 Km from Kleinbaai harbor in Gansbaai. It is the easternmost, of the chain of seabird islands of the Western Cape. Dyer Island is managed by CapeNature, primarily for seabirds and shorebirds. Some of the birds breeding on the island include the vulnerable African Penguins and endangered Bank Cormorant and Roseate Tern. Other breeding species include the Cape, White-breasted and Crowned Cormorants; Leach’s Storm-Petrel; African Black Oystercatchers; Kelp and Hartlaub’s Gulls.
The island is recognized as an Important Bird Area (IBA), which gives Dyer Island the same status as an IBA anywhere else in the world. There are 1228 IBAs in Africa, and 101 in South Africa. Thus, from a national bird conservation perspective, Dyer Island is one of the hundred most important sites in the country.
Dyer Island was named after a Polynesian seaman, Samson Dyer, who was the first to be stationed on the island, in the early eighteenth century. At this time the island was used primarily by Dyer for seal harvesting (from the Cape Fur Seal colony based on adjacent Geyser Rock), and the remnants of a few boiling pots and fireplaces still stand near the living area. Following the guano-boom of the mid-nineteenth century, guano was scraped from Dyer Island regularly until 1983 (H. Fourie, pers. comm.). African penguins had previously used burrows in the guano for nesting. However, with the removal of the guano, they were forced to nest on the open ground, making them vulnerable to predators, most commonly the Kelp gull “Larus Dominicans”.
In the late nineteenth century, penguin eggs became a popular delicacy among the public, and penguin egg collection continued until the 1960’s. In 1902, the number of penguin eggs collected on Dyer Island was given as 26,400 (Cott, H.B. 1953). These activities have affected the composition of seabird populations.
Eastern white pelicans “Pelicanus onocrotalis” are known to have bred on the island. Keepers were reported to have destroyed all pelican nests and eggs due to their fondness for the eggs and young of guano-producing birds (Symons, R.E. 1924).
Two ruins of crude stone buildings, possibly used as shelters during the early guano collecting days, stand adjacent to the channel and along the northwestern coast of the island. The thick-walled stone buildings near the living area were also used for guano related purposes. The main house on the island was built in 1930, and the slipway was constructed in 1991.
Steel and wooden wreckage is seen along the coast bears testimony to marine disasters caused by the notorious reefs encircling the island. In 1989, the fishing trawler South West Seabird from nearby Hermanus was one of the luckier boats to run aground without loss of life (Johnstone E. pers. comm.). A two-meter high concrete spire, known only as “Power’s Grave”, stands near the center of the island. Two other large graves are also found near the buildings, one with a headstone perhaps remains of the 6 people that are said to have been buried on the island, following the sinking of the Hektor in 1913.
Guano scrapers and Seal harvesters used the island in previous times, a detailed account of which is given in Dagbreek oor Dyer Eiland (Fourie 1999).
The boat, Whale Whisperer, is the first boat in South Africa to be designed specifically for whale watching. It is extremely comfortable and spacious, with an onboard toilet, observation deck, PA system and even a hydrophone! Whale Whisperer is 11.5m long and complies with all the safety regulations set out by the marine authorities. All passengers wear comfortable life jackets during the boat trip.
The boat is surveyed annually by the SA Maritime Safety Authority, conforms to its specifications and is licensed for 24 passengers and 4 crew.
Safety equipment includes first aid kit, radio and cellular phone. She also has a lovely observation deck for photography enthusiasts.

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