Cape Town - South Africa
Arriving in Cape Town by sea you will sail past two islands
as you make your way towards Table Bay from the north.
Dassen Island is the first island which you will come across.
It is situated about 10 kilometres off the coast west of Yzerfontein
in the middle of some excellent fishing waters.
Many fishing boats launch at Yzerfontein daily
to fish for snoek off the island. The waters around the
island abound with crayfish but are not for catching.
The island is a wildlife sanctuary for sea birds.
It is home to 68000 African penguins,
5 different species of cormorant,
2 species of seagull and the African oyster catcher
which is a bird on the endangered list.
The other island dwellers are tortoises, rabbits and
rock rabbits (Dassie)from which the name of the island evolved.
There is a small human presence on the island . They are people
belonging to Cape Nature conservation and the lighthouse staff.
Dassen Island Lighthouse
Due to the dangers of disturbing nesting penguins
it is not possible to visit the island .There is however nothing
to stop you from taking a cruise to the island and to sail around it.
Just watch out for the rocks!!!
Many ships have run aground on its rocky coastline.
There have been one or two disasters on the island in the
last couple of years when ships have sunk nearby and oil has washed
up on its shores and soiled many penguins.
This has necessitated the capture of the oil soaked penguins who are
then taken to Sanccob to be cleaned. This is a very expensive process
as chemicals used cost a fortune, and the birds have to be fed for weeks
to enable them to build up their natural oils in their feathers again.
Once they have been through the process they are released to
make their way back to the island.
Unfortunately this type of mishap upsets their breeding season
and numbers tend to dwindle.
Email : Geoff Fairman
6 Bothma Street, Monte Vista 7460 South Africa
© 2015 Turtle SA - All Rights Reserved - Cape Town - Dassen Island
Page updated 13.5.2015