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The Serengeti of the Sea

So you’ve seen the lions, rhinos and other beautiful wildlife of the savannah; now brace yourself for the Marine Big 5: whales, sharks, dolphins, seals and penguins! Gansbaai is one of the only places in the world that can offer this extensive range of marine wildlife and Grootbos, situated right on the doorstep of this aquatic wonderland, is perfectly positioned to be your host and guide.

The Island of Wild Creatures

Dyer Island is a small island 8km (5 miles) off the coast of Gansbaai. The island was originally known as Ilha da Fera (Island of Wild Creatures), so named by Portuguese seafarers in the 15th century and it’s plain to see why.

Dyer Island and its surrounding waters support a prolific abundance of sea life. The island itself is recognized as an Important Birding Area (IBA) and is a critical conservation site for the African Penguin as well as several other rare and endangered seabirds. Geyser Rock is a small island alongside and is home to around 60,000 Cape Fur Seals, one of the largest colonies in the Western Cape. The seals attract Great White Sharks and the channel between the two islands is popularly known as "Shark Alley". This is recognized as one of the best places in the world for shark cage diving. During the months of June to December, the Southern Right Whales enliven the Gansbaai coastline with spectacular displays of breaching, tail-slapping and lob-tailing while large pods of Bottlenose Dolphins can also often be seen playing in the waves and racing across the bay.

This extensive range of marine wildlife makes Dyer Island and the surrounding area a one-of-a-kind safari destination. Due to its rich biodiversity and sensitive ecology, Dyer Island is a protected nature reserve and cannot be accessed by the general public. However, there are a variety of boat-based tours that offer thrilling and intimate encounters with these wondrous aquatic inhabitants. 

The Southernmost Safari

Guests at Grootbos have exclusive access to their own dedicated boat for guided tours to Dyer Island with a marine biologist onboard at all times. Grootbos prides itself on being one of the only private nature reserves in the whole world that can offer this unique marine wildlife experience on its very doorstep.