From the African Penguin and Seabird Sanctuary to the Lommond Wine Estate, there is a colourful penguins route that not only maps out a mindful itinerary for you but also increase your awareness of the penguin conservation happening out in Gansbaai.
Eight colourful, giant penguins have been placed at locations throughout Gansbaai, encouraging visitors to explore more and stay longer. The campaign officially launched on the Friday, the 23rd of August 2019 at the African Penguin and Seabird Sanctuary.
The African Penguin and Seabird Sanctuary, a project of the Dyer Island Conservation Trust, is the inspirational force behind the campaign. Many travellers might not be aware that the African Penguin is an endemic species to South Africa and Namibia – with an estimated 15 000 breeding pairs left in South Africa, the species has been on the endangered list since 2010.
Historical factors of guano scraping for agricultural fertilizer destroyed their breeding habitat leading to predation during the crucial fledgling stage. Coupled with an estimated 13million plus eggs that were harvested and considered a delicacy, this caused the initial crash in numbers. Now they face issues of predation by gulls, seal and sharks; oiling; marine pollution; and a lack of fish with overfishing in their crucial hunting grounds. Dyer Island off the coast of Gansbaai is home to a colony of African penguins and the APSS hopes to rebuild this population.
Glenda Kitley, manager of Gansbaai Tourism, had this to say, “The objective is simple: Follow the penguins, discover the places, taste the food, and experience the moments, that the greater Gansbaai area has to offer. Gansbaai area is known as the Natural Adventure Destination and is renowned for the Marine Big Five, blissful beaches, fynbos, fabulous food and fine wine, and much more. Plot your penguin route, place yourself in the penguin picture and present the penguin proof. The penguins are sure to delight young and old and hopefully the real ones will enthral.”
Each penguin has been decorated by an artist/s with a focus on all that Gansbaai has to offer. All penguin stories can be found on Xplorio Gansbaai and quarterly incentive prizes are available for those who visit all eight penguins and share them to the social media space of Gansbaai Tourism’s Instagram with the hashtag #gansbaaipenguins #capewhalecoast. Tag @gansbaai-tourism and the venue of the penguin.
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There are the eight colourful penguin sites to check out:
This is a world class rehabilitation centre in Gansbaai, with a fully equipped lab, a veterinary nurse and a dedicated team, seabirds can be treated immediately thereby increasing their survival rate.
Situated at the Great White Junction, the info centre will advise you on your stay while providing you with info relating to the history of the area and iconic tourist sites. Gansbaai is part of the Cape Whale Coast.
Award winning Marine Dynamics Tours provides an educational and exhilarating shark cage diving experience with an on board marine biologist. Fair Trade Tourism certified, through their project, the Dyer Island Conservation Trust, they are making a real difference for conservation and community.
Lomond is situated on the banks of a 100ha dam and the tasting room provides guests with unparalleled views of the farm, vineyards and valley. Lomond is the first South African Wine Farm to enter into a Conservation Servitude with Fauna and Flora International to ensure the long-term preservation of the critically endangered fynbos.
Saxon Lodge is a 4 star accredited bed & breakfast accommodation in Gansbaai, located in town, overlooking the industrious harbour and ocean. Easy on foot access to all restaurants, pubs, shops and banks and boasting some of the most stunning views over Walker Bay toward Hermanus and the Hottentot Hollands mountains.
Set in the ancestral home of the owner and chef, the Blue Goose provides an upscale casual dining experience that will constantly strive to exceed expectations. The restaurant’s simple, yet elegant cuisine features the natural beauty of local, sustainable and seasonal ingredients. The menu features old classics from the ocean, all-rounders from the grill and the chef’s specialties. The wine list features a considerable “by the glass” offering. The 80 seat dining area, caters for that special event, function or just “an evening out” experience.
Just a little out of the main town of Gansbaai, Pearly Beach offers nature at its finest with plenty of birdlife, whale watching opportunities as well as its own Fynbos garden and herbarium. Gansbaai & Pearly Beach Horse Trails, Beachcomber Tours, Pearly Beach Shop, and Fynbos Deck Restaurant all joined together to support the penguin campaign.
*Compiled by Selene Brophy
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