The Western Cape Department of Economic Development and Tourism and CapeNature has invested R6.5 million in upgrading Bird Island, off the coast of Lambert’s Bay.
The facility now features a new exhibition building with skeletal displays of a Cape fur seal, Dusky dolphin, Cape gannet, and krill. It also features the only Cuvier’s beaked whale skeletal display in South Africa.
Upgrades include improvements to the current bird hide, a life-size Southern Right whale replica, oversized Cape cormorant nest replica and marine-orientated puzzles.
Alan Winde, Minister of Economic Opportunities said: “During the most recent summer season, several West Coast establishments reported increased tourism numbers and I am confident the transformation of Bird Island will draw more visitors to the region, adding to local economic growth and jobs.”
Anton Bredell, Minister of Environmental Affairs and Development said: “This island is a great example of giving communities access to environmental education. The re-introduction of the penguin to the island now provides people with opportunities to learn about the plight of the African penguin and has provided opportunities for people in the local community, working at the island, to understand more about conserving these animals and develop the skills to take care of them.”
CapeNature has also partnered with both the Two Oceans Aquarium and the Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds (SANCCOB) to bring displays of African penguins to a newly upgraded penguin pool as well as new touch pools to provide interaction with shore and marine life.
Information Courtesy of www.tourismupdate.co.za/article/r65m-upgrade-west-coast-attraction