Macassar Dunes Conservation Area

Macassar Road
Cape Town

Macassar Dunes Conservation Area

Public Forest/Natural AreaEnvironmental EducationNative Forests/PlantsCoastal HabitatSpring BlossomsBird and Wildlife Watching


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Macassar Dunes Conservation Area is a rich and varied natural area on the False Bay coast near Cape Town. It contains some of the best remnants of Cape Town’s unique strandveld vegetation. With its dense evergreen shrubs and thickets, this endangered vegetation type is home to a wide range of plants and animals.

The reserve has a fascinating cultural history as well. For many centuries, the Khoisan people living along the coast harvested their food and medicinal plants here. Also, in the 1600s, the first Muslim community in South Africa was founded here.

Today, hikers, whale-watchers, environmental educators, school groups, fishers, traditional healers and others make use of the reserve. The Macassar dunes provide essential ecosystem services, such as shelter from high winds and wind-blown sand, freshwater production and protection from storm damage. It is essential that the biodiversity of the area is conserved so that it can continue to provide these benefits to surrounding communities and visitors for years to come.

Most widespread is the Cape Flats dune strandveld, which grows along the slopes of the dunes. Agulhas limestone fynbos occurs on hard calcrete outcrops on the dune summits and upper slopes, supporting fynbos families such as reeds, heaths and buchus. You can see plants such as bietou (Chrysanthemoides monilifera), thatching reeds (Elegis tectorum) and dune taaibos (Searsia laevigata). Succulent groundcover species such as vingerpol(Euphorbia marlothiana) and yellow carpet vygie (Jordaaniella dubia) are also found in the reserve.

Fishers use rod and reel from beaches and rocks or boats offshore to catch kabeljou (Cape cod), red roman, yellowtail, galjoen and geelbek (Cape salmon). Due to overharvesting, these fish are protected, and fishers now need permits.

Go quietly and you may see tortoises, lizards, frogs and snakes. You may also see grysbok, steenbok, Cape grey mongoose, Cape hare, porcupine, Cape dune mole and Cape golden mole. From September to November, southern right wales can be spotted from the top of the dunes, as they come close inshore to calve.

More than 80 different bird species can be found in the reserve. Some include the southern double-collared sunbird, black-shouldered kite, spotted eagle owl, African black oyster-catcher, kelp gull, Cape bulbul and Cape spurfowl.

ADDRESS: Macassar Road, Macassar / Baden Powell Drive, Khayelitsha

OPENING HOURS: Weekdays, 07:30 to 16:00 (by appointment)



ACTIVITIES: picnicking, fishing at designated areas (permit required), hiking, swimming, bird watching

021 392 5134 /5


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