There are at least 3 places where sea wildlife can be spotted in the Garden Route National Park (GRNP). Dolphins and whales are often seen diving in and out of the water from the Storms River Rest Camp which overlooks the Tsitsikamma Marine Protected Area (MPA), Kranshoek (Knysna forest, also part of the Park) and the Heads in Knysna (part of the protected Lakes Area).
Africa’s oldest MPA in Tsitsikamma is home to a variety of sea life including dolphins and whales. Scientists use it as natural laboratory to conduct both land-based observations and boat-based surveys. The presence of these mammals is also an indicator of marine ecosystems. Dolphins consume a variety of prey including fish, squid and crustaceans.
The Garden Route is also considered a colony for Cape fur seals. It is home to more than 280 species of birds including sea birds. Water birds can be spotted from the Wilderness Lakes. They are globally important and classified as a Ramsar site because of the abundance of water birds.
The Knysna Estuary – ranked number one in South Africa for its conservation importance. Its biodiversity is rich, accounting for 43% of South Africa’s estuarine plant and animal species.
There are reportedly more than 371 species of birds including water birds.
This winter, the GRNP is offering discounted prices for accommodation to allow visitors to experience the Park.
To contact the Park, 044 302 5600 or visit http://www.sanparks.org.za/parks/garden_route/