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False Bay wildlife – Background on False Bay

Cape Point, False Bay
Cape Point, Cape Town.
Located from the tip of Cape Point to Hangklip near Pringle Bay, in the extreme South-West of South Africa, is a picturesque bay of water abundant with marine and airborne wildlife. False Bays’ coastline is made up of seaside communities lined with shops, restaurants and pubs, and beaches where swimming and surfing are popular. The bay offers pristine conditions for yachting and scuba diving lovers while the bay provides the perfect home for wildlife.

Bartolomeu Dias first came across the bay in 1488 and referred to it as “the gulf between the mountains”. False Bay, at least some 300 years ago, was given its name after sailors mistook the natural bay for Table Bay when searching to restock supplies.

The bay is 30km at its widest and is just over 100km long with an average depth of 40m. The eastern and western shores of the bay are considered rocky with large cliffs that plummet into deep water while the northern shore is a long and sandy beach situated on the edge of the Cape Flats. The southern side of the bay is open to the ocean and drops to a depth of 80m at the mouth.

Muizenberg, False Bay
Northern shore of False Bay, Muizenberg, Cape Town. 
With a Mediterraneantype climate, during the summer months from December through to March the climate is dry and warm while winter months from June to September bring rainfall and cool weather. During winter, gale force winds and storms can pummel through the bay while in the summer months the Cape is exposed to ferocious south easterly winds commonly known by locals as the Cape Doctor.

Nature reserves that can be visited in the Cape Peninsula, the land running along the western shore side of False Bay, include the Cape of Good Hope, Rondevlei and Silvermine. All 3 nature reserves offer a blend of indigenous flora and astounding fauna making for a peaceful yet fascinating setting.

A small island that goes by the name of Seal Island is found in the bay which is the central

breeding site and home for Cape fur seals and some sea birds. False Bay is considered the world leading site to witness the oceans fiercest predator, the Great white shark. Whales swarm the waters of False every year from June through to November to calve and nurse their new-borns or journey through the area. Penguins live at Boulders Beach while troops of Chacma baboons roam the mountainside of the Cape Peninsula and birds such as hawks and seagulls fly the skies and albatross are found far out at sea.

~ Nestled within the most southern west tip of Africa, is a magical place full of indigenous plants and wildlife that swim in the majestic False Bay water, walk along the Cape Peninsula and fly the sky looking over the Deep South. ~ 

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