LIST: Did you know that South Africa has 10 islands? Including one on a volcano!

LIST: Did you know that South Africa has 10 islands? Including one on a volcano!

Did you know that there are even islands further down south of South Africa?

Marion Island is one of South Africa's hidden gems/The South African

South Africa is a country rich in culture, tradition, and history - much of which is still a relative mystery.

Whilst trying to learn a bit more about our country, I came across something so fascinating that it made me question just how much more I don't know about SA.

The one that really got me excited is the fact that we have 10 islands in South Africa.


Here's a list of the 10 islands in South Africa - including some that are not open to tourists, spotted on Trip101:

1. Seal Island

There are thousands of Cape fur seals occupying Seal Island - obviously. Seal Island is located off False Bay and nothing is known to grow on the island due to its granite surface, which contains no soil to sustain plant life. 

The island can be accessed by boat from Hout Bay. 

2. St Croix Island

St Croix Island in located in Algoa Bay, just off Gqeberha (formerly Port Elizabeth). It consists of rocky outcrops. Some of these rocks stand as high as 53 metres. It is home to hundreds of African penguin colonies that breed on the island. St Croix is now a sanctuary for these creatures.

Watch more: The mystery of what lies beneath the surface of the Botanic Gardens

3. Marion Island

This is an absolutely fascinating one - one half of the Prince Edward Islands.

Located at the southernmost tip of South Africa, Marion Island lies to the south of Cape Town. Permanent meteorological research stations have been constructed by the South African National Antarctic Programme on the island. Animals that inhabit the island include southern elephant seals, fur seals, penguins, and albatross. 

The island is not open to tourists and the weather is harsh, with rain, snow, low temperatures, and strong winds. 

In September 2020, the Department of Environment Forestry and Fisheries (DEFF) approved a request for a wildlife documentary series to be filmed on Marion Island.

4. Dyer Island

Dyer Island is located off Kleinbaai Harbor and is a natural reserve. This reserve is classified as an Important Bird Area (IBA) where endangered birds breed. The species of birds that reside here include the roseate tern, bank cormorant, and the African penguin. It is a restricted area, so members of the public are not allowed on the island, but is visible if on a guided tour.

5. Malgas Island

This is located in Saldanha Bay and it is a marine protected area and is part of West Coast National Park. Most of its surface is flat while the island has a nearly rectangular shape. Nesting Cape gannets and seabird species are the main inhabitants here. 

6. Duiker Island

This lovely island lies off Hout Bay in Cape Town and is inhabited by Cape fur seals and other species of seabirds. An hour-long boat cruise (departing from Hout Bay harbour) will help you get to the island. 

Check out Bay Harbour Market, and if you love to surf, Dungeons is a famous spot just for you to catch some waves!

7. Dassen Island

This offshore island is located 55 km north of Cape Town. The island is home to a large population of wild rabbits and colonies of penguins, tortoises, and guinea fowl. Bird enthusiasts will enjoy identifying the species, as the island is dominated by seabirds. Dassen Island is out of bounds to the public.

8. Prince Edward Island

This island is the smaller of the two landmasses, namely Prince Edward and the abovementioned Marion Island. It is protected by South African law, via a Special Nature Reserves declaration. This fascinating island sits right on an active volcano that rises to a peak of 722 meters. The last volcanic eruption at Prince Edward Island occurred in 2004. 

Prince Edward Island is barely habitable due to its harsh climate and heavy rain.

Watch more: Underwater Kavachi Volcano erupts, 'mutant' sharks released into ocean

9. Bird Island

This gorgeous island lies in Lambert’s Bay, South Africa. Cape gannets reside and lay eggs here - one of six places in the world where these eggs hatch. You can access the island by foot, but only if the sea conditions are favourable. This is because the breakwater connects it to the mainland. 

This is also the island notorious for the infamous 'Lost Boys of Bird Island' book.

Watch more: Amazing sinkhole discovery reveals giant, ancient underground forest

10. Robben Island

This is obviously the most famous of South Africa's islands. The world famous island was where global icon Nelson Mandela was imprisoned along with other famous figures during the apartheid era.

Click here to find out more information about the Robben Island Museum.

If you'd like to learn more about why South Africa is such an interesting place, check out this fascinating podcast series by Des Latham on the history of South Africa.

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Original source: Trip101

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Main image attribution: The South African

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