A Penguin Philanthropist

November 28, 2018

What does a real African penguin patron do for Christmas? He commissions an artist to do a painting of his beloved penguins, he uses it on his personal Christmas cards and he then donates the original painting along with a number of the Christmas cards to the African Penguin & Seabird Sanctuary to raise some much needed funds. Mike Gibbs, one of our most ardent supporters and a previous trustee of the Dyer Island Conservation Trust, is a true penguin philanthropist.

A man as passionate as Mike about the protection of not only the African penguin but the greater environment had to find an artist that understood this mindset.  Artist Malcolm Bowling shares Mike’s passion for the environment and has a special fondness for birds. According to Malcolm, he is not a fanatical “twitcher” but the attentive stillness required to capture the essence of a bird is for him akin to mindfulness – one of the buzzwords of our time. “I think the world would be a better place if more people would take more time to observe, to listen to experience. There is a dichotomy of peace and revitalisation when one is enjoying Nature. It has driven my soul and, therefore, my art and photography” says Malcolm.

read more


November 18, 2018

In its third year, the Marine Month competition run by the Dyer Island Conservation Trust with eco-tourism partners Marine Dynamics & Dyer Island Cruises, and with the support of conservation partners, the Overstrand Municipality and Birdlife Overberg, reached 16 schools in the Overberg area. This campaign, held every October, aims to raise awareness of the importance of our oceans.

The competition is aimed at all ages with various categories:
Category 1-COLOURING (Grades 1-3)
Category 2-POETRY (Grades 4-7)
Category 3-ESSAY (Grades 8 - 11)

read more


November 14, 2018

The Dyer Island Conservation Trust is extremely grateful to Fujifilm for sponsoring a brand new camera! The X-T100 was received by Alison Towner and Wilfred Chivell of the Dyer Island Conservation Trust on Tuesday the 6th of November in Tygerberg, Cape Town. Fujifilm expert Hein Hough handed the camera over, complete with 15-45 mm and 50-230 mm lenses.

Attractive features about this camera are its ability to pair via bluetooth with a smartphone allowing instant viewing of photos. Its compact lightweight design makes it perfect for going out into nature, and the photo quality is excellent. The X-T100 also has a unique LCD design that allows it to both tilt and flip out to the side but not rotate.

“Funding for scientific resources is very thin in South Africa so we are extremely grateful for this sponsorship and look forward to using the X-T100, especially at sea for capturing identification photos of our marine life”, says Alison Towner

Thanks are extended to Gillie Hine from FujiFilm South Africa for arranging this sponsorship.

read more


November 08, 2018

Duncan Butchart is a naturalist, illustrator and photographer. He is the author and editor of numerous articles and books on wildlife, including Wildlife of South Africa (Struik Nature). Duncan has travelled the globe drawing inspiration from nature. Duncan is a specialist in ecotourism communication and created the beautiful seabird pamphlet for pelagic birding cruises with the Trust’s eco-tourism partners Marine Dynamics / Dyer Island Cruises.

As a dear friend of the Trust, he completed this arty image of Trust founder and Marine Dynamics CEO Wilfred Chivell and the marine animals he loves so dearly. Wilfred started the term, the Marine Big 5 depicting the whales, dolphins, sharks, seals and penguins of the Dyer Island ecosystem. Using the medium of digital painting, Duncan captured all this perfectly well and included seabirds of course. Wilfred was grateful and surprised with this personal image. Duncan sent the following message: “It’s a present for you Wilfred - in admiration of everything you do for marine conservation.”

You can see more of Duncan’s work on his site: Never A Gull Moment

read more


November 06, 2018

Judith Scott presented a Marine Evening on her lifelong passion for whales, travel and photography. This whale enthusiast has been working for Dyer Island Cruises for the past three whale seasons as a guide on the Marine Big 5 tours. She first started working with whales eighteen years ago after falling in love with them at the age of seven.

Judith has worked on whale watching boats in many places and presented us with information on the various species that can be seen in different parts of the world. She also told us about her work on The Voyage of the Odyssey, a five year global voyage that sailed around the world studying pollution levels building up in sperm whales. Judith has developed a passion for photography through her work and showed us many of her images captured while whale watching off every continent. To view more of her images captured on Marine Big 5 tours, visit Dyer Island Cruises’ DAILY BLOG. These blogs capture the best sightings in the Dyer Island ecosystem throughout the year.

She currently works here in South Africa until December before travelling to Iceland and Mexico to continue working with a variety of species of whales and dolphins. Judith’s passion for whales is absolutely contagious and she is a stellar marine wildlife ambassador.

read more