The Macassar Dunes Conservation area, with its spectacular view across False Bay to Kogelberg and Hangklip, is an important site in the City of Cape Town’s Biodiversity Network. The area contains 178 plant species, and an area of more than 1000 ha is planned to be set aside as a nature reserve. In spring, the thicket vegetation is ablaze with wildflowers, and a pleasant walk through the dunes leads to False Bay Beach, where coastal birds, whales and dolphins can be seen.
The white milkwood trees (Sideroxlyon inerme) growing in the Macassar Dunes area are protected by law, and already, these dunes benefit members of the Khayelitsha and Macassar communities in tangible ways. The Traditional Healers’ Association, for example, harvests plants for medicinal purposes.
A partnership between Cape Flats Nature, the Macassar Dunes Co-management Association (MDCA) and iLitha Lomso (an environmental youth organisation) uses the site as an outdoor classroom for environmental education, attracting hundreds of learners from surrounding schools each year.
Urban development is creeping closer, and threatens to engulf the Macassar Dunes and its Endangered Cape Flats Dune Strandveld vegetation. There is huge pressure from sand mining (legal and illegal) in areas neighbouring Macassar Dunes.
ADDRESS: Macassar Road, Khayelitsha; Baden Powell Drive, Macassar
OPENING HOURS: 07:30-16:00 (weekdays); closed on weekends
SIZE: 1 116 ha
ENTRANCE FEE: None
PUBLIC TRANSPORT: Taxi or bus
ACTIVITIES: Picnicking, fishing in designated areas (permit required), hiking, swimming, birdwatching
ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION: Outdoor educational programmes are offered to mark special environmental events, such as Arbor Day, Water Week and Marine Week.
CONTACT: Tel 021 392 5134/5; fax 021 392 8878
Source: City of Cape Town (2010) City of Cape Town nature reserves: A network of amazing biodiversity. City of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa.