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Alexandria Dunefields

Alexandria Dunefields from Sundays River Mouth Guesthouse - Western Region, Eastern Cape  © WhereToStay

Alexandria Dunefields

The unique Alexandria Dunefield stretches for a distance of fifty kilometers from Sundays River Mouth to Bushmans River, and is one of the largest existing active coastal dunefields in the world. Situated on the Eastern Cape's Sunshine Coast, the Alexandria dunefields cover a total area of one hundred and forty two square kilometers. The dunefield displays an average width of about two and a half kilometers, and some of the dunes are about a hundred and forty meters high. The reserve consists of both bare and vegetated dunes, and a number of bush pockets which are home to a variety of birds and small mammals which include bushpig and vervet monkey and a species of endemnic dune gerbil.

The Dunefields reserve is owned by the Lake Family, who have been farming in the area since 1899. The Lakes who farm with livestock and chicory, offer guided beach tour of the area, sharing the magnificence of the region with visitors. Experienced and knowledgeable guides provide visitors to the dunes with various explanations of the geology of the dunes, as well as the fascinating history behind early man's inhabitancy and the shell middens they have left behind. Groups participating in the dunefields tours are kept to a minimal size, and trips are not conducted too often, ensuring less of an environmental impact. In 2004 The South African Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism suggested that the area be recognized as a Unesco World Heritage Site, and it currently sits on a Unesco waiting list for evaluation.


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