Stanford Area Hot
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Black Crake
Klein River lagoon
Red Knobbed Coot
Speckled Mousebirds
Orange Breasted Sunbird
Willem Appel Dam

Located between the famous Great White Shark cage-diving hotspot of Kleinbaai and the town of Hermanus that is famous for its annual ‘Whale Festival”, Stanford is bordered by the Klein River and estuary that is in turn surrounded by mountain fynbos and farmlands.

With this incredible diversity of habitats, Stanford provides a wide diversity of photographic subjects from historical and landscape photography through to birding photography. The Willem Appel Dam, situated in the center of the town, attracts numerous waterfowl species including White-Backed Duck and Little Bittern.


Best Time to Photograph
The Willem Appel Dam should be visited at sunrise, while a boat cruise along the Klein River provides the best photographic results during late afternoon. The various routes through the farmlands are also best driven in the early morning when birds are most active. Landscape photography on the Klein River Lagoon can take place either at dusk or at dawn
Type of Photography
  • Landscape
  • Agricultural
  • Birding
  • Historical
Best Time of Year
Throughout the year
Photographic Tips
The Willem Appel Dam is best visited at sunrise and as the variety of waterbirds become active. The dead trees and reed beds around the dam provide roost sites for egrets, herons, cormorants and African Darters, while the lilly pads attract Black Crake, Purple Swamphen, White-Backed Duck, Red Knobbed Coot and Common Moorhen. The local bird club is in the process of erecting a bird-viewing hide that will allow excellent photographic opportunities. A slow drive along the eastern bank of the Klein River and out towards Mosaic Farm will provide many sightings of fynbos bird species as well as the opportunity to view the elusive Caracal. A variety of raptors can be viewed in the tall gum trees along this route. A drive along the road towards and beyond Salmondsdam Nature Reserve offers excellent opportunities to view and photograph Blue Cranes, Denham’s Bustard and Agulhas Long-Billed Lark. Mosaic Farm provides access to the waters-edge of the Klein River Lagoon where landscape photography can be undertaken.
Recommended Gear
Given the diversity of photographic opportunities to be found in Stanford, a wide variety of camera lenses should be packed but must include a wide-angled lens for landscape photography and a telephoto lens for bird photography.


Site Highlights
Willem Appel Dam
Kleinbaai Lagoon
Salmondsdam Nature Reserve
Deyer Island Boat Cruise


Season and Weather
The climate is Mediterranean with warm summers and mild winters. Wind is present throughout the year with rain falling mainly in the winter months. Always be prepared for sudden changes in the weather. The summers are the dry and dusty months, whilst winter is the time when the fynbos is lush, green and in flower. The best months to visit are April and September.
Other Activities
  • Bird Watching
  • Boat cruises
  • Wine Tasting
  • Fine cuisine


Closest Town
Getting There
Stanford is easily located as it lies between the towns of Gansbaai and Hermanus in the Overberg. It may also be reached via the R326 between Caledon and Napier
Stanford Area


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Peter Chadwick
Author: Peter ChadwickWebsite: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
As a dedicated conservationist, Peter Chadwick has 30 years strategic and operational conservation experience in terrestrial and marine protected area management. He has worked within all of the major biomes in southern Africa as well as having provided expert conservation advice at a global level. His conservation and wildlife photography is a natural extension to his conservation work where he has numerous opportunities to capture photographs that showcase the beauty and complexity of the outdoors. Peter’s photography is internationally recognized, with this work appearing globally in a wide range of print and electronic media.