Concerned bird lovers established Rondevlei as a bird sanctuary in 1952. Today, it is a well-run nature reserve, 290 ha in extent, with a museum, an auditorium, a network of footpaths, viewing towers, and several hides named after well known birders.
There is a permanent wetland with Cape Flats Sand Fynbos to the north, and seasonal wetlands and Cape Flats Dune Strandveld in the south. About 278 species of indigenous plants grow in the Rondevlei Nature Reserve. Rare and endangered plants are strongly nurtured: these include the Cape Flats cone bush (Leucadendron levisanus), the Rondevlei spiderhead (Serruria aemula var. foeniculaceae) and the Cape Flats erica (Erica verticillata), which became Extinct in the Wild. The Cape Flats erica was discovered in botanical gardens, and has since been propagated and replanted at Rondevlei.
In addition, there are 237 bird species, from ducks to herons, ibises, pelicans, weavers and more. Hippopotami (Hippopotamus amphibius) have been reintroduced, and there are 20 other mammal species, including Cape grysbok (Raphicerus melanotis), porcupine (Hystrix africaeaustralis), Cape dune mole rat (Bathyergus suillus), Cape clawless otter (Aonyx capensis) and small-spotted genet (Genetta genetta). Twenty nine types of reptiles and eight frog species have been seen. The only indigenous fish present is the Cape galaxias (Galaxias), while introduced alien fish include common carp (Cyprinus carpio), banded tilapia (Tilapia sparrmanii) and sharptooth catfish (Clarias gariepinus).
ADDRESS: Corner of Perth Road and Fisherman’s Walk, Grassy Park
OPENING HOURS: 07:30-17:00 (seven days a week); 07:30-19:00 (on Saturdays and Sundays from December to February
only); closed on Christmas Day
SIZE: 290 ha
ENTRANCE FEE (2020): None (for environmental education and meeting room rates, visit www.capetown.gov.za/naturereserves)
PUBLIC TRANSPORT: Bus or taxi
ACTIVITIES AND FACILITIES: Picnicking, bird hides, lookout towers, museum, lecture theatre, fishing platforms, boat trips, overnight island bush camp, a boma and conference facilities
ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION: Rondevlei Environmental Education Centre and Leonard Gill Field Museum (booking essential)
FRIENDS GROUP AND BIRDERS: The Friends of Zeekoevlei and Rondevlei consist of local community members who support the reserve. The Cape Bird Club and A. Rocha International run birding and bird-ringing programmes.
CONTACT: Tel 021 400 9593; fax 021 706 2405; for environmental education camps, phone Cape Town
Environmental Education Trust on 021 706 8523
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.