Zandvlei Bird Sanctuary Nature Reserve
Zandvlei Bird Sanctuary, South Africa
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Zandvlei Estuary Nature Reserve (also spelt "Sandvlei") is a 300-hectare (740-acre) nature reserve and recreational area located in Cape Town, South Africa.
Entering the ocean in the suburb of Muizenberg, Zandvlei is the only functioning estuary on Cape Town’s False Bay coast. It is also one of the most important estuaries for recruitment of fish such as garrick, steenbras and two species of stumpnose.
The surrounding wetland is an important habitat for birds and is home to over 150 species. It is also a vital habitat for amphibians and about 20 species of reptile such as the Angulate tortoise, Marsh terrapin, Mole snake and Brown Water Snake. Porcupines, grysbok, Otters and Mongoose can also occasionally be spotted. The plant life is typical of Cape Flats Dune Strandveld and Cape Wetland vegetation. Rare or interesting plants include Gladiolus angustus and Salvia africana-lutea. The estuary was neglected in the past, and suffered from farming, urban development, dredging and the introduction of alien invasive species. The original vegetation has been partly restored through local government and volunteer efforts. There is now an Environmental Education Centre and the reserve is home to the Imperial Yacht Club and Peninsula Canoe Club. SCOUTS South Africa operate their Sea Scout base from there, conducting sailing and rowing regattas there, in addition to various training courses and the annual Kon-Tiki raft building competition. Fishing is popular, with many large garrick having been landed. A standard fishing permit is required.
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