Main entrance is at the southern end of Grey Avenue, Table View (Rietvlei Section), Cape Town
The nature reserve consists of seven parts: Rietvlei Wetlands, Milnerton Lagoon, Milnerton Beach, Milnerton Racecourse, Zoarvlei Wetlands, Diep River and the Parklands Fynbos Corridor. This 880-hectare reserve comprises a variety of permanent and seasonal wetlands, and is surrounded by Cape Flats dune strandveld and Cape Flats sand fynbos vegetation.
The reserve protects 412 plant species, 31 mammals, 196 birds, 33 reptiles, nine amphibians, and 14 fish species. It also supports important but as of yet unlisted insect, invertebrate and plank-tonic communities. Two species are listed vulnerable, and 14 are near threatened. The wetland offers a variety of habitats, including a permanent freshwater lake, shallow marshes that flood in winter, reed beds, a river, and an estuarine lagoon with salt marshes that is open to the sea.
A strip of coastal dunes separates the reserve from Table Bay. This is a bird watcher’s paradise, especially in spring and summer, when migrant birds arrive from the northern hemisphere. Some 196 bird species are listed, including pelicans, flamingos, ducks, coots, herons, plovers, weavers and swallows. There are two bird hides that offer views of the southern water body and the large seasonal pan.
The Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds (SANCCOB) rehabilitation centre is adjacent to the reserve. Many small mammals, reptiles and insects live here, along with several frog species. The lagoon acts as a nursery to several coastal fish, such as harder and mullet which occur alongside freshwater fish. From the coastal dunes, dolphins and whales are visible in season and the Milnerton Aquatic Club promotes water sports at the North vlei.
Water pollution and invasive alien plants, especially Port Jackson, rooikrans and kikuyu grass, are a challenge. People who live nearby can help by planting indigenous gardens, removing kikuyu grass, and preventing oil, poison and fertiliser from running into the natural environment.
Venue: Main entrance is at the southern end of Grey Avenue, Table View (Rietvlei Section), Cape Town
Time: 7.30am – 5.30pm | water sports 10am – 5pm (weekdays) | 9am – 5pm (weekends)
Cost: Vehicles R20 | Buses R320 (<25 seater) | Adults R14 | U17 R 7 | U3 free | Students R6 | Annual passes R130 | Family R200
Day Fishing Permits: Adults R40 | U17 R14 (Maximum of 2 rods with 2 hooks per rod) | Watercraft R50 | Adult sail board/dinghy/windsurfer R20 | U18 sail board/dinghy/windsurfer R12 | Watercraft (annual) R410 (365 days from date of issue) | Sail board/dinghy/windsurfer (Mon – Fri concession) R90 | Adult registration for water craft R32 (annual) | U18 registration for watercraft R15