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Rietvlei is a freshwater wetland located on the floodplain of the Diep river before it drains into Milnerton lagoon and finally into Table Bay. Approximately 560 hectares in size, its location ensures that both freshwater and coastal birds are regurlarly seen. The wide diversity of habitats make this wetland system particularly impressive in both the variety of species and number of birds present. With the gradual removal of alien vegetation, tracts of typical Strandveld flora and fauna are flourishing.



There is a permanent freshwater lake, shallow seasonally-inundated pans, extensive reedbeds, true riverine habitat and a tidal lagoon.



Great White Pelican, African Spoonbill, Greater Flamingo, African Fish-Eagle (resident pair), African Marsh-Harrier, Peregrine Falcon, African Black Oystercatcher, Greater Painted-snipe and Pied Kingfisher



There is sufficient parking, toilet facilities, picnic area, barbeque facilities, a bird hide and a network of pathways around the wetland.



The most rewarding viewing seasons are spring and summer when large numbers of migrant waders are present. The total species count is over 190, of which 102 are waterbird species. During waterbird censuses, 70 species are regularly seen and over 10 000 individual birds are often counted. Walk beyond the buildings onto a track along the eastern edge of the wetland, and left at the fork to the bird hide that is perfectly positioned for the best viewing of small migrant waders.



Rietvlei wetland lies between the suburbs of Milnerton and Table View and is only 15 minutes drive from central Cape Town. The reserve is open from 07h30 to 17h00. Entrance fees are R6 per person and R15 for vehicles. The reserve can be contacted on 021-5575509.

From Cape Town head north on the N1. Take the Paarden Eiland/Milnerton turnoff onto the R27. Continue across the Diep River bridge and the wetland is on your right. Pass the wetland and turn right into Blouberg Road, then first right into Pentz Drive, then right again into Grey Avenue. The parking area is at the end of the road on the right. Enter the reserve through the gate to the Milnerton Aquatic Club.

Friends of Rietvlei can be contacted on email: .

Friends of Rietvlei Website

Margaret McIver 2007.

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