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The Strandfontein Sewage Works is the best waterbird locality close to Cape Town. The sewage plant is surrounded by a vast network of pans, connected by good dirt roads (however, beware of the southern coastal road which is often very sandy).



A good variety of waterbirds inhabit the pans, among them Black-necked Grebe, Great Crested Grebe, Great White Pelican, Greater Flamingo, South African Shelduck and Maccoa Duck (the latter particularly in the central, deeper pans on your right as you approach the plant buildings from the Zeekoeivlei entrance). In summer the usual selection of Palaearctic migrants occur, including Wood Sandpiper and large numbers of Little Stint and White-winged Tern. Most of the ponds are fringed by reedbeds, which are inhabited by African Purple Swamphen, Black Crake and Purple Heron. The coastal pans, adjacent to Baden-Powell Drive, usually have small numbers of African Black Oystercatcher, and there is a vast roost of Cape Cormorant, sometimes numbering in the tens of thousands. The vegetation surrounding the pans consists largely of alien acacia thicket, with an unremarkable bird community. Over the last few years there have been a number of interesting vagrants, including Garganey, American Purple Gallinule, American Golden Plover, Black-tailed Godwit, Red-necked Phalarope, Franklin's Gull and Grey Wagtail.



The most reliable way to enter the sewage works is from the Zeekoeivlei side. From the M5 freeway, turn left into Ottery road at the Ottery turn-off, then turn right into Strandfontein road. Continue along this road then turn right at the Zeekoeivlei sign, just after the Shell petrol station. Continue through the gum plantation and past Zeekoeivlei, after which the road enters the sewage works. It is also possible to enter the works from the False Bay side: an inconspicuous dirt road crosses the dune between Baden-Powell Drive and the pans.

Please visit the Cape Bird Club website for guidelines when visiting Strandfontein.

Conservation Office Tel: +27 21 706 2404
Conservation Officer (Morne Carstens): email:
Waste Water Treatment Works - +27 21 396 1060

Claire Spottiswoode & Callan Cohen 1997.

Afton Grove

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