Cape Town is considered to be one of the largest cities in South Africa, but a large part of what is considered to be the City of Cape Town is actually national parks and environmentally protected areas. This includes the Bloubergstrand attraction, the Rietvlei Wetland Reserve.
Rietvlei Wetland Reserve is just one of the many P.N.E (Protected Natural Environment) areas in Cape Town which many people are familiar with and may well be the most well-known Bloubergstrand attraction. The reserve encompasses a large permanent freshwater lake as well as several other small pans, reed beds and a tidal lagoon.
The area and ecosystem drains excess water from the surrounding suburbs, which then flows into the Milnerton Lagoon and from there the water eventually finds its way to Table Bay. The Rietvlei Wetland Reserve is around 560 hectares in size; quite small when you consider the vast amount of species in the reserve and also the large populations of animals that occupy the area.
With the help of some very caring individuals the reserve is weeding out all the invasive species of plants in order to make way for the Strandveld species that would otherwise have been flourishing all over the area. The reserve borders the sea at some places and the dunes along the beach making this one of the best places in the City to go whale watching from shore – another reason it has become such a popular Bloubergstrand attraction.
More than a 190 species of birds have been spotted in the Rietlvlei Wetland Reserve and around 70 species are present most of the time, making it the perfect Bloubergstrand attraction for bird enthusiasts. Summer is the best time to see them, for both species and good numbers. During one birding census more than 10 000 water birds were counted.
But what is a wetlands reserve without fishing? Fishing here is purely for pleasure and relaxation rather than sport. The exotic fish species may soon be removed from the lake and reserve; this will be great for both the reserve and fishermen as the invasive species being removed will leave space for more indigenous fish to thrive.
Entrance to the reserve is between R 6 – 12 for Children and adults, students with a student card get discount and children under the age of 3 enter this wonderful Bloubergstrand attraction free of charge.