A view of Table Mountain across the bay from Rietvlei.North Nature Reserves

     Rietvlei Wetland Reserve

  • Rietvlei is a large wetland in the floodplain of the Diep River between Milnerton and Table View. The vlei drains into Milnerton Lagoon and then into Table Bay.

  • Rietvlei Wetland Reserve is about 560 hectares in size. It has many different habitats including a permanent freshwater lake, shallow marshes that flood in winter, reed beds, a river, a lagoon that is open to the sea, and coastal dunes.

  • 221 different indigenous plant species have been recorded in the reserve. Two of these are threatened with extinction: a pink vygie (Lampranthus sociorum: Near Threatened) and Gladiolus griseus (Critically Endangered).

  • Because of the different habitats, many different indigenous animals have been recorded at Rietvlei Wetland Reserve:

  • Red Data (threatened) animals include:

  • Rietvlei is a very popular place to watch birds. The best time to visit is in Spring and Summer when many migrant birds are present. These birds migrate to South Africa from Europe and Asia to escape Winter in the northern hemisphere.

  • About 102 of the birds seen at Rietvlei are water birds. Four times a year there is a water bird census and more than 10 000 individual birds are counted.

  • There is a bird hide where you can watch birds. You might be lucky enough to see the African Fish Eagles that live at Rietvlei.

  • Strandveld vegetation grows around the vlei. Many annual daisies flower in Spring, filling the dunes with colourful flowers.

  • The Rietvlei Wetland Reserve has a new environmental education centre. Classes of up to 40 primary schools learners may visit the reserve to learn about the wetlands and Strandveld.

  • Rietvlei is an important recreational area for the community. You can picnic or braai, go for walks along the paths, and enjoy water sports in the main vlei. You can also watch dolphins and whales from the beach.

  • The areas around Rietvlei are very built up and the reserve needs its neighbours to help conserve nature. Problems facing Rietvlei include water pollution and invasive alien plants, especially Port Jackson, Rooikrans and Kikuyu Grass. Neighbours can help by planting indigenous plants in their gardens, getting rid of Kikuyu Grass and preventing oil, poisons and fertilizers from running into the vlei.

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