A visit to Rietvlei Wetland Reserve

After years of living in Tableview I finally visited the Rietvlei Wetland Reserve, just off Pentz drive in Tableview.

This wetland reserve is home to a diverse range of birdlife including pelicans and the ever popular Flamingos.

Picture of pelicans not taken at the reserve

About Rietvlei

The Rietvlei wetlands reserve is part of the Table Bay nature reserve and liesĀ  on the floodplain of the Diep River before it drains into Milnerton Lagoon and Table Bay.

Here you will find:

  • a permanent freshwater lake
  • shallow seasonally pans
  • reedbeds
  • riverine habitat
  • and a tidal lagoon.

As you can imagine the springtime wild flowers here are a wonderful sight and attract a large variety of insects and both coastal and fresh water bird life.

This impressive wetland is approximately 560 hectares in size and is a bird waters paradise.

The most rewarding bird viewing seasons are spring and summer when large numbers of migrant birds are present and avid bird watchers can enjoy a network of pathways around the wetland and up to the bird hides.

The hides can seat about 20 people each and are perfectly positioned for the best viewing of the birds out in the lake and pans.

Rietvlei is a Protected Natural Environment and is a part of the Table Bay Nature Reserve.

Our visitĀ 

We visited as part of a homeschool activity and joined Heart@nature uitstappies for a fun morning.

On arrival the children were encouraged to introduce themselves and play some fun games.

Then we headed inside where they enjoyed a quick lesson on bony fish and learnt the importance of a spine.

This quickly lead to everyone building structures from marshmallows and spaghetti, which is not as easy as it looks. Spaghetti is quite flimsy in the hands of little learners.

After a quick snack break it was time to head outside with a bird identification chart, lots of energy and enthusiasm to enjoy nature and take a little hike to the bird hides.

I think this was both mine and Hamish’s favourite time, as we took in the sights around us.

The wetland is truly beautiful and you have the most amazing views of Table Mountain.

Although we visited during autumn and you could certainly feel the chill in the air there was quite a bit of bird life for us to see. I do however want to make a spring and summer visit to the reserve to observe the flowers.

Once our hike was done the kids headed back into the educational centre to craft a cute bony fish from straws and paper And then it was time for our visit to end.

With unhappy hearts and still ready to explore, even though us moms had work to get to, the boys reluctantly jumped into the car.

Final thoughts

Rietvlei makes for a great family visit and you can enjoy the hikes, take a picnic or go birdwatching.



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