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PLACES TO SEE

Places to see on the Cape West Coast & Sandveld

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Rocherpan Nature Reserve

Rocherpan Nature Reserve lies 25 km north of Velddrif on the Cape west coast, and comprises 914 ha. The reserve, which was established in 1967, consists largely of a seasonal vlei which is usually dry between March and June. The adjacent section of the Atlantic Ocean was declared a marine reserve in 1988.

The combination of land, vlei and marine environments provides ample breeding and feeding habitats for various birds. A total of 183 species has been recorded, of which about 70 are water birds. White pelicans and greater and lesser flamingoes, all of which are listed in the Red Data book for endangered bird species, are often seen at Rocherpan. Large numbers of these birds, as well as many thousands of waders and ducks rely on the vlei as their major source of food, particularly when the water levels drop. Ostriches occur on the flats surrounding the vlei.

Rocherpan is one of the Cape shoveller’s most important breeding and moulting sites. The reserve provides a sanctuary for Southern Africa’s second rarest coastal bird, the African black oystercatcher. Southern right whales may be sighted in the marine reserve and along the coast from June to September.

Besides springbok there are smaller mammals such as duiker, steenbok, water mongoose and African wild cat. Reptiles, amphibians and invertebrates are numerous. In spring a mass of wildflowers is an attractive feature of the reserve.

Visitor facilities
The reserve is open daily from 8am until 5pm (May to August) and from 7am until 6pm (September to April). There are two bird hides and various picnic and braai sites. Vehicles and visitors on foot are restricted to the vehicle tracks. There is no access from the reserve to the beach for vehicles.

Pets and firearms are not allowed, and visitors are requested to take their refuse away with them. Disturbing any marine organisms within the marine reserve is prohibited. Angling with a fishing rod is allowed, subject to regulations governing daily bag limits and sizes. Reservations

To make a booking please contact our reservations office

(info courtesy www.capenature.org.za)