Austin Roberts Bird Sanctuary, Pretoria

Gauteng Tourist Attractions

Austin Roberts Bird Sanctuary, Pretoria

Blue Crane in Austin Roberts Bird Sanctuary
Blue Crane in Austin Roberts Bird Sanctuary

If you grew up in the vicinity of Austin Roberts Bird Sanctuary, you will remember a time, during the 1970s, when the pink backed pelican bred here; and crowds of people came from all over Tshwane to watch the thousands of egrets, part of a large heronry that also developed here, come to roost in the evenings.

Since then, the Brooklyn Centre has expanded to cover some of the spruit that runs into the reserve, and a 400-year old wild olive tree joined the debris. Subsequently the brown hooded kingfisher and the odd frog have all disappeared. However, it is still a wonderful place to see some of the more common birds close up. The sanctuary lies in Muckleneuk and is a regular Sunday afternoon picnic spot for families. The area around the Blue Crane restaurant, which lies virtually on the dam and adjacent reed beds, attracts blue crane, grey crowned crane, rock doves, speckled pigeons and the odd Egyptian goose, that all feed regularly here.

Crowned Crane in the Austin Roberts Bird Sanctuary
Crowned Crane in the Austin Roberts Bird Sanctuary
The reserve was named after ornithologist-mammal gist, J Austin Roberts, born in Pretoria in 1883, and largely self-taught. He was to produce a number of standard South African reference books on both birds and mammals, and was tragically killed in a motor accident in 1948.

The 11.8 hectare sanctuary lies within the Walkerspruit Open Space System in which two streams feed water into wetland basins that attract a large number of water bird species.

There is a bird hide and guided walks as well as an exhibition hall.

Getting to the Austin Roberts Bird Sanctuary:
From the Fountains circle (on the R21) take the George Storrar turn-off. Travel east over Koningin Wilhemina where it change to Middel street. Turn left at the first robot, Dey street, and then left again at Boshoff street. The entrance to the sanctuary is on the right hand corner, Boshoff and Roper.

Hours: Summer: September to April from 07h00 to 18h00
Winter: May to August from 07h00 to 17h00
Telephone: +27 (0)12 440-8316

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• Waterkloof • Waterkloof Glen • Waverley • Waterkloof Ridge • Willow Park Manor

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South Africa is one of the most diverse and enchanting countries in the world. With eight world heritage sites, a multitude of game reserves and national parks, over 1350 ha of national botanical gardens, and exotic combinations of landscapes, people, history and culture, South Africa offers the traveller a unique and inspiring experience. Enjoy your stay in Pretoria!
Information about Austin Roberts Bird Sanctuary in Pretoria, Gauteng. Photographs, description and a list of nearby accommodation available
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