Western Cape Tourist AttractionsThe Intaka Island
A green lung in the midst of built up Century City, Intaka Island is a series of natural wetlands and manmade islands that emerged as a result of an Environmental Impact Report suggesting the preservation of a portion of the area when building, then heavily inundated with alien vegetation wetlands and fynbos.
Where? Corner of Summer Green road and Century Boulevard, Century City, Blaauwberg
When? Open every day from 07h30 to 17h00
How? Call +27 (0)21 552-6889
The sixteen hectare nature reserve lies within 250 hectares worth of concrete, yet boasts 125 species of bird and 170 different species of plant. You can get there either by walking across a bridge across the canal, or you can catch the Century City Ferry along the canals from the shopping centre. If you have your own boat you can buy a permit that allows you to row along the water for a year – no motorised boats allowed, obviously.
Intaka means 'bird' in Xhosa and is an example of how nature conservation can co-exist with extensive development, providing a sanctuary amidst the hustle and bustle of shopping, business and residential properties.
The new Visitors' Centre, funded by corporate and private donations, is a tribute to environmentally friendly living and includes solar panels, photovoltaics, wind turbines, grey water systems, rain water harvesting, compost and worm farms, and recycling.
If you want an idea of what it is to live without impact on the environment, this is where to see it. There are a number of bird hides on the island, there is a wheelchair friendly path, grysbok have been re-introduced to the area, and flamingos are said to come here during winter.
The ferry operates between 10am and 4pm and the nature reserve is open every day from 7.30am until 5pm.