False Bay Ecology Park, Western Cape
False Bay Ecology Park, FBEP for short, lies in Cape Town and is 1200 hectares that includes Rondevlei Nature Reserve and Zeekoevlei Nature Reserves, a strip of the coast, the Cape Flats Waste Water Treatment Works, and the Coast Park landfill site.
Aside from being a major green lung within the city, and supplying treatment and disposal of waste, the Reserve also has the potential for recreation, ecotourism, as well as social and economic upliftment.
Already its wetland system is amongst one of the top five bird watching areas in Southern Africa, according to Getaway magazine, and it is regarded as important for world migratory birds who use it either as a post or as a final destination on world migratory flight paths. Over 168 species of bird have been recorded, 76 of which are freshwater wetland species, and 18 coastal species that roost and breed here.
Most of the birds are found in what the False Bay Ecology Park calls the IBA, or Important Bird Area, and they are fairly proud of the fact that the abundance of water birds has increased since the 1950s. It helps that the IBA is so close to the ocean. The park is hard at work to conserve the local fauna and flora as a national heritage and a RAMSAR site in the future.
False Bay Ecology Park is also home to Cape Town's only hippo population.
Visit Rondevlei and walk the footpaths, use the bird hides to view birds (or hippos) and see the breeding colony of sacred ibis. There is also an aquarium and museum, and guided school outings. Take a boat trip to secluded water bird habitats, sail, row or catch fish on Zeekoeivlei, bird watch on the Waste Water Treatment Ponds, or surf on the stip of coastline that belongs to the park.