Zandvlei Estuary Nature Reserve

Zandvlei Estuary Nature Reserve, which borders Lakeside, Marina da Gama, Muizenberg and Steenberg is under threat from pollution, encroaching urbanisation and poaching

Western Cape Game and Nature ReservesThe Zandvlei Estuary Nature Reserve

It is not often that such a large nature reserve occurs amidst an area dense in residential suburbs. Zandvlei Estuary, which borders Lakeside, Marina da Gama, Muizenberg and Steenberg is very much under threat from pollution, encroaching urbanisation and poaching as a result.

Zandvlei Estuary Nature Reserve protects the only functioning estuary, wetland, river system combination on the False Bay coast. It supports a series of indigenous fish, and young marine fish that use the estuary as a nursery where they can grow in safety.

Here you'll find 10 threatened plants that include the critically endangered Cape Flats conebush and gonnabos.

The Zandvlei reserve protects 198 plant species in total, three of which are found only in the City of Cape Town. The Cape clawless otter, porcupine, Cape dune mole rat and water mongoose make Zandvlei their home, whilst over 149 species of bird that include the African fish eagle and great flamingo live on the estuary. At the same time as preserving, the estuary functions as a recreational area, particularly at Lakeside where windsurfers and picknickers regularly access the reserve to sit on its banks.

Fishing is strictly monitored. Anglers are encouraged instead to 'catch, tag and release' fish so that the local fish population is not further threatened. There are minimum catch sizes in place and bag limits, to protect the young fish that need the chance to breed.

There is a 1.5km circular walk along which picnic tables and two bird hides have been built.

Visitors can access the reserve from Lakeside train station and off Main Road. The Environmental Education Centre, on the northern side of the reserve, is accessed from Steenberg Station or Coniston Road off Military Road in Steenberg.

Popular Activities in or near Zandvlei Estuary Nature Reserve

Explore Silvermine


The Silvermine Nature Reserve forms part of the Table Mountain National Park and is an important conservation area for indigenous fynbos vegetation. Entrance to the Reserve is at the top of Ou Kaapse Weg where a small fee is charged...

More info and contact details: Explore the Silvermine Nature Reserve

Greater Zandvlei Estuary

Where? Muizenberg
The Greater Zandvlei Estuary Nature Reserve is a 2000 hectare wetland, river system and estuary situated on the False Bay coast, close to Marina Da Gama in the suburb of Muizenberg. The last functional estuary on the False Bay Coast, the reserve...

More info and contact details: Greater Zandvlei Estuary Nature Reserve

Did you know?

Zandvlei supports a series of indigenous fish, and young marine fish that use the estuary as a nursery where they can grow in safety.

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