About Grootvaly Wetland Reserve

Part of the only Ramsar site (wetland of international importance) in Gauteng, Grootvaly Wetland Reserve lies off Welgedacht Road, just 4 km outside the Highveld town of Nigel. It is 350 hectares of high altitude wetland that extends along the Blesbokspruit, a small river that is a tributary of the greater Vaal River.

Did you know? The Wetland Reserve spans 22 km between the R555 and the R22. It is 7 km wide and 1 000 hectares.

Grootvaly isn't the only wetland on the river. While it lies to the north of Blesbokspruit, Marievale Bird Sanctuary is at its southern end. Collectively the two form the Blesbokspruit Wetland Reserve.

Interestingly, Blesbokspruit continues flowing until it reaches Suikerbosrand, and then the Vaal River.

Grootvaly is wonderful for birds. The combination of open water, reed beds and marshy ground edged with grasses, and sedges that are sometimes in flood, attract a fantastic group of water birds and waders.

Various duck species, Hottentot teal and Cape shoveler are consistent visitors, whilst in winter capped wheatears and sentinel rock thrushes are sometimes sighted.

The grasses are awash with bishops and widows, finches and waxbills. Collectively the two wetlands atract well over 265 species of bird. The two bird hides at Grootvaly are the wheelchair-friendly Sappi Hide, overlooking open spaces on the Blesbokspruit, which gives a bird's eye view of swallows and waterbirds, and a recently built raised hide over the vlei.

The self-drive gravel road to the picnic area is well worth driving as it is hemmed in by pans, giving you access to birds from all sides.

Amazing to think that Grootvaly and Marievale were the byproducts of mining in the area. Most of the water that now fills the pans and vleis comes from industry downstream.

Some of the wetland belongs to AngloGold, whilst a handful of properties inbetween the two wetlands is in the hands of individuals and companies – a difficult status to manage from a conservation perspective.

In particular there is a constant battle against reed infestation. And the water flowing into the spruit is high in nutrients that act as a fertiliser, making this battle all the more difficult. At least mine water is no longer pumped into the wetland.

Need to Know

WhereGrootvaly Wetland Reserve, Welgedacht Road, just 4 km outside the town of Nigel, East Rand, Gauteng, South Africa

WhenBest during daylight hours.

Telephone+27 (0)11 360-2203

OvernightStay in Nigel Accommodation, Gauteng

Disclaimer

Please note, business details can change. While we endeavour to ensure all information provided by the service provider is correct at the time of publication, we do not assume any liability caused by errors or changes, such as price, cost, time, and location. Please check with the provider that the activity/business is still offered as described, before making any travel plans.

Feedback?

If this is your reserve, you can let us know if anything on this page is outdated or contains inaccuracies, by email. We regret, we do not have any other information, please contact the provider if you have questions.

In the vicinity

Hotels & other accommodation options in East Rand

Noteworthy attractions

Accommodation near Grootvaly Wetland Reserve

FIND / South Africa Accommodation / Gauteng Accommodation / Johannesburg Accommodation / East Rand Accommodation / Nigel Accommodation

Nigel as a destination

Want to stay overnight?

Number of Guests

  • Secure your booking
Our Payment Protection Guarantee only applies if your deposit payment is made via SA-Venues.com
Game Reserves
  • Nigel

SA-Venues.com has been assisting travellers with their South Africa travel plans since 1999, and is the largest, independent online travel guide for South Africa available in both English and German.