The reserve, which was formally proclaimed in 2006, represents the last functional estuary on the False Bay coastline. As such, it functions as a fish hatchery, nursery and habitat for many animals, especially birds. Many endangered species also find refuge at Zandvlei.
Location of Zandvlei
- Zandvlei is situated between 34 degrees 05′ 00′ S – 34 degrees 06′ 30″ S and
18 degrees 27′ 30″ E – 18 degrees 29′ 00″E.
- It is 25 kms south of Cape Town, on the South Peninsula. The mouth of Zandvlei opens into False Bay, at Muizenberg.
- The catchment of Zandvlei extends furthest north to the source of the Diep River above the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens about 15kms away and then enters Zandvlei as the Sand River in the north east. Streams from the Penninsula Mountains feed the Keysers and the Westlake Rivers which flow into Zandvlei from the north west. The main waterbody is about 96 hectares. The average total annual rainfall is between 450 – 700mm.
- Zandvlei is rated in the top 25% in importance of all the estuaries along the South Africa coastline.
It is 43 out of the total of 256.
- At mid summer the sun angle is 79 degrees above the north horizon and mid winter it is 33 degrees.
- Day time air temperatures can range from 40 to 5 C degrees in mid summer to mid winter. Mean seasonal average day temparature is 22 C degrees. Air temparature and wind strength does vary and is influenced by local geographical conditions. Humidity levels are low, due mainly to the prevailling cool winds from the sea, in the south east and from the north west directions.
Visitors are encouraged to take the 1.5km circular walk, along which picnic tables and two bird hides have been erected. Information posters aid in identification and will help to broaden your knowledge of endemic birds and animals found here. Zandvlei offers a fun outing for children and nature lovers. There is also an environmental education centre in the reserve.