site zip: AF ZA CPT 0208 | neighborhood: Cape Town, Cape Winelands, Cape Country Routes | region: South Africa

 Family Activities | Things to Do   CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA

Intaka Island Wetland and Bird Sanctuary

Intaka Island is a 16 hectare (40 acre) wetland and bird sanctuary in the heart of Century City, roughly 7km (4.2 miles) from Cape Town city center. When Canal Walk mall and Century City development began back in 1996 the developers noticed that a section of the wetland was a breeding site for a number of birds. It was agreed that the wetland should be saved and developed into a nature reserve. Here, visitors and residents of Century City can unwind in a natural environment, just a "stone's throw" from Canal Walk mall and just a few kilometers from Cape Town's V&A Waterfront.

An eco center was erected which serves as a platform for educating children about the wetland and its inhabitants.

Seven habitats, both wet and dry, have been created on the island and these serve to support 120 bird species and 213 plant species. On a typical visit, guests can expect to see up to 70 different species of birds.

Self Guided Trail:

Visitors pay a gate entrance fee to access Intaka Island, where they are free to explore the reserve trails. The circular trail is 2km (1.2 miles) long and there is a shorter 1km (0.6 mile) trail. This shorter trail is stroller and wheelchair friendly. There are 9 information stations along the trail that explain more about the different plants, birds and water creatures that thrive in the reserve.

Pamphlets and bird checklists are available at reception for anyone who wishes to keep track of the wildlife and birdlife they spot within the reserve.

Canal ferry - and visiting nature lovers

All photos on this page by Intaka Island Eco Centre

Intaka Island Access:

Winter months - May through September: Daily from 7:30am – 5:30pm
Summer months - October through April: Daily from 7:30am – 7:00pm
Closed on December 25th

Activities that require prior booking:

Intaka Island bird lifeGuided Trails need to be booked prior to arrival because a Field Ranger will guide visitors to the nine stations on the island. As you walk with the Ranger, s(he) will point out the wetland plant life and the birds and animals living on the reserve. The guided trail is included in the gate entrance fee but it is important to book a guide ahead of time to make sure that a ranger is available.

Century City Ferry – Visitors can book a 35 minute ferry ride that travels on the Grand Canal and around Intaka Island. During the South African school holidays the ferry may be used as a hop on hop off option at Canal Walk Shopping Mall and Crystal Towers. The ferry operates daily, from 10am to 4pm.

Photo by Intaka Island Eco Centre

Activities that do not require prior booking:

Bird watching – Intaka island has a population of around 120 bird species. Serious bird watchers and photographers can spend time in one of the two bird hides.

Recreational non motorized boating – Century City invites canoeists and dragon boat rowers to use the 8km (4.8 miles) of protected canals for leisure trips. No motorized boats are allowed. This is a private canal however and interested parties should contact the Century City Canoe Club for information on permits and admission.

Bird ringing at Intaka Island

[10:44 min] [Attribution: Dennis Laidler]

Some footage of bird ringing at Intaka Island at Century City, Cape Town.
October 2011

Bookings and Contact Information:

Call Tel: +27 (0) 21 552 6889
Visit Intaka Website for Intaka Island entry fees and further information.
On arrival, walk across the circular canal bridge from the parking lot to the ticket office and the Intaka Island Environmental Education Center. Guides will be waiting here to meet with guests.

Cape Town Attractions

| Highlights of Cape Town | Bo-Kaap | Cape Town and Peninsula Beaches |
| Camps Bay | Clifton Beaches | Cape Peninsula Attractions | Castle of Good Hope |
| Groot Constantia Wine Estate | Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens |Robben Island |
| Table Mountain | V&A Waterfront | Winelands and Wine Routes |

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