Rondevlei birds

Rondevlei has five bird hides and two look-out towers, making it an excellent site for bird watching and photography.

Rondevlei bird hides


After entering Rondevlei, a path takes you to the first look-out tower providing wonderful vista views, and a small chance of seeing the resident hippos further out in the lake. Towards the water’s edge is a restaurant (non functioning) but it is worth stopping on the the veranda to look for birds on the water or on a bank.

Walking south along the path there are 6 bird hides, named after ornithologists and conservationists (stories of the bird hide names are here).

Bird hide 1 – Jerry & Mariette Broekhuysen

Purple Swamphen foraging – may come out at any of the hides


Bird hide 2 – Ernest Middlemiss

View from Middlemiss hide


Bird hide 3 – Howard Langley

This hide crosses a stream and one has views on both sides of the walk-through hide. Usually not too many birds here, but certainly birds do pass by here.

Common Waxbill on path between hides


Bird hide 4 – PatricK Wheeler

This hide views open water with a bank on the far side that is favoured for resting by a variety of waterbirds through the day.

Ducks – Hottentot Teal, Red-billed Teal, Yellow-billed Duck, Cape Shovelor (male)


Bird hide 5 – Jack & Marjorie Winterbottom

Winterbottom hide and tower


Bird hide 6 – Frank & Phyllis Scotto

The furthest hide looks onto open water and a sand bank in the water that also attracts a variety of waterbirds that rest here at different times. Species include gulls, cormorants and darters, spoonbills, egrets, and pelicans.


Scotto hide


Waterbirds from Scotto hide – Grey Heron, Hartlaub’s Gulls, Kelp Gulls, White-breasted Cormorant resting on submerged sandbank


Kelp Gull bathing – note the sandbar now just below the water level
Dieter is a qualified Bird Ringer and trainer, registered bird guide, and Weaver expert. Dieter is able to act as a bird guide for day trips in Cape Town, and is able to customise birds tours in South Africa and beyond.