Friday, 28 November 2008
Last week, when we walked around the periphery of Intaka Island, I said to my husband that it was the best Cape Town nature experience I have had since the trees were removed from Rietvlei.
We had a wonderful morning, and I also mentioned that Intaka island must be the best kept nature secret in South Africa.
Allan Liebenberg, nature conservation spokes person for the area, explained that they created seven natural habitats for birds and then allowed nature to do the rest.
I think the emphasis must be on the word CREATE.
This is not a daydream. This is the reward of careful planning and hard work that we see here.
This morning was our second visit to Intaka Island or should I say our third visit, because we visited this place once when it was still called Blouvlei.
We packed a picnic bag and armed with our cameras, binoculars, my faithful note pad and pencil, we set off on the fifteen-minute drive from our home.
We decided to drive straight to the entrance gate.
Since we walked from Century City around the periphery of the canal last time, we had some difficulty finding the island by car, because there are hardly any signs to show us the direction and the brochure is not much help either.
It did not take us too long to find it though. We took one or two wrong turns.
The entrance gate itself is also a bit hidden, as the signage has not been completed yet. We just looked for the two train steam engines we knew was at the entrance.
We paid our entrance fees after having a bit of a chat with the friendly access control staff.
The gate fees are R8 per person and only R4 for pensioners and children. Season tickets are also available.
For anyone wanting to photograph birds in their natural habitat, this is the place to be.
The brochure promised:
What to see and do:
• Bird Watching
• Self guided trails
• Breeding heronry (award winning)
• 177 species of indigenous plants
• 120 bird species
• 7 different habitats
• 45 minute Nature trail (2 Km)
It also offers:
• Guided group tours
• Bird hides
• School tours / educational programs
• Viewing platforms
• Plants and seeds.
From the start we were enchanted. When we got to what they call the "breeding heronry" we did not expect to be photographing birds right in front of us.
They were so close, that even I with my 1,5 mega-pixel camera could capture them.
I shall leave the photographs to explain the rest.
Intaka Island is an ideal venue for writers with writers block. While this place is such a well-kept secret, it is quiet on weekdays. We saw two other visitors from a distance, but we never bumped into them. There are seven rest stops to choose from. I am sure the inspiration will flow.
Awesome! Five stars for them. At a scale of 1 to 10 I give them 20.
INFO: (021) 552 6889