Intaka Island

Right in the middle of urban suburbia is the last place one would expect to find a beautiful wetland that plays host to over 120 bird species and 177 species of indigenous fynbos plants – but Intaka is one such place.

This 16 hectare wetland is located in Century City which is +- 15 minutes from Cape Town CBD and is a perfect example of how nature conservation and urban development can live in harmony.

Intaka, which means bird in Xhosa, focuses on conserving threatened vegetation, water purification, being a habitat for breeding water birds as well as being an educational centre allowing school pupils to learn about conservation.

Upon arrival you are welcomed at the Eco Centre Reception where you can purchase a bird catalogue before heading out to the salt pan, bird hides and dipping pond to identify and tick off the various bird species, or perhaps a tranquil eco walk is more your style.

As mentioned above, there are some 120 bird species to be found at Intaka, some of my favourites being:
a) Giant Kingfisher
b) Little Bittern
c) Pied Kingfisher
d) Purple Heron
e) Malachite Kingfisher

Below are a few kingfisher photos taken recently:
1) Malachite Kingfisher – one of the smallest kingfishers at just 13cm in length. Diet consists of fish and large insects both which are swallowed whole, however larger fish are first beaten against branches before being consumed.

2) Pied Kingfisher – larger than the Malachite Kingfisher at about 25cm in length. Their diet mainly consists of fish and large acquatic insects and have been known to fly up to 50 km/h.

I would highly recommend Intaka to the whole family, so pop down next time you in the area!

Till next time…

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