The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa

Marievale Bird Sanctuary

Afrikaans name: Marievale-voëlreservaat

One of the hides at Marievale

Marievale Bird Sanctuary

Photo © Johan van Zyl


Marievale Bird Sanctuary is also known as Marievale Nature Reserve. It is located near the town of Nigel.

The reserve is a birding hotspot and around 300 species of birds have been recorded. The main attraction are the waterbirds which flock to the floodplains of the Blesbokspruit River. Some of the species to look for include Marsh Owl, African Grass Owl, Goliath Heron, Purple Heron, Squacco Heron, Caspian Tern and many more.

There are four hides in the reserve which give good opportunities to birders and photographers alike.

Although the birds are the major attraction there is a chance of seeing Blesbok, Reedbuck, Cape Clawless Otter and other small mammals.

Entrance to the reserve is free.

What did you see on your visit to Marievale?

View from one of the hides

Above - View from one of the hides

Photo © Johan van Zyl

Marievale buildings

Marievale Bird Sanctuary

Photo © Johan van Zyl

References and further reading

Southern African Birdfinder - Author: Cohen, Spottiswoode and Rossouw - Published: 2006 - Page: 162

The Chamberlain Guide to Birding Gauteng - Author: Etienne Marais and Faansie Peacock - Published: 2008 - Page: 226

The Rough Guide to Game Parks of South Africa - Author: P. Briggs - Published: 2020 - Page: 60

Top Birding Spots in Southern Africa - Author: Hugh Chittenden - Published: 1992 - Page: 169

Illustrated Guide to the Game Parks and Nature Reserves of SA - 2nd edn - Author: Readers Digest - Published: 1991 - Page: 101

Insiders Guide - Top Wildlife Photography Spots in South Africa - Author: Shem Compion - Published: 2010 - Page: 65

go! - Issue 085 - Author: - Published: 2013 - Page: 32

go! - Issue 087 - Author: - Published: 2013 - Page: 16

Go Birding in the Transvaal - Author: Brendan Ryan and John Isom - Published: 1990 - Page: 21

Atlas of National Parks and Reserves of South Africa - Author: Marielle Renssen - Published: 2006 - Page: 114

Birding Hotspots - Author: Trevor Hardaker - Published: 2007 - Page: 26

Chris and Tilde Stuarts Guide to Southern African Game and Nature Reserves - Author: Chris and Tilde Stuart - Published: 1989 - Page: 48

Country Life - Issue 280 - Author: - Published: 2019 - Page: 70


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