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Rietvlei Nature Reserve, Irene

Afrikaans name: Rietvlei Natuurreservaat

Rietvlei Nature Reserve, Irene

Rietvlei Nature Reserve

Photo © hannesthirion -


Rietvlei Dam was built during the great depression of the early 1930's. The dam is fed by the Sesmyl Spruit and provides some of Pretoria's water supply.

The Rietvlei Nature Reserve was established after the dam and was only opened to the general public in 1948. It is 3800 hectares in extent.

The main habitat in the reserve is typical Highveld grassland with clumps of trees here and there. Numerous exotic trees are in the process of being removed.

Rietvlei Nature Reserve offers a variety of things to do including birding, game viewing and fishing. The reserve is home to a wide varity of mammals and birds. Mammals to look for include Cheetah, Buffalo, White Rhino, Springbok and Red Hartebeest.

Although there is a yacht club no motorboats are allowed on the dam.

The Rietvlei Coffee Shop is a very popular stopping point in the reserve where one can get light meals and other refreshments. It is also a great place to have a braai. There are a number of braai facilities along Marais Dam which is an incredibly popular place during lunch times on weekends! While at Marais Dam spend some time at Hippo View hide. Not only might you see Hippos but you should see some very large Barbel as well!

Dawn at the dam

Dawn at the Rietvlei Dam

Photo © Johan van Zyl

Coffee shop

The coffee shop is a popular stopping point

Photo © Johan van Zyl

Some of the animals that may be seen at Rietvlei:

Black-backed Jackal


White Rhino

Burchell's Zebra


Cape Buffalo





Mountain Reedbuck


Red Hartebeest



Black Wildebeest

Common Ostrich

African Black Duck

Yellow-billed Duck

African Grey Hornbill

White-fronted Bee-eater

Red-eyed Dove

Common Moorhen

Crowned Lapwing

Black-shouldered Kite

African Spoonbill

African Stonechat

Long-tailed Paradise-Whydah

Banded Groundling

Brown Hyena



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