Rocherpan Nature Reserve, Velddrif

#130 of 253 in Parks in Western Cape
Nature / Park · Wildlife Area
Rocherpan Nature Reserve is a nature reserve on the West Coast of Western Cape, South Africa. It borders the sea, about 25 km (16 mi) north of Velddrif on the road between Velddrif and Laaiplek to Elands Bay, and is north of Dwarskersbos. The reserve occupies an area of 1,080 ha (2,700 acres).
In 1839, Pierre Rocher dredged the mouth of the Papkuils River and used water drawn from the Auroraberg Mountains to make better pasture for his cattle behind the dunes. In the process, he unwittingly established ideal bird habitat. During the Cape rainy season, the lagoon fills an area of 110 ha (270 acres) and is around 6 km (3.7 mi) long and up to 2 m (6 ft 7 in) deep. From March to June, however, the lake is dry. 183 species of birds (including 70 of waterfowl) can be found here, including, among others, the great white pelican (Pelecanus onocrotalus), the African oystercatcher (Haematopus moquini), and the greater flamingo. There is also a hatching ground for the Cape shoveler(Anas smithii) From June to September, whales frequent the coast. In the spring, the veld often features the Namaqualand bloom.

The lake was declared a nature reserve in 1966. Since 1988, the area 500 m (1,600 ft) from the coast has been a marine reserve. In the park are hiking trails, two bird hides, and an untouched beach.

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Rocherpan Nature Reserve reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
73 reviews
  • The cottages are simply designed and perfectly kitted out. Nicely spaced apart providing each unit with privacy. The swimming pool provided respite from the heat. The bird hides were well maintained.....  more »
  • We stayed 3 nights in "Coot" cottage. It was superbly comfortable, clean and well appointed. Lovely view of the waterfilled pan and flamingo flocks. The Eco toilet was something new to us which...  more »
  • Beautiful & peaceful birding spot. Had lovely walks, private runs on the secluded beach. The cottages are very well designed for privacy, well-equipped and comfortable. And there is a pool.
  • Amazingly beautiful place to take some time off on the West Coast. Only 2 hours from Cape Town. Lots of birds and some nice easy hiking trails. Accommodation is well appointed and comfortable.
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