Dick Dent Bird Sanctuary

Photo courtesy Damien du Toit

The Dick Dent Bird Sanctuary is located in a natural wetland populated with waterfowl, migrant waders and Ethiopian snipe.

The Dick Dent Bird Sanctuary – in Broadway Boulevard, opposite Victoria Road in Somerset West – boasts a bird hide that’s a boon for ornithologists and wildlife photographers.

The sanctuary was formerly a wastewater treatment works located close to the Lourens River estuary. Today the 10ha (25 acre) site has become a natural wetland that is home to many coastal and wading birds, and it enjoys conservation status as part of the Lourens River Protected Natural Environments.

Birding enthusiasts belonging to the Somerset West Bird Club maintain the sanctuary with the help of a conservator who manages the Lourens River, Dick Dent and Harmony Flats Reserves for the City of Cape Town. Although there is huge potential for further development of this reserve, it is prone to vandalism because it is isolated.  For this reason, it is recommended that visitors travel in groups to the spot.

The Western Cape province has the greatest diversity of alien bird species in South Africa. Of these, the mute swan has become locally extinct, apart from a single wandering bird that is spotted on occasion at Dick Dent.

The 23km (14mi) long Lourens River runs from the Hottentots Holland mountains to Strand, through fynbos, alien plantations, farmland and built environments.

  • Contact person: Brian Dennis
  • Phone: +27 (0) 21 855 3945
  • Physical Address: Broadway Boulevard
    Somerset West

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