Tag Archives: birdwatching

Birdwatching at Intaka Island in Century City, Cape Town (2016-09-18) Photo Gallery | Travel Attractions 15 MAR 2017

It is not exactly hidden, but if you only ever travel to Century City for the Canal Walk mall, Virgin Active gym, or Ratanga Junction theme park, then you may have missed the incredibly enjoyable nature experience lurking within its boundaries – Intaka Island.

Situated in the heart of Century City (which is about 7 km away from Cape Town CBD), Intaka Island is a large 16 ha wetland and bird sanctuary conservation area.

Intaka, which means bird in Xhosa, was actually setup by the main Century City developer Rabie – in response to the environmental impact assessment (EIA) which preceded whole area development – with the result being the creation of this sublime multi-purpose nature reserve.

In terms of credentials and recognition, well Intaka Island did receive the Voluntary Conservation Status from Cape Nature in October 2006, and to further their newly entrusted mission, the Intaka Trust followed up with the construction of a modern Environmental Education Centre, opening its doors to the public in 2010.

The site contains numerous paths for exploration (the longer round trip is 2 km in length) and bird watching (essentially it is littered with viewing platforms and bird hides wherever you look) – well worth it if you consider that over 120 different bird species call this unique area home!

Paradise for birders, photographers and nature lovers then.

Funnily enough, despite visiting the adjacent Central Park for many a year prior, I had never set foot on Intaka Island before last year September, when I decided to convince Chantelle that the girls would love a trip out that way.

Naturally, I was completely wrong.

It was hot, the girls weren’t interested in the surroundings, the path was too long, and basically they moaned for most of the walk.

Charming.

(Thankfully, they both loved the boat ride on the Canal that followed our little walkabout – meaning that all was soon forgiven!)

In other words, I need to make a plan on going back out there on my own, without the little ones in tow. So in summary then: Intaka Island is well worth a visit, though you may wish to give it a skip if you have little ones with a strong aversion to walking!

Also, if you have a camera, be sure not to leave it at home.

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Also, just in case you want to got and do some birdwatching yourself, here’s a handy map:

Related Link: Intaka Island | Century City

Grand Canal Boat Ride aboard the Intaka Island Ferry at Century City (2016-09-18) Photo Gallery | Travel Attractions 20 NOV 2016

In September I took Chantelle and the girls for a bit of a bird watching stroll in the beautiful, 16 ha large wetland and bird sanctuary, Intaka Island – which is situated literally right in the heart of the architecturally beautiful Century City development.

dav

The weather was of course beautiful, the birdlife plentiful – and of course, the girls didn’t really like the long, hot walk at all.

However, what they did enjoy was climbing and playing on the two beautifully restored, plinth-mounted old steam trains outside the entrance to Intaka Island (right across from the Clubhouse and Century City’s Central Park), and even more so, the prospect of going on a boat ride along the Grand Canal on the Intaka Island Ferry.

dav

Tickets for the ferry were bought as part of the entrance package into Intaka Island, and so we made doubly sure that we were back at the boat for the prescribed launch time – not that the girls would have let us miss it anyway!

sdr

The short boat ride is actually pretty cool – essentially you get taken out into the waterways surrounding Intaka Island, circle the island and then head onto the Grand Canal, passing through under the massive Knightsbridge towers and then heading all the way down to the beautiful African Pride Crystal Towers Hotel, where you turn around and head back towards the island again.

dav

The  architecture of Century City is of course amazing (seriously, Canal Walk and Ratanga Junction is not Century City. Do yourself a favour and walk out back if you have never done so before – explore the beautiful pathways and art installations that makes Century City such a serene jewel in the first place!), and thanks the the plexiglass and shaded roof, the trip is quite a comfortable one.

sdr

Jessica of course walked up and down the boat for pretty much the entire trip, spending most of it hanging over the side to get a better look. (That was of course until the two of them spotted the cute little puppy that was also onboard for the ride!)

dav

All in all, well worth tacking on a boat ride the next time your find yourself buying a ticket into Intaka Island!

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Also, Intaka Island is worth checking out if you’d quite enjoy a spot of birdwatching:

Related Link: Intaka Island | Century City | Canal Walk