Die Oog Conservation Area

Lakeview Avenue
Bergvliet
Cape Town

Die Oog Conservation Area

Bird and Wildlife WatchingPublic Forest/Natural AreaEnvironmental EducationEco-Tour/Nature Walk

Overview

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Die Oog is a small conservation area located on what was once a dam on Bergvliet Farm. The dam was built sometime between 1716 and 1764 as a link to the Spanschemat furrow. It was later converted into a recreational lake owned by the Eksteen family, who used it to entertain their guests. The Eksteens even introduced swans to the lake, and created an artificial island.

Bergvliet Farm originally occupied most of the Constantia Valley, but was repeatedly subdivided into smaller patches of land. In 1982, a small remnant was designated a zoned public open space and named Die Oog. The City of Cape Town and the Bergvliet and Meadowridge Ratepayers’ Association provided fences, benches and planted indigenous trees and shrubs, and the Friends of Die Oog Conservation Area were formed to help maintain and improve the site. The Friends group successfully secured funding for signage, wheelchair-friendly paths, a viewing platform, and improvement of the amenities. They have also initiated environmental education programmes, and are managing a website about Die Oog.

Die Oog is one of the few remaining breeding sites for the endangered Western leopard toad (Amietophrynus pantherinus), and the ‘roaring’ of the toads when they arrive in Die Oog in August to breed, is one of the true wonders of nature. The site has five different biodiverse areas: granite fynbos, which turns into a sea of colour in spring; the dam itself; the artificial island, which is a major roosting site for cattle egret (Bubulcusibis), reed cormorant (Phalacrocorax africanus) and sacred ibis (Threskiornis aethiopicus); a seasonal wetland below the dam wall that leads to the Keyser River; and sanctuary and recreational areas planted with silver trees (Leucadendron argenteum) and ericas.

At night, the island sometimes hosts over 1 000 birds, such as coots, dabchicks (also known as little grebe; Tachybaptus ruficollis), moorhens, yellow-billed ducks (Anas undulata) and Egyptian geese (Alopochen aegyptiacus). Black sparrowhawks (Accipiter melanoleucus) are fairly common, whilst the Cape weaver (Ploceuscapensis), the hadeda ibis (Bostrychia hagedash), reed cormorant and the dikkop are all breeding residents.

The Cape clawless otter (Aonyx capensis), water mongoose (Atilax paludinosusis) and porcupine (Hystrix africaeaustralis) have also been observed, and besides the famous Western leopard toad, the common clawed frog (platanna; Xenopus laevis) and the clicking stream frog (Strongylopus grayii)add to the amphibians of Die Oog.

ADDRESS: Lakeview and Midwood Avenues, Bergvliet

OPENING HOURS: 07:00-19:00 daily

SIZE: 1,2 ha

ENTRANCE FEE: None

PUBLIC TRANSPORT: Taxi

ACTIVITIES:Walking, birdwatching and quiet recreation. (Dogs, sports games and swimming are not allowed.) Guided visits can be arranged through the Friends of Die Oog.

ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION: For school learner programmes, contact the Friends of Die Oog.

FRIENDS GROUP: Friends of Die Oog. Contact the Friends of Die Oog Tel/fax 021 715 8665, email: mppearce@lantic.net (Friends of Die Oog), vistie their website: www.dieoog.org.za

City Parks Tel 021 762 9180
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