This is one of the latest Ramsar wetlands in South Africa that we have not visited yet. A more complete report will be posted once we have visited the wetland.
Designation date: 1 February 2022
The Berg River Estuary in the Western Cape follows the
lower stretch of the Berg River and is one of four perennial estuaries on the
west coast of Southern Africa. The closest town to the river mouth is Velddrif
(Laaiplek), about 200km north of Cape Town. The Ramsar site is from the R27
road bridge, up stream to the tidal extent of the estuary, approximately 61km
from the mouth, covering a total area of more than a 1,000 ha.
Although Cape Nature submitted the application for Ramsar
status, no formal management authority currently exists for Berg Estuary.
Various national, provincial and local departments are responsible for
different management aspects in and around the wetland.
About 127 species of waterbird have been recorded, some of
which are globally threatened such as the Cape cormorant or regionally
threatened such as the Caspian tern. The Site is also important for fisheries,
with communities of fish such as white steenbras and white stumpnose partially
or fully dependent on it for breeding.
The Berg estuary is a popular tourist destination for
South Africans and overseas tourists.