Berg Estuary

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.