Intaka Island is an award-winning 16 hectare wetlands and bird sanctuary and is home to 177 species of indigenous fynbos plants (including 24 Red Data species that are threatened with extinction) and 120 bird species, many of which can be observed from two hides overlooking the wetland area. The whole area is contained within a 7km canal system that runs around the outer edge, thereby enhancing its sense of seclusion.
Intaka – which means 'bird' in Xhosa – is a unique example of nature conservation and urban development co-existing in harmony. Apart from its environmental significance, the area offers a place of solace to take a stroll (there's a 2km circular path and a 1km route), or relax and get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. In addition it has become one of Cape Town's best places for a spot of urban birding.
Courtesy : Intaka Island
When the development of Century City began in 1996, the 250 hectare area was largely covered by invasive alien vegetation (mainly Port Jackson acacias) and a number of degraded wetlands. A large number of water birds used one of these wetlands and the surrounding flooded vegetation as a breeding site.
In the environmental impact assessment (EIA) which preceded development, it was recommended that a multi-purpose nature reserve be created in the centre of Century City. The Century City property developer, Rabie Property Group, decided to do this, both as a contribution to conservation and to create an attractive and functional wetland for the Century City environment. Intaka Island is the result and it represents a uniquely successful union of conservation and property development.
Intaka Island received Voluntary Conservation Status from Cape Nature in October 2006 and the construction of an Environmental Education Centre was completed in 2010. Intaka Island and Eco-Centre now plays host to a range of visitors ranging from pensioners and school groups to corporate training functions and birthday parties.
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