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Paarl Bird Sanctuary.

This is a working partnership with the Drakenstein Municipality and the Cape Bird Club.


Monthly bird counts take place, usually on the last Saturday morning in the month.
Anyone interested in helping can contact Gilbert Reinhardt at  079 130 7876 for details of starting time and meeting place.

Setting the scene and a bit of history.
The Paarl Bird Sanctuary, set against the magnificent backdrop of the Du Toit’s Kloof mountains and Paarl Rock, is one of South Africa’s best birding sites for waterfowl. It forms an integral part of the Drakenstein Waste Water Treatment Works, covering some 41ha and with five large areas of open water which are the maturation or back-up ponds. The sanctuary was the fulfilment of the ambition of Paarl’s Municipal Engineering Department and some enthusiastic birders and was officially recognised by the then Town Council in 1993.

Special sightings.
Recent years have produced some special birds such as Squacco Heron, Goliath Heron, African Jacana and Fulvous Ducks. Others, such as Hottentot Teal, White-faced Ducks and Black Ducks are fairly regularly seen, as well as African Snipe. Hundreds of Greater Flamingos are to be seen on Pan E and the African Fish Eagle is often seen flying and heard calling overhead.

Gate hours and contacts.

NB.  Please note that until further notice the sanctuary area (beyond the Works security fence) will only be open on one Saturday in the month, i.e. on the days of the official monthly bird counts and strictly only between the hours of 09h00 and 11h00. This is due to ongoing maintenance work on the pans as well as security concerns. Currently two pans are dry and the water level in the remaining pans is very low.

There is no charge for entry to Paarl Bird Sanctuary, which will only be open on monthly bird counts which take place from 09h00 to 11h00 on the last Saturday morning of each month.

Viewing is permitted ONLY from the Yvonne Weiss lookout facility inside the Waste Water Treatment Works, overlooking Pans E2 and E3.
Visitors must remain within the security fence. An indemnity form must be signed at the entrance gate.

Special arrangements for group visits should be made beforehand with the Senior Superintendent, Mr. Jurie Jumart at 021 807 6307.

The information is supplied by Jo Hobbs.


See the article in the African Wildlife and Environment magazine Issue 72  – July 2019.

The Paarl Bird Sanctuary.

We do regular monthly counts as a group as well as bi-annual CWAC (Co-ordinated Waterfowl Annual Census) counts.
Why not join us and see what it is all about?

Bird Counts 2022.

Bird Counts 2021.

Bird Counts 2019.

Bird Counts 2017.

Bird Counts 2015.

Bird Counts 2020.

Bird Counts 2018.

Bird Counts 2016.

Bird Counts 2014.