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The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa

Marievale Bird Sanctuary

Afrikaans name:

One of the hides at Marievale

Marievale Bird Sanctuary

Photo © Johan van Zyl


Marievale Bird Sanctuary is also known as Marievale Nature Reserve. It is located near the town of Nigel.

The reserve is a birding hotspot and around 300 species of birds have been recorded. The main attraction are the waterbirds which flock to the floodplains of the Blesbokspruit River. Some of the species to look for include Marsh Owl, African Grass Owl, Goliath Heron, Purple Heron, Squacco Heron, Caspian Tern and many more.

There are four hides in the reserve which give good opportunities to birders and photographers alike.

Although the birds are the major attraction there is a chance of seeing Blesbok, Reedbuck, Cape Clawless Otters and other small mammals.

Entrance to the reserve is free.

View from one of the hides

Above - View from one of the hides

Photo © Johan van Zyl

Marievale buildings

Marievale Bird Sanctuary

Photo © Johan van Zyl


References and further reading

Atlas of National Parks and Reserves of South Africa - Author: Marielle Renssen - Year Published: 2006 - Page: 114

Birding Hotspots - Author: Trevor Hardaker - Year Published: 2007 - Page: 26

Birding in Transvaal - Author: - Year Published: - Page: 21

Chris and Tilde Stuart's Guide to Southern African Game and Nature Reserves - Author: Chris and Tilde Stuart - Year Published: 1989 - Page: 48

Go Birding in the Transvaal - Author: Brendan Ryan and John Isom - Year Published: 1990 - Page: 21

go! - Issue 085 - Author: - Year Published: 2013 - Page: 32

go! - Issue 087 - Author: - Year Published: 2013 - Page: 16

Insider's Guide - Top Wildlife Photography Spots in South Africa - Author: Shem Compion - Year Published: 2010 - Page: 65

Reader's Digest Illustrated Guide to the Game Parks and Nature Reserves of Southern Africa - 2nd edi - Author: Editor - Alan Duggan - Year Published: 1991 - Page: 101

Top Birding Spots in Southern Africa - Author: Hugh Chittenden - Year Published: 1992 - Page: 169

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