Nylsvlei Nature Reserve Hot

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Nylsvlei Nature Reserve is best known as the largest floodplain in South Africa and is a RAMSAR wetland.

Best known for its large numbers of waterbirds, Nylsvlei Nature Reserve is also an excellent bushveld birding destination within easy reach from Johannesburg. The autumn months after good rains cause the floodplain to fill and this attracts thousands of waterbirds including herons, egrets and many of the secretive species such as crakes and gallinules. Waterfowl are common with White-Faced and Fulvous Ducks being the most regularly encountered. The beautiful African Pygmy Goose is another regular together with African Jacana’s. The bushveld that lies adjacent to the wetlands is excellent for Crimson Breasted Shrike, Arrow-Marked Babbler and Woodlands Kingfisher to name but a few. Many species of raptor also occur and night birding can be extremely rewarding with owls and nightjars being encountered.


Best Time to Photograph
Early mornings and evenings are best for driving along the road network to search for photographic subjects. Early to mid-morning is best at the hides.
Type of Photography
Best Time of Year
Photographic Tips
Timing your visit to the period between March and May after good rains is best as this is when the floodplain attracts thousands of waterbirds.Mosquito's can be problematic.
Recommended Gear
Window mount and telephoto lenses are a must for photographing birds, while a bean-bag is useful and better than a tripod when photographing from the hides.


Site Highlights
Thousands of waterbirds of numerous species can be encountered during periods when the floodplain is full.


Season and Weather
Summers are hot with afternoon rainstorms, while winters are mild and pleasant.
Other Activities
Bird Watching


Closest Town
Getting There
Access lies off the N1 highway at the Modimolle turnoff at the Kranskop tollgate. Follow the sign posts on the R101. The last section of the road is gravel but is easily passable by small vehicles.
Nylsvlei Nature Reserve


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Peter Chadwick
Author: Peter ChadwickWebsite: http://www.peterchadwick.co.zaEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
As a dedicated conservationist, Peter Chadwick has 30 years strategic and operational conservation experience in terrestrial and marine protected area management. He has worked within all of the major biomes in southern Africa as well as having provided expert conservation advice at a global level. His conservation and wildlife photography is a natural extension to his conservation work where he has numerous opportunities to capture photographs that showcase the beauty and complexity of the outdoors. Peter’s photography is internationally recognized, with this work appearing globally in a wide range of print and electronic media.