Nuwejaars Wetlands Special Management Area

Protecting Nuwejaars Wetlands And Rivers

Nuwejaars Wetlands Special Management Area is a non-profit conservation organization that is the custodian of natural landscapes within the Agulhas Plain, in the Overberg region of South Africa. The area covers 46,000 hectares and is home to indigenous plants, birds and game that includes Buffalo and Hippo which have been reintroduced to their natural habitat after almost two hundred years. Safari-style guided tours of the Nuwejaars Wetlands Special Management Area depart from the Black Oystercatcher on a daily basis, and booking is essential if you are keen to join these educational outings To ensure that the Nuwejaars Wetlands Special Management Area is preserved for future generations to enjoy, the organization welcomes all sponsorships, donations and volunteer time.

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About

About

The Nuwejaars Wetlands Special Management Area is driven by landowners in-and-around the town of Elim with the purpose of working together to conserve 46,000 hectares of natural water systems and biodiverse landscapes on the Agulhas Plain in the Overberg. 

Vision

The conservation venture aims to create a sustainable ecology, which will ensure the protection of the Nuwejaars Wetland Ecosystem. In doing this the heritage and culture of the sub-region will be enhanced, social and environmental requirements will be met, community lifestyles compatible with environmental sustainability will be encouraged to leave a legacy that will be enjoyed by all for generations to come.

Birdlife

Birdlife

The Nuwejaars Wetlands Special Management Area is a birders paradise, in fact, the Agulhas Plains Birding Project has identified 235 species that live in or visit the wetlands, and this list continues to grow. 

Together with WWF and BirdLife South Africa, the organization addresses the threats to a vital stretch of birding habitat along the Nuwejaarsrivier.

Globally threatened bird species include:
  • Lesser flamingo  
  • Blue crane  
  • Denham’s bustard  
  • Southern black korhaan  
  • Secretary bird  
  • Martial eagle  
  • Black harrier  
  • Hottentot buttonquail
Regionally threatened bird species include:
  • African marsh harrier  
  • Lanner falcon  
  • African grass owl  
  • Greater flamingo  
  • Agulhas long-billed lark  
  • Striped flufftail  
  • Greater painted-snipe 
Interesting and unusual bird sightings include:
  • Montagu’s harrier  
  • African goshawk  
  • Amur falcon  
  • Southern pale chanting goshawk  
  • Wattled starling  
  • Tambourine dove  
  • Lemon dove  
  • African black swift  
  • Amethyst sunbird  
  • Blue-cheeked bee-eater  
  • European roller  
  • European honey buzzard  
  • Swee waxbill 

Not seen...yet

The much anticipated appearance of the Karoo Korhaan is yet to happen. Please alert the NWSMA team if you are the lucky birder who spots this elusive feathered beauty.

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Game Species

Game Species

Game species that you might see in the Nuwejaars Wetlands Special Management Area are: 

  • Buffalo
  • Hippo
  • Eland
  • Red hartebeest 
  • Fallow deer 
  • Springbuck 
  • Waterbuck
  • Rau quagga
  • Steenbuck 
  • Duiker 
  • Cape grysbok
  • Grey rhebok 
  • Egyptian mongoose
  • Small grey mongoose
  • Otter
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Guided Wildlife Tours

Guided Wildlife Tours

Nuwejaars Wetlands Special Management Area invites you to see for yourself what the bountiful rewards are that have come with the resuscitation and conservation of the area. 

Daily safari-style wildlife tours are now offered to the public. 

Morning Wildlife Tour

Cost:

  • R350 per person
  • Children under 12 years of age pay half-price

Duration:

  • 2 - 3 Hours 

Departure Time:

  • 08:30 for 09:00

Meeting Place:

  • Black Oystercatcher

Duration:

  • 2 - 3 Hours 

Includes:

  • Coffee and Rusks
Sunset Wildlife Tour

Cost: 

  • R400 per person
  • Children under 12 years of age pay half-price

Duration:

  • 2 hours

Meeting Place:

  • Black Oystercatcher

Departure Time:

  • 17:00 for 17:30

Includes:

  • Sundowners at sunset look-out point

Call Sumari Swart at 082 9395015 for more information and to book your seat or direct your enquiries and bookings to book@nuwejaars.com 

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School Outings

School Outings

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Nuwejaars Wetlands Special Management Area host guided educational outings for learners of all ages. 

Environmental Educational Officer, Liesbet Willemse has lived in the area since 2001 and joined the Nuwejaars Wetlands Special Management team in 2019. Liesbet’s main focus is to develop and support environmental education initiatives and introduce school going learners to the wonderful biodiversity of the Nuwejaars Wetlands Ecosystem.

For more information and to arrange an educational school outing for your learners, contact Liesbet Willemse at 082 8788563.
 

Research Projects

Research Projects

Nuwejaars Wetlands Special Management Area works with tertiary institutions by hosting and facilitating research projects. These institutions include but are not limited to:

  • University of Cape Town
  • University of the Western Cape
  • Stellenbosch University 
  • Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University
  • Cape Peninsula University of Technology 

Research projects have included studies on:

  • The impact of the reintroduction of the hippo on the Nuwejaars wetlands and peat rehydration The threatened Nuwejaars Redfin Minnow – threats and conservation opportunities
  • The relationship between invasive alien plants and birds of prey
  • The African Marsh Harrier - are numbers increasing due to the invasive alien clearing?
  • The impact of floods on the Nuwejaars River and its tributaries
  • The impact on water flow following the invasive alien clearing programme
  • The Spur-winged Goose demographics and impacts on farmers in the Overberg
  • The Southern Black Korhaan population demographics in the Overberg - including conservation management guidelines
  • The costs to find and rehabilitate the environmental corridors in the Nuwejaars Wetlands Special Management Area (desktop study)
     
Sponsorships and Donations

Sponsorships and Donations

Nuwejaars Wetlands Special Management Area thanks you for your interest in conservation and offers you the opportunity to support this worthy cause by purchasing a donation package or by adopting a hippo.

Sponsorship and Donation Menu

  • Help build a bird hide - R100
  • Adopt a hippo - R1,000 
  • Support a herd of Bontebok - R10,000 

Contact Nuwejaars Wetlands Special Management Area to find out more about the various sponsorships and donation-plans available.

Volunteer

Volunteer

Make a difference and volunteer your time by taking part in fun research projects in the Nuwejaars Wetlands Special Management Area. 

Duties include helping the NWSMA team monitor birdlife, game and vegetation. 

For more information on the volunteering programme, contact: ross@nuwejaars.com

Black Oystercatcher

Black Oystercatcher

Nuwejaars Wetlands Special Management Areas safari-style tours depart daily from destination wine farm, Black Oystercatcher.

Black Oystercatcher has amenities that include:

  • Tasting Room
  • Restaurant
  • Venue Hire
  • Accommodation

Find out more about Black Oystercatcher here.

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