Visitor Information

Operating Hours

Intaka Island is open to visitors and groups 354 days a year (closed on 25 December).

Summer (Oct - Apr):

07:30 - 19:00

Winter (May - Sep):

07:30 - 17:30


Location

Geo link: -33.888015, 18.513004


Contact us

General

Melissa February

021 552 6889

melissa@intaka.co.za

environmental

Alan Liebenberg

021 552 6889

alanl@centurycity.co.za

education & eco‑centre

General

021 552 6889

info@intaka.co.za

Visitors Information

Operating Hours

Intaka Island is open to visitors and groups 364 days a year (closed on 25 December).

Summer

07:30 - 19:00

Oct - Apr

Winter

07:30 - 17:30

May - Sep

Entrance Fees

add Boat Ride Day Visitors:

Adult R15.00

with boat ride R45.00

Children (under 12 years) R9.00

with boat ride R35.00

Pensioners R9.00

with boat ride R35.00

R45.00

R35.00

R35.00

School Groups:

AdultR40.00

Children (under 12 years)R30.00

PensionersR30.00

Please note: there are no card facilities on the island, we only accept cash or SnapScan

Map

W
E

Become a Member

Annual Member­ship Fees

Century City Family R130.00

Century City resident individual R65.00

Family member other areas R200.00

Individual membership other areas R110.00

Century City pensioner R50.00

Pensioner other areas R65.00

Student R65.00

Application

Virtual Tour

Things
to Do

Bird Mountain

Bird Mountain overlooks the large expanse of deep open water of Cell 3 on the man-made half of the wetland where one can watch the flurry of activity surrounding the heronries.

Perched on the highest point of Intaka island, Bird mountain offers panoramic views across the island with Table Mountain as the backdrop.

Self-guided trail

You can enjoy all the beauty Intaka Island has to offer by taking a leisurely stroll around the 2km of footpaths available. There are 9 stations that you will have access to on the self-guided trail, each offering you a different insight into the bird, water life, flora and fauna that is encompassed in Intaka Island.

The 2km circular path takes you around both the constructed wetland and ephemeral pans, whereas the shorter circular 1km route takes you around the constructed wetland with lookout points over the ephemeral pans. This route is also wheelchair and pram friendly! Maps, brochures and bird checklists are available at reception for those who want tick what you see as you make your way around Intaka Island. We also request that you stay on the designated paths and not disrupt the vegetation.

Guided Trail (bookings only)

Let one of our experienced Field Rangers take you around the 9 stations, giving you added information about the inhabitants and different plant life you see. They will help you with bird identification, information on breeding habits and other unique insights into this very special island. These guided trails are included in the entrance fee, but it is advised to phone in advance as our rangers may be occupied with school or other groups.

Indigenous Garden

Our indigenous garden, located alongside the Educational Lapa boasts a wealth of different plants that are used for both medicinal and cooking purposes. With sign posts for each one, visitors can meander through the gardens taking in the interesting facts and qualities of these plants.

Boat Trips

Take a tranquil ferry ride on the Grand Canal and around Intaka Island and enjoy the fresh air and breath-taking views of Century City. The duration of the ride is approximately 35 minutes and the boat operates as follows:
09:30am – 3:30pm Saturday – Thursday,
09:30 – 2pm Friday,
with a special "hop on hop off" feature at Canal Walk and Crystal Towers. To book your boat trip call 021 552 6889 or email melissa@intaka.co.za

Educational Lapa

Designed and constructed by our Intaka Staff, our educational lapa lies in the heart of Intaka Island and is used for a range of different activities including school groups and sleep overs, birthday parties, Intaka Island events or simply a spot for visitors to stop and have a picnic.

Bird Hides

Home to over 120 species of birds, Intaka Island is a must for any bird watcher! Although a lot of activity can be spotted throughout the island, two designated bird hides have been constructed at key areas to maximise your enjoyment and chances of spotting the more elusive birds or the notoriously camera shy water-mongoose!

Photography

With Intaka Island’s central proximity and large diversity of plant, insect and bird life it has become a firm favorite with wild-life photographers. The bird hides have become a second home at sunrise for the more dedicated photographers, whilst others simply enjoy improving their skills and, through their lens, enjoying what the wetland has to offer.

Boating

Calling all canoeists, Stand Up Paddlers, rowers and dragon boaters! Century City welcomes and encourages you to take advantage of our 8km of protected navigable canals - however, no motorized boats allowed.

Please note that these are private waters, so if you want to join in on the fun, contact the Century City 021 552 6889 or on info@centurycity.co.za for permits and any further information.

About

Intaka Island, an award-winning 16 hectare wetlands and bird sanctuary, is home to 177 species of indigenous fynbos plants and 120 bird species. 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, relax, and get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life

The aims of Intaka are to:

  • Conserve a rare and threatened vegetation type
  • Conserve a rare type of wetland habitat
  • Provide a habitat for birds, especially breeding water birds
  • Clean the water in the network of canals at Century City
  • Provide Century City with a beautiful and healthy ‘green lung’
  • Provide a recreational and educational amenity

History

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.

Intaka Trust

The Trust was estab­lished inter alia as the fundrais­ing vehicle for both the construction of the Eco‑Centre as well as its ongoing operational costs. It has been ap­proved by the South African Revenue Service (SARS) as a Public Benefit Organisation enabling it to issue Section 18A certificates to all donors and sponsors. Read More


The Trust runs a number of environmental education programmes out of its newly constructed multi-functional Eco-Centre. Intaka Island is rapidly becoming known as an exciting environmental education destination with 13 321 visitors passing through the Eco-Centre during the initial start up year of operation (2011) which included 77 school groups from 65 different schools.

The construction of the Intaka Island Eco-Centre started in early 2010 and obtained widespread stakeholder support, from the CCPOA Board of Directors, Century City based corporates, including the Rabie Property Group, and the broader community. The construction costs of this modern, energy conscious, enviro-friendly green educational building was funded by donations of financial contributions, building materials and professionals time from environmentally conscious corporates and individuals. The Eco-Centre was completed in October 2010 and includes an assembly area, an educational activity room, reception, ablution and catering facilities, as well as an outdoor sustainable living classroom.

A team of 9 staff have been employed to run the Eco-Centre and its related programmes and activities. The team comprises an Eco-Centre Co-ordinator, a receptionist, three field rangers, a cleaner, two boat skippers and a rope hand. It will be necessary to grow this team as the take-up of the existing programmes increases and the programme offering expands.

The establishment of the team has been an exciting opportunity to create jobs, empower and upskill people. For example, two of our three field rangers were previously security guards responsible for monitoring the entrance to the Intaka Island Nature Reserve. They displayed an interest in the environment and were offered employment as field rangers. They have successfully completed a number of training courses which has qualified them as guides and empowered them to conduct tours of the Eco-Centre and Intaka Island. They are also fully competent to run all the primary have successfully completed a number of training courses which has

qualified them as guides and empowered them to conduct tours of the Eco-Centre and Intaka Island. They are also fully competent to run all the primary school educational programmes which includes bird and plant identification, water quality experiments, energy self sufficiency and natural resource recycling demonstrations, etc.

A further example is the employment, empowerment and upskilling of two general labourers who have undergone training and obtained their boat skippers licences. They are now fully competent to skipper our two launch boats which take visitors on a tour of the 8km’s of canals around Intaka Island. They also provide commentary during the boat ride sharing relevant information pertaining to both the surrounding natural and urban environments. A third labourer has been employed as a rope hand on the boats and will be undergoing training for his skippers licence during the course of the year.

Sustainability

This multi-functional Environmental Education Centre accommodating groups of up to 75 at any one time, includes an assembly area, educational activity centre, reception, catering and ablution facilities.

The eco‑centre boasts a range of sustainability exhibits, these include:

  1. Bamboo Blinds
  2. Thatched Roof
  3. FSC Timber Furniture
  4. LED Lighting
  5. Roof Garden
  6. Solar Geyser
  7. Liliput Black Water System
  8. Rain Water Harvesting
  9. Rhapsody Grey Water System
  10. Biogas Digester
  11. Recycling Station
  12. Permeable Paving
  13. Earth Worm Farm
  14. Composter
  15. Polywood Seating
  16. Wind Turbine

Contact Us

Quick Enquiry

General

Contact Person: Melissa February

Contact Number: 021 552 6889

Email: melissa@intaka.co.za

environmental

Contact Person: Alan Liebenberg

Contact Number: 021 552 6889

Email: alanl@centurycity.co.za

education & eco‑centre

Contact Person: General

Contact Number: 021 552 6889

Email: info@intaka.co.za

Map

Longitude and Latitude of Intaka Island: -33.888015, 18.513004

Education

A typical visit to Intaka Island would entail:

  • a guided tour around the island
  • a ride on the Intaka Ferry
  • one educational activity of the visiting educator's choice.

Choose your educational activity:

Foun­dation Phase

Grade R Grade 1 Grade 2 Grade 3

Inter­mediate Phase

Grade 4 Grade 5 Grade 6

Senior Phase

Grade 7 Grade 8 Grade 9

Further Education & Training

Grade 10

University / Colleges

Contact the Eco-Centre manager to tailor make a program for you that will suit the needs, age and size of the group as well as the time available for the visit.

Fun for all

Contact the Eco-Centre manager to tailor make a program for you that will suit the needs, age and size of the group as well as the time available for the visit.

Activities

Prices

Educational Programme:

(boat ride, island tour and educational activity)

Learner R25.00

Educator (1 educator free for every 10 learners)R35.00

Educational Programme:

(island tour only)

Learner R7.00

Educator (1 educator free for every 10 learners)R10.00

FAQ

what happens if it rains on the day of our visit?

We usually go ahead with the programme, we just advise everybody dresses warmly and accordingly. We also supply rain ponchos that the learners are welcome to use.

will the learners get a break in between the activities?

Yes there will be a 20 minute break included in the program.

can i cancel our visit to intaka island?

Cancellations can be maybe within 14 days of your visit to Intaka Island. If there is a cancellation after 14 days you are required to pay a 50% deposit with your next booking to Intaka Island.

time of arrival and departure?

Educational programs usually run for 3 hours thus the program runs from 9:30am until 12:30pm. However we are flexible and you can also give us your time constraints and we will try and work around it.

does intaka island have a coffee shop?

Intaka Island does not have a coffee shop but you are able to purchase coffee/tea at reception. Ther eis also a coffee shop, Brick Lane, just a 5 minute walk away.

what do the kids have to bring with on the day?

All that the learners need to bring with is a packed lunch and we supply the rest.

Worksheets

Microscope Worksheet Renewable Energy Worksheet Weather Chart Worksheet Plant Functions Worksheet Lovely Lifecycles Worksheet

What the teachers say

Gallery Placeholder

Eco-Centre

The main point of arrival

This multi-functional Environmental Education Centre accommodating groups of up to 75 at any one time, includes an assembly area, educational activity centre, reception, catering and ablution facilities.

Aside from meeting enviro-educational needs as well as showcasing to our visitors sustainable living best practices which optimise energy and natural resource efficiencies, the Eco-Centre is also the ideal workshop facility.

Function Venues

The Intaka Island Eco-Centre offers a range of venue hire options to suit all needs and requirements. From workshops, training sessions, product launches and exhibitions to, picnics, birthday parties and limited team building events.

Venues
& Activities

Activity Centre
Outdoor Lapa
Birthday Parties
Sleepovers & Camps

Visitors can park in the parking area to the north of the island and then cross onto the island via a bridge across the Circular Canal. Just over the bridge is the Intaka Island Environmental Education Centre where you can obtain your entrance ticket, meet your guide and pick up basic tour info and pamphlets for Intaka.

Make a Donation

We are constantly striving to improve our facilities and expand our outreach programs to underprivileged schools and organisations. If you would like a make a donation to assist in making our dream a reality please do so here.

As a donor your name will be added to the donors list on our website as well as our donors board at the Intaka Island Eco-Centre.

Environmental

The Western half of Intaka Island is made up of constructed wetlands which mainly serve the needs for water purification, habitat for breeding water birds, and the recreation and education of visitors. The Eastern half consists of seasonal pans and sand plain fynbos which are both rare habitat types in great need of conservation. The management approach to these two areas needs to be different in order to meet their objectives.

The Century City Property Owners’ (CCPOA) manage Intaka Island and is monitored and guided by the Intaka Island Blouvlei Environmental Committee.

This committee is made up of representatives of the CCPOA, the environmental manager, Mr. Alan Liebenberg, and various environmental specialists including a botanist, an ornithologist, an environmental manager from the City of Cape Town and a member from Cape Nature.

This group meets on a monthly basis and provides their expertise in the implementation of the EMP for Intaka Island.

Environmental Management Plan

The setting aside of land for a nature reserve is only the first step in a conservation process. The next step is to draw up an environmental management plan (EMP), which is a working document and is regularly updated. Intaka Island had EMPs for the construction and development phases of the reserve, and now has a relatively new EMP for the operational phase. The bulk of the EMP relates to 10 explicit environmental goals which cover the aims of Intaka Island.

For the full environmental plan

please click here

Water cycles and functions

Intaka Island's wetlands and canals demonstrate how engineering and natural processes can be used to improve the conservation of water.

The South Western half of Intaka Island was originally known as the Sewe Pannietjies before it was redesigned into four distinct ponds (called cells) with indigenous wetland vegetation. These constructed cells fulfil the natural role of a wetland, which is to filter and clean water.

The water is sourced from the 7km of canals that flow around Intaka Island and Century City, and is pumped daily into the constructed wetlands through the four cells where it is cleaned before being returned to the canal system.

Cell 3

This cell is very different from the first two in that it is relatively large and deep, comprising mainly of open water. This is done to expose the water to wind, which aids the oxygenation process of bacteria that break down the nitrogenous compounds that flourish in this open water.

Cell 3 is also home to the award winning heronries (wooded islands), which are designed to encourage birds to roost and breed.

Visitors are requested to stay on the paths and not to disturb any plants or animals in any way!

Cells 1 & 2

The first two cells are dominated by dense cape reed beds (Phragmites). These fast-growing plants are capable of absorbing large amounts of phosphate and other nutrients, thus starting the cleaning process.

The surface area of this cell is quite large and shallow, and so allows for the growth of reeds and for oxygen to re-enter the water. The reed beds also create a habitat for a large number of birds.

Cell 4

The last cell is once again different from the other cells in that is a very shallow marshland, with high diversity of vegetation that adds the final step to the water “scrubbing” process before the water re-enters the canal system.
• the canal system is approximately 7km long
• with an average depth of 1.6m
• water flows by gravity though the wetlands, completing a round trip in approximately 65 days.

Plants

There are 212 different species of indigenous plants (plants of Sand plain fynbos) that can be found on Intaka Island, many of which produce attractive flowers from late winter to early summer. Twenty four of these plants are on the Red Data list, that is, they are rare and threated with extinction Cape Flats.

Sand Fynbos (CFSF), previously known as Sand Plain Fynbos, is a critically endangered vegetation type that occurs only within the city of Cape Town. Less than 1% of this unique lowland Fynbos vegetation is conserved. Intaka Island is one of the few places that you can still experience this endemic veldt.

Resources

Birds

Intaka boasts 120 different bird species in a safe, easy-to-reach area due to the diversity of Intaka Islands 7 different habitats. The terrestrial habitat of fynbos, shrubs and grasses attracts birds like the Cape Francolin, Weavers and Cape Sparrows. The shrub areas provide safe foraging areas for Cape White-Eyes, Robin Chats and Spotted Prinias while the open water is suitable for the Cape Shoveller, Yellow Billed Duck, Red Knobbed Coot and Moorhen. Reed Beds provide food and nesting for the Little Bittern, Purple Swamphen, Masked Weaver, Red Bishop and Levaillant’s Cisticola.

With bird-watching being one of the fastest growing recreational activities, Intaka Island offers birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts in general a unique opportunity to discover and study our birds up close in their natural habitat.

A number of birds also make use of the man made heronries on Intaka Island for breeding and roosting. These heronries have been recognized internationally for both their simple construction and success at attracting birds.

Resources

News

Events

Intaka
Webcams

Keep an eye on what’s happening on Intaka Island with our 4 newly installed webcams.

Cell 4 - Flooded Meadows (live)

Man-made Heronries

Cell 3 - Open Water

Seasonal Salt Pans