A recce to check out Rondebult Bird Sanctuary

Rondebult Bird Sanctuary

After spending Sunday pottering around the house we decided that a quick cure for cabin fever was necessary.  In all my years living in Boksburg I have never been to Rondebult Bird Sanctuary which is pretty much on our doorstep.  We wanted to have a quick look around to see if it would be a good spot for a picnic on another day.   The sanctuary itself is just that, a space where birds and wildlife can survive and thrive in a built up area.  
Rondebult bird sanctuary litterRondebult bird sanctuary signRondebult bird sanctuary no alcohol

We were put off by 2 factors in particular.   The 1st thing which upset us was the amount of litter on the small side road leading to the entry gate.  What a ghastly 1st impression to get!  This is touted as a tourist destination, ag sies! I cringe with embarrassment at what a foreign visitor would think!   The signboard at the entrance states a few rules which are clearly flouted, the 1st being ‘no littering’.  We arrived after 4pm and the only other people visiting were a group each carrying a 6 pack of booze, one instruction on the main board is ‘No Alcohol’.  There appears to be no enforcement of rules.  I’m not a mother Grundy, I’m all in favour of a quiet drink generally speaking but when a group pitch up with that amount of alcohol their plan is obviously to party and that is simply not the place for a party, refer back to the key word ‘Sanctuary’.  Ok I’ve had my whinge now. 
Rondebult bird sanctuary bird hide

We took a short walk to 3 of the bird hides, the 1st hide is most probably the best but almost at the top 6-year-old Fjord froze with panic at the height and I took him back down.  If we visit again (which is unlikely given our 1st impression) Cliff would really like to go up to that hide and have a good look.  The 2nd hide didn’t have much view, the reeds obscured the water.  We sat in the 3rd hide for a while, we didn’t see many birds but it was peaceful.  The best view which we had of the bird life was on the paved walk to the hides, we saw many birds on the water including flamingos.  It is quite strange to stand facing the tranquil water scene with the roar of traffic directly behind us, I found it strangely comforting that despite the impact of man there is this space for life. 
Rondebult Bird Sanctuary mystery box
We were a little perplexed by these mystery boxes which were hanging in a few trees, can any birder tell me what they are?

Here is a link to a blog which is very informative from the birding perspective.

Directions from Boksburg take the R554 to Alberton.  At the intersection at the Sasol petrol station take Leondale road (M53) this is an extension of Osbourne Road which continues in the opposite direction toward Wadeville.  

PS – Recce is a slang term which is an abbreviation of the word reconnaissance

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  1. We used to he there when I was younger. I remember even then being aware that there wasn’t really anyone enforcing the rules. I do remember enjoying sitting in the hides though. It really is a pity about the litter!

  2. Who is in charge of the Rondebult Bird Sanctuary, can we assist with improvements?

    • I’m sorry I have no idea but I think I remember seeing signs about a “friends of the sanctuary” group. Maybe go there and the man at the gate could tell you more

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