Cape Town started opening its City Nature Reserves and conservation areas to the public for exercise on 15 July 2020. Many residents embraced the sunny weather and outdoors at the various City nature reserves over the past weekend.
Visitors were reported to be truly relieved to have access to the beauty of their local natural environment once again.
‘We are overjoyed that so many residents started utilising the City’s open spaces over the past weekend. The City’s reserve staff saw families come out for nature walks and various exercise enthusiasts access their much loved scenic routes through the various reserves. Our residents needed this time out, in the open air where they could enjoy the beauty and serenity of the natural environment while staying safe. It has been a long time, and clearly our residents are happy to be able to enjoy their training, leisure sports and nature walks at our reserves again. I can assure all there were huge smiles behind the mandatory masks,’ said the City’s mayoral Committee member for Spatial Planning and Environment, Alderman Marian Nieuwoudt.
The beautiful weather over the past weekend could not have been more perfectly timed, as many residents made their way to the various popular City nature reserves to enjoy the winter sunshine.
In terms of the reserves with manned gate access, the City recorded a total of 5 723 visitors between Friday, 17 July 2020 and Sunday, 19 July 2020.
‘Tygerberg Nature Reserve is a very popular choice for hiking and trail running and we saw many families who wanted to take a leisurely walk over the past weekend. The dune sports enthusiasts were of course thrilled to have access to the Atlantis Dunes which form part of the Witzands Aquifer Nature Reserve, and the bird watchers and local residents were more than eager to have access to the scenic Tabel Bay Nature Reserve. Table Bay Nature Reserve is also home to the popular and beautiful Rietvlei water body which is now accessible for recreational purposes again,’ said Alderman Nieuwoudt.
The large recreation vleis in the City, namely Zeekoevlei and Zandvlei, also saw a good number of visitors enjoying the area since the regulations have allowed for access to these areas . City staff have also reported how residents enjoyed the smaller nature reserves such as Bothasig, Uitkamp and Botterblom, and the beautiful open access areas in Steenbras, Table Bay, and Zandvlei, including Park Island.
‘I want to remind all visitors to please adhere to the health and safety protocols related to COVID-19 by wearing a mask or cloth to cover your nose and mouth at all times, to not congregate in groups, and to avoid social contact. It remains important that all of us take the necessary precautions during this time, and take responsibility for our health and safety. Please also adhere to the notices at the reserve entrances,’ said Alderman Nieuwoudt.
Reserves will continue to be open as per the normal times and as indicated at the entrance. The areas will be open for exercise only, and no picnicking or braais will be allowed. Entrance fees will be charged as per normal, and where applicable.