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Austin Roberts Memorial Bird
Austin Roberts Coordinates 'S25 46 182 E028 13 661

The Austin Roberts Bird Sanctuary was named after South Africa's greatest ornithologist mammalogist yet, J Austin Roberts. Born in Pretoria in 1883 and growing up in Potchefstroom as a minister's son, he received his grounding from Thomas Ayres, a famous pioneer amateur ornithologist based there.

The University of Pretoria presented the self-taught Roberts with an honorary doctorate for his many achievements. These included standard South African reference books on mammals and birds.

The Austin Roberts Bird Sanctuary was officially proclaimed as a nature reserve on 26 February 1985

The sanctuary is located in the Walkerspruit Open Space System. Two streams, the Walker and the Argo, feed water into wetland basins of which nine are small perennial dams that attract a multitude of water birds. The sanctuary was fenced in June 1970 and became a valuable civic amenity with recreational and educational value.

Activities and Facilities

  • The Austin Roberts Bird Sanctuary has a wide variety of bird life that can be observed from the bird hide.
  • Guided walks can be arranged and there is an exhibition hall.


Species include unique birds such as the crowned crane and the blue crane.


The veld type of the Austin Roberts Bird Sanctuary is mixed bushveld.

Visiting hours

  • Summer ( September - April): 06:00 - 18:00
  • Winter ( May - August): 07:00 - 17:00

How to get there

From the Fountains Circle (on the R21), take the George Storrar turn-off. Travel east passing Florence Ribeiro (Koningin Wilhelmina Avenue), where George Storrar Drive changes into Middel Street. Turn left at the first traffic lights, Dey Street, and then left again at Boshoff Street. The entrance to the sanctuary is on the left.


Entrance Fees Bird hide:

Entrance to bird hide has no charge

Guided walks:

R55 per person up to 12 people per group


    Bookings and Contact Numbers Reservations: Call 012 440 8316,
    Fax 012 341 0591 or
  • e-mail
  • Bookings are only necessary for the guided walks - preferably 4 weeks in advance

    Tel: 012 440 8316 / 012 341 0591
    Fax: 012 341 0483

  • Email:

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