Area size: 12 ha
The Austin Roberts Bird Sanctuary was named after South Africa’s greatest ornithologist and mammologist yet, J Austin Roberts. He was born in Pretoria in 1883 and grew 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, which include 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 in the Walker Spruit Open Space System. Two streams, the Walker and the Argo, feed water into wetland basins – nine of which 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.
• The sanctuary offers 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.
September to April: 06:00 to 18:00
May to August: 07:00 to 17:00
From the Fountains Circle (on the R21), take the George Storrar Drive turn-off. Travel east passing Florence Ribeiro Avenue, where George Storrar Drive changes into Middel Street. Turn left at the first set of traffic lights, Dey Street, and then left again at Boshoff Street. The entrance to the sanctuary is on the left.
Free entrance to bird hides
Guided walks: R80 per person (up to 12 people per group)
Bookings and enquiries
Bookings are only necessary for guided walks, preferably four weeks in advance.
Tel: 012 358 1757/1753/8188
Fax: 086 210 2955