Imvubu Nature Tours is based at Rondevlei Nature Reserve and was enabled through funding provided by the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism. Imvubu handles all tourism aspects at Rondevlei, which is a Nature Reserve that was established in 1952 and is a paradise for nature lovers and bird-watchers. It offers viewing of a vast diversity of plant and bird species. Visitors can take a guided walk through the reserve to stop at bird hides and observe various plant species along the way. There are fifteen endangered plant species at Rondevlei Nature Reserve and 230 bird species have been counted.
The reserve has an environmental education centre, which is attended mainly by children from the communities of the Cape Flats. Hence, many of these children come from poor communities and visits to the environmental education centre provide one of their rare opportunities to observe nature and learn more about the natural environment. The reserve has a reptile and fish display, as well as a museum. Rondevlei Nature Reserve is also home to a family of hippos – the only hippos in the Western Cape Province, and small mammals such as caracal, porcupines, cape fox, grysbuck, steenbuck, mongoose and otter.
Facilities in the area include overnight accommodation on a secluded island in the vlei (a ‘vlei’ being a marshy lake area). A conference venue and boma function venue complete the facilities available. Plans for the future include a curio shop, restaurant, a khoi village and a 110-seater conference venue.
Imvubu Tours are the tour operators in the reserve and is a community-based company, with a percentage of the profits being placed in an environmental education fund for the local community. All tour guides are from previously disadvantaged communities and have been specially trained to guide visitors around Rondevlei.
Conference Centre: Conferences can be organised in the modern 50-seater conference centre. Combine business with nature in this self-contained, fully-catered centre that has state-of-the-art equipment.
Boma: A natural venue for a special occasion, the boma has seating for 70 people and is the ideal venue for weddings and parties. Full catering is available.
Island Bush Camp: This rustic island bush camp provides visitors with the opportunity to view the Rondevlei hippo, relax around the boma bar, or lie on the open deck watching the evening sky. Self-catering or fully-catered options are available.
Tours and services:
Fishing: Rondevlei offers some of the best carp and barbel fishing in the Western Cape. Tackle can be hired for overnight fishing on the island or on an hourly/daily basis.
Interpretive tours: Imvubu offers a variety of full-day, half-day and specialised package tours to suit every interest. Full-day tours include visits to the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve, Cape Point, the Boulders penguin colony, Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens and Rondevlei. Full-day birding tours generally include a trip to the Strandfontein treatment works. Half-day tours at Rondevlei are interpretive walks to restricted parts of the reserve. The availability of specialist and multi-talented guides make it easy to tailor-make tour packages that can include birding, whale-watching and night game drives.
Boat Trips: A sunset cruise on Rondevlei while sipping your favourite sundowner and viewing the vlei’s hippo population is a must. Morning cruises include a tea stop on the southern shore – a favourite spot for amateur and advanced birders.