The Centre is situated within the Grassland Important Bird and Biodiversity Area (IBA), which has been recognised by BirdLife South Africa and BirdLife International as both a national (SA 125) and global (ZA 016) IBA. It is also regarded as one of the highest priority IBAs in South Africa. The Centre is located on 114 ha of grassland adjoining the internationally-renowned Wakkerstroom Wetland, home to many globally-threatened bird species such as African Marsh Harrier, Grey Crowned Crane, Rudd's and Botha's Lark and Yellow-breasted Pipit.
What is on offer at the BirdLife South Africa Wakkerstroom Tourism and Education Centre
The Centre has magnificent views of the wetland from all three accommodation blocks, including a large verandah leading off the conference centre where one can enjoy a cup of coffee while welcoming the morning sun or a sundowner at the end of the day!
With bird specials ticked and/or photographed, lay your head down at our accommodation facilities, with the option of en-suite guest rooms, dormitories or camping/caravan sites.
Conference facilities are offered at the Centre at unbeatable prices. What better venue can there be for a conference or meeting?
There are two bird hides on the Western side of the wetland, namely the Crane Hide and Iain Drummond Memorial Hide. Here you can catch a glimpse of the water birds and waders. Another two hides are located on the Northern side of the wetland, namely the Clive Beck Hide and the WOW (Wings over Wetlands) Hide. The WOW Hide was completed in 2010 with funds from the Wings over Wetlands Programme.
Community bird guides
Not too sure where to find those elusive species? Why not employ the services of one of the community bird guides? Contact Daphne Pyott on firstname.lastname@example.org or 071 718 1566
So whether you are a keen birder or simply love the outdoors, pay us a visit at the centre of endemism - you won't be sorry. "There is nothing dull about Wakkerstroom"
For more information and bookings, please contact Daphne Pyott on email@example.com or 071 718 1566
Working on Fire – Wakkerstroom Base
The aim of this Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) is to alleviate poverty and for the recipients to gather additional and employable skills. Currently, the programme employs approximately 5000 young men and women in 200 teams across the country. After passing a rigorous fitness test, the trainees are sent on a 21 day training course. With the employed youth component sitting at approximately 85%, this programme definitely assists in developing skills in our country’s youngsters.
The Wakkerstroom team has been based at the BirdLife South Africa Wakkerstroom Tourism and Education Centre since June 2014 with Kristi Garland as the Base Manager. This team of 25 firefighters has not only been of service to the broader community during the fire season, but during the summer months as well. They are able to assist in alien plant removal, erosion control and the like. As part of their service to the community, regular school programmes are implemented as well as door to door awareness campaigns. In 2015, the Wakkerstroom team won the title of ‘Most awareness campaigns run in the year”.
Through Integrated Fire Management (IFM) practices the team is able to control fires to enhance the sustainability and protection of life, and the environment. These IFM practices support the National Veld and Forest Fire Act No. 101 of 1998 which aims at preventing and controlling veld, forest and mountain fires throughout the country.
This Act applies to you if you own, lease or control land and if a fire can start, burn on or spread from your land. You have the responsibility to prepare and maintain firebreaks between your land and any adjoining properties. Locally, the Fire Protection Association (FPA), based in Volksrust, assists its members with carrying out this act. They are responsible for developing a fire management strategy, appointing a Fire Protection Officer, the training of its members as well as drawing up binding rules for all its members. Together with Working on Fire and the FPA, our community has a great resource for fighting those all consuming fires.
Preparing and fighting potential fires in our area has never been made easier. As the community, you can make use of the Working on Fire team throughout the year. Being a member of the local FPA, the cost of using the team is greatly reduced, as labour is covered by the membership fee and only a variable cost (fuel and transport etc) will be incurred. Non-members will be liable for all costs incurred should they request the use of the team.