Kingfisher lake

Unfortunately the lake, situated in the heart of the Garden, has been silting up and getting shallower, with the process becoming rapid in the last 3 years despite intervention. Its bottom has been filling up with polluted sediments brought in by stream inflow and this situation is threatening resident plant and wildlife.

It is hoped that a dredging operation will commence next winter to return the lake to its previous state.

In its normal state this peaceful stretch of open water is very rich in bird life, and a family of otters was occasionally spotted in the river that flows into it. A pair of black ducks were also resident in this area.

Kingfisher lake

Not all is lost

Around the lake is the Turraea Trail, an easy walk which gives excellent views of the lake and several good bird-watching spots. Look out for honeysuckle (Turraea) flowers on the walk. Their sweet fragrance fills the air in September and October.

Birdwatching in the Garden is excellent. Over 151 different species are found here. This high diversity can be attributed to the many indigenous plants in the Garden – each one attracting its own particular group of birds to feed, nest or enjoy shelter. Kingfisher Lake used to be a haven for the most wetland fauna and flora.

Kingfisher lake

The current state of the lake

The lake is encroached by invasive alien plants deposited by floods, birds and the stream inflow. The area is not accessible for spraying and cutting of the alien plants due to the quicksand-like mud present. Alien plants have grown rapidly, forming a small forest of invaders with bug weed outgrowing the rest to mimic an emerging forest structure.

KZN Wetlands

Updates on the commencement of the dredging operation will be communicated through notice boards. Visitors are advised to stay clear of the edges of the lake in the meantime.

Kingfisher lake

The pictures above demonstrate how the lake has progressed from a mud-filled area to a fully encroached area.

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