Earlier visitors to the southern peninsula probably had to negotiate a broad latticework of seasonal wetlands. Before colonists arrived, but after the sea level was much higher and much lower, earlier visitors to the southern peninsula probably had to negotiate a broad latticework of seasonal wetlands between what we now call Noordhoek and Kommetjie. Foresight by the WWF and some generous funders has at least secured several hundred hectares of what is known as the Noordhoek wetlands, now part of the Table Mountain National Park.
Wildevoelvlei, once part of this large and diverse system, was not so lucky. Since the early seventies it has been used as a sewerage outfall and is now a permanent water body prone to blooms of blue green algae responding to high nutrient loads.
Bits of funding and visionary efforts of some residents have popularized the idea of rehabilitating this system where possible and there is even serious talk of having a regional frog sanctuary. This is what we mean by sustainable development.
An aquatic attraction of Kommetjie village during the earlier years of the twentieth century was a large wetland stretching from the Bokram Spruit in the east, westwards and merging with what is now the impacted remnant of Skilpadsvlei. Seasonally it was big and deep enough to support boating as well as a rich ecosystem.