Farming with the least interference



Farming with the least interference

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The Black Oystercatcher’s land has been dedicated to conservation.

The property forms part of the Nuwejaars Wetlands Special Management Area (NWSMA), the first venture of its kind in the country. Through the NWSMA, 25 landowners, including many those wine farms that make up the Agulhas Wine Triangle, are working together to manage their land collectively. They have combined agriculture and biodiversity conservation to the benefit of the environment and to all who live in the area. Key to this is fighting climate change, and facilitating species survival in the face of global warming.

You are here: CONSERVATION

Nuwejaars Wetlands Special Management Area

Dirk Human, the founder, owner and wine-maker of the boutique wines at the Black Oystercatcher, is also the Chairman (and a founding member) of the Nuwejaars Wetlands SMA. The NWSMA has already enjoyed numerous successes. More

We farm with the least possible interference

Our wine-making philosophy is to work the land with the least possible interference, in the most natural way. More

We have crucial wetlands and water systems running through the Black Oystercatcher.

And we rely on them. So we’re highlighting #water and how important it is on the #AgulhasPlain. Call it a tribute to our very special #waterscapes, and the need to protect them.


Waagskaalvlei is a special Agulhas Plain #waterscape.

The vlei, on the Black Oystercatcher, gives life to our surrounding natural world (including the Nuwejaars hippos). Levels here dropped in the midst of the drought – and the vlei actually dried up in 2018. Currently the vlei once again has water, but we know that a changing climate continues to play a role. 


There have been some amazing #birdsightings at Waskraalvlei over the years.

But some of our favourites include the Wattled Starling (not endangered, but seldom seen here). And the African Marsh Harrier; regarded as regionally endangered, with their numbers seemingly falling over the past 2 years.


All the evenings spent at Waagskaalvlei, and no sunset photo looks alike.

There’s always something different about what nature has to offer here. Here are some of our favourite sunset pics at the vlei.

“I love it, my father loved it, and now I see how much my son loves going there.”

For Dirk, Waskraalvlei has been a secret nature sanctuary. Not many people have been able to enjoy the beauty and wonders of the vlei, where the Nuwejaars Wetlands SMA hippo live. Now for the first time, you can experience the sunset over this #waterscape, on a Nuwejaars Sunset Wetlands Tour. Stay in our self-catering cottages, enjoy a platter lunch and wine tasting, and join this tour where we sip a sundowner at the vlei.

The Agulhas Plain is a renowned birding destination.

According to the Agulhas Plains Birding Project, the Plain is home to more than 250 species – as recorded on the project list to date. And this list is continuously growing.

The Black Oystercatcher Wine Farm itself is home to a number of these bird species. Birders found the Red-chested Flufftail close to the Waskraalvlei on the Black Oystercatcher farm. The wetland is also home to an increasing number of African Marsh Harriers, believed to be moving back to the area because of the invasive alien clearing work taking place on the Plain.

Wetlands, hippos, buffalo, threatened birds – some of the things you can now see when visiting the Black Oystercatcher.

You can join wildlife guided tours onto the Black Oystercatcher farm and surrounding farms. And see what makes our area so special, and so important to protect. Tours run EVERYDAY, and are hosted by the Nuwejaars Wetlands Special Management Area (we’re members, and our farm forms part of the area). Visit to book your tour. 

Morning Wildlife Tour

Meet at the Black Oystercatcher, for a 2-3 hour trip through the Nuwejaars Wetlands SMA, including coffee and rusks – overseen by our trained guide.

Sunset Wildlife Tour

Meet at the Black Oystercatcher, for a 2 hour trip to a lovely, secretive lake, including sundowners at this sunset viewpoint. Hippos live in this lake, and could pop by for a visit (this trip is overseen by our trained guide).

Keen to join? Contact the Nuwejaars SMA to book your tour.

Conservation News

Our Waterscapes

#Waterscapes: The natural wonder of the Agulhas Plain

You depend on water – it’s the basis of life. The same goes for the Black Oystercatcher. But – because of our unique setting, we depend on an intricate water network. We don’t just turn on a tap. We connect with a vast water system that must function fully.

Because our #waterscapes are at the heart of our existence, we’re highlighting these natural wonders of the Agulhas Plain. It’s a tribute to our corner of earth in the Overberg – and the life-giving systems you’ll find here.