Kamfers Dam This is an IBA in danger! 

Country/territory: South Africa

IBA Criteria met: A4i (1998)
For more information about IBA criteria please click here

Area: 400 ha

Protection status:

BirdLife South Africa
Most recent IBA monitoring assessment
Year of assessment Threat score (pressure) Condition score (state) Action score (response)
2013 very high very unfavourable negligible
For more information about IBA monitoring please click here

Site description
Kamfers Dam is located 2 km north of Kimberley at the junction of three biomes; the Karoo, Kalahari and Grasslands. The dam is actually a non-perennial, closed-basin pan in a semi-arid environment, receiving water from three primary sources; its 160 km² catchment, 14 megalitres of treated sewage effluent from Kimberley per day, and half of the town’s stormwater. During 5- to 10-year dry cycles, the pan dries out between October and December, and fills between February and March. There is always permanent water at the south-western end of the pan, owing to the continuous inflow of sewage effluent, and this has resulted in the establishment of extensive beds of Phragmites, Typha, Scirpus, Juncus and Cyperus marsh, sedge- and reedbeds.

The Kalahari thornveld surrounding the pan is dominated by Acacia. Panveld grows on the water’s edge and lower slopes, and is characterized by plants that grow on heavy/brackish/saline soils. Unfortunately, invasive non-native plants (such as Tagetes, Agave, Argemone, Prosopis and Salsola) cover areas adjacent to the pan.

Key biodiversity
See Box for key species. Probably due to the nutrient-rich sewage input, this pan is highly productive and supports large numbers of birds. It regularly holds 4,000–10,000 individuals of resident, migratory and nomadic waterbird, and up to 20,000 have been recorded during periods of drought, when the site provides a reliable refuge while many of the surrounding ephemeral water-bodies dry out. The threatened Circus ranivorus and Charadrius pallidus occur at Kamfers Dam, which also occasionally holds large numbers of Alopochen aegyptiacus, Podiceps nigricollis and Tadorna cana. During winter, when Palearctic migrants are absent, the site supports substantially fewer birds.

Non-bird biodiversity: None known to BirdLife International.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2021) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Kamfers Dam. Downloaded from on 11/04/2021.