Sand River Dam


Sand River Dam

  • Country: 
  • Site number: 
  • Area: 
    764 ha
  • Designation date: 
  • Coordinates: 
    25°59'S 31°42'E
Materials presented on this website, particularly maps and territorial information, are as-is and as-available based on available data and do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the Secretariat of the Ramsar Convention concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area, or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries.


Sand River Dam is situated in the Lubombo district within the IYSIS cattle ranch which is privately owned by Royal Swaziland Sugar Corporation (RSSC). The reservoir is a major magnet for waterfowl and other waterbirds, particularly when water levels are low. The lowveld of Swaziland is relatively arid with few naturally-occurring wetlands other than riparian strips along rivers. The waterbird community of this region, therefore, relies heavily on a handful of artificial wetlands. Sand River Dam is one such site, and plays an important role in maintaining waterbird abundance and diversity within the region. The surrounding hillsides are heavily overgrazed by goats and domestic cattle and crop residues are burned every winter. The Site regularly supports over 20 waterbird species and regularly harbours more than 500 individual birds. This makes it the second most important wetland in the country in terms of waterbird abundance. It is a critical site for a number of threatened species, including the critically endangered hooded vulture Necrosyrtes monachus and African white-backed vulture Gyps africanus.

Administrative region: 
Lubombo district

  • Last publication date: 


Ramsar Information Sheet (RIS)