Birding Routes

BIRDING IN THE WITZENBERG REGION - INTRODUCTORY COMMENTS Show details

THE ENDEMIC AND OTHER SPECIAL SPECIES OF THE WITZENBERG REGION Show details

THE MOUNTAIN PASSES OF THE WITZENBERG REGION Show details

THE TULBAGH REGION 1 - GENERAL INTRODUCTION Show details


THE TULBAGH REGION
The historic village of TULBAGH is reputably regarded as a prominent tourist destination. It is the third oldest town in South Africa and is set in the heart of a spectacular valley surrounded by the thrilling Obiqua, Winterhoek and Witzenberg Mountain Ranges. Superb restaurants, award-winning wines and other local produce support a culturally abundant, authentic past with Church Street alone offering the highest concentration of National Monuments in one street in South Africa.
Tulbagh is reached by travelling from Cape Town along the N1 to Paarl and then joining the R44 past Wellington and Gouda to the NUWEKLOOF PASS on the R46. Bird-watchers should seize the opportunity to visit the VOËLVLEI DAM (33° 20'39”S 19° 01'25”E) just before Gouda. A medley of waterfowl is available and visitors should be especially vigilant for the AFRICAN FISH-EAGLE, MALACHITE KINGFISHER and SOUTH AFRICAN SHELDUCK as well as most of the district’s ducks, grebes, herons and teals. There are still choice patches of remnant renosterveld habitat remaining near this dam and it is certainly not uncommon to find threatened species such as the BLACK HARRIER, SOUTHERN BLACK KORHAAN and SECRETARYBIRD. Birders will relish a stay at the SILWERFONTEIN GUEST FARM as there is an intriguing hiking trail and more than 200 bird species have been identified on this striking farm. “Named after the mountain source which provides the crystal clear spring water, Silwerfontein, a declared Natural Heritage Site, nestles on the mountain slopes surrounding the 8km long Voëlvleidam, with spectacular lake and mountain views.”
CONTACT DETAILS: Tel: +27 (0)79 500 1906 E-mail: info@silwerfontein.co.za Website: http://www.silwerfontein.co.za/
There are unfortunately very few sufficient areas in the NUWEKLOOF PASS (33° 19'07”S 19° 05'05”E) where birders can park and enjoy bird-watching comfortably. The BOOTED and VERREAUX'S EAGLES and ROCK KESTREL are recorded fairly regularly, but caution is advised when birding along here.
An intersection is reached at 33° 18'48”S 19° 06'53”E, where a left turn can be taken to Tulbagh and a right turn leads to the WATERVAL NATURE RESERVE. This reserve has vast bird-watching potential, but according to the management access can unfortunately not be allowed at this point due to contractual constraints. However, details of the promising bird-watching possibilities at Waterval will be included on this web page as soon as it is possible.
Time should undoubtedly be spent in the village of TULBAGH in order to revel in the historical architecture, local art and premium restaurants. Birding in the village is superb and the AFRICAN HARRIER-HAWK is the raptor most often seen. The AFRICAN GOSHAWK and BLACK SPARROWHAWK were also recorded. The CAPE BULBUL, FAMILIAR CHAT, CAPE ROBIN-CHAT and KAROO THRUSH coupled with most of the region's doves, flycatchers, mousebirds and sparrows are delightfully common throughout the village. Visit the tourism office (33° 17'17”S 19° 08'19”E) at the beginning of the historical Church Street or obtain more information from the dropdown menu below.
The majority of roads in the Tulbagh Valley run past vineyards and private property, therefore, permission for entry should be obtained when necessary. Most of the destinations featured in the detailed descriptions below are not accessible to day visitors, unless otherwise indicated. Kindly note that the fine, featured destinations and accommodation establishments are those that responded to correspondence and requests for interviews. Hence, it is accepted that there are many more remarkable establishments in the area. The descriptions below focus on the Twee Jongegezellen Road, the Theuniskraal Road ending at the foot of the enthralling Winterhoek Mountains and the road to Wolseley, as captivating bird-watching opportunities are on offer along any of these alluring routes.

(Note that there are links to more information, trip reports and the like below the photographs that may be used to further plan a visit to the area).

Historic Church Street  (Image by AO)
At Waterval Nature Reserve (AO)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Southern Masked-Weaver  (Image by WC)
Acacia Pied Barbet  (Image by RM)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cape White-eye nest study  (Image by RM)
Voëlvlei Dam at dusk from Oudekloof Pass

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE TULBAGH REGION 2 - THE TWEE JONGEGEZELLEN ROAD Show details

THE TULBAGH REGION 3 - THE THEUNISKRAAL ROAD Show details

THE TULBAGH REGION 4 - THE ROAD TO WOLSELEY Show details

BAINSKLOOF PASS AND BERGSIG WINE ESTATE Show details

BERGSIG WINE ESTATE TO WOLSELEY - AN ALTERNATIVE ROUTE Show details

WOLSELEY AND MICHELLS PASS Show details

BIRDING IN CERES Show details

CIRCLE ROUTES FROM CERES 1 - CERES TO KAROOPOORT Show details

CIRCLE ROUTES FROM CERES 1 - KAROOPOORT TO TANKWA FARM STALL Show details

CIRCLE ROUTES FROM CERES 1 - KATBAKKIES TO OP-DIE-BERG Show details

CIRCLE ROUTES FROM CERES 1 - OP-DIE-BERG TO CERES Show details

CIRCLE ROUTES FROM CERES 2 - SWAARMOED PASS & BO-SWAARMOED FARMING AREA Show details

CIRCLE ROUTE FROM CERES 2 CONTINUED - THE DROEHOEK ROAD TO GYDO PASS Show details

THE TANKWA-KAROO NATIONAL PARK - THE P2250 GRAVEL ROAD Show details

THE TANKWA KAROO NATIONAL PARK 2 - OUDEBAASKRAAL AND SURROUNDS Show details

THE TANKWA KAROO NATIONAL PARK 3 - THE INTERIOR ROADS AND ACCOMMODATION Show details

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Show details