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 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


THE WOLSELEY REGION
This intimate farming community in the Breede River Valley is surrounded by the majestic Waaihoek, Witzenberg and Waterval mountains and is reached via any one of four scenic passes: the Nuwekloof, Bainskloof, Du Toitskloof and Mitchell’s Passes. Wolseley is situated on a natural watershed that divides the exquisite Berg and Breede Rivers. Diverse farming activities are practised such as fruit, vegetable, wine, olives, wheat, dairy and cattle. Spectacular hiking trails, stunning mountain bike routes, fishing and bird-watching are available. 

This area allows for outstanding birding and the majority of visitors travel here via the BAINSKLOOF PASS (summit at 33° 33'08”S 19° 09'43”E). This phenomenal mountain pass between Wellington and Wolseley is roughly 30 km long and features dramatic rugged landscapes. Slow birding is advised as many experienced bird-watchers regard birding in this area as a true celebration of endemics and near-endemics, with a few other extraordinary birds thrown in the mix. All bird-watchers should linger by the alien trees at the summit of the pass as the CAPE CANARY, SOUTHERN BOUBOU, CAPE BULBUL, FISCAL FLYCATCHER, NEDDICKY, KAROO PRINIA, CAPE SISKIN and CAPE WHITE-EYE feature commonly. It is pleasantly surprising that the OLIVE WOODPECKER is recorded occasionally. The rocky slopes and ridges deserve particular attention as the CAPE BUNTING, FAMILIAR CHAT, CAPE ROCK-JUMPER, CAPE ROCK-THRUSH and GROUND WOODPECKER are recorded fairly regularly. Species that often patrol the skies include the JACKAL BUZZARD, BOOTED and VERREAUX'S EAGLES, ROCK KESTREL and WHITE-NECKED RAVEN. The BLACK SAWWING, GREATER STRIPED SWALLLOW and AFRICAN BLACK, ALPINE and WHITE-RUMPED SWIFTS are typically seen in summer. The fynbos habitats along the pass support the CAPE GRASSBIRD, CAPE SUGARBIRD, SOUTHERN DOUBLE-COLLARED, MALACHITE and ORANGE-BREASTED SUNBIRDS, with the PROTEA SEEDEATER being found sporadically in mature stands of protea, particularly those featuring 'wabome' (Protea Nitida). Thriving vegetation along the streams also bear the immensely popular VICTORIN'S WARBLER. The CINNAMON-BREASTED BUNTING has only been described here relatively recently, but is now regarded as being common towards the lower ends of the pass.

The celebrated BERGSIG WINE ESTATE (33° 30'57”S 19° 11'22”E) lies at the base of the scenic Bainskloof Pass along the Breede River. The owners of the estate are avid birders and have in recent times created several environmentally friendly initiatives. Bergsig forms an enthusiastic part of the Biodiversity Wine Initiative and a bird club was created at the local primary school. Numerous bird-watching days are held annually and to date more than 130 different species have been recorded during these events. A comprehensive bird checklist of the farm is available and a birding trail has been created, which exposes birders to various habitats found on the farm. Species here include the CINNAMON-BREASTED BUNTING, BLUE CRANE, AFRICAN BLACK DUCK, MARTIAL EAGLE (occasionally), GREY-BACKED FINCHLARK, AFRICAN FISH-EAGLE, KAROO SCRUB-ROBIN, CAPE ROCK-THRUSH and CAPE SUGARBIRD. The entire valley boasts an impressive scope of waterfowl, birds of prey and scores of endemic species associated with both the Cape Floral Kingdom and Succulent Karoo habitats. The staff can further provide visitors with advice on a range of self-catering options in the immediate area.
CONTACT DETAILS: Tel: +27 (0)23 355 1603 E-mail: sales@bergsigwines.co.za Website: www.bergsig.co.za

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

Cinnamon-breasted Buntings  (Image by CM)
Martial Eagle  (Image by BZ)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bergsig Wine Estate  (Image provided)
Proteas & vineyards at Bersig (Image Provided)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

African Purple Swamphen  (Image by AO)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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