Birding Routes

Birds and birding in the central Karoo region Show details

Endemic and other special birds of the Karoo Show details

The Karoo National Park Show details

Cape Town to Beaufort West Show details

Birding at Beaufort West and surroundings Show details

From Beaufort West to the North Show details

Tanqua National Park Show details

The Tanqua Karoo to Sutherland and beyond Show details

Seweweeksport to Laingsburg Show details

The Swartberg Pass Show details

From Meiringsport to Prince Albert Show details

Prince Albert and surroundings Show details

Birding at Prince Albert and its surroundings can be very rewarding and Japie Claassen’s publication ‘Where to watch birds in Prince Albert’ can be used very effectively to assist birders visiting the area - it is available from most tourism outlets in the region. The book is very detailed and describes a selection of routes that could be taken out of town. The WELTEVREDE ROAD (S33º 15’02.13” E21º 58’22.29”) starts at the cemetery at the southern end of Prince Albert and is 30 km long. Notable places to investigate include the Acacia Karoo thickets along the Treintjies River, the river crossing just before the farm Damascus is reached and the Weltevrede farms. The 35 km long road to the GAMKAPOORT DAM (S33º 16’40.16” E21º 39’30.83”) running westward from Magrieta Prinsloo street is strongly recommended. After passing some koppies, a long flat plain is reached. This is very good for the majority of so-called Karoo specials. Look for Black-headed Canary, Chat Flycatcher, Karoo Eremomela and Booted Eagle in summer. The thickets at the Treintjies River again support the vast majority of species associated with this type of habitat and time should be spent here. Thereafter one finds 10 km worth of typical Karoo plains and which can produce Ludwig’s and Kori Bustard, Karoo Korhaan, Grey-backed and Black-eared Sparrowlarks and a variety of canaries, chats and larks. Also investigate the crossing at the Perdevlei River. The road now gradually descends to the Gamka River and eventually reaches the Gamkapoort dam. Huge numbers of waterfowl can be found here. One has to retrace one’s steps on both the mentioned routes. The Kruidfontein, (S32º 51’04.13” E21º 57’20.06”) Tierkloof (S33º 10’31.13” E22º 32’33.02”) and Seekoegat (S33º 06’48.10” E22º 32’23.41”) roads can all produce exceptional birding and should be considered. It is evident that the Prince Albert area is the prime birding hotspot in the Karoo and that at least a few days need to be spent here. Why not plan a day long round trip over the Swartberg Pass and back through Meiringspoort? The vast majority of Karoo and fynbos specials can be found along here, the scenery is astounding and one can consider sampling the delights Gamkaskloof (’The Hell’), the Cango Caves or even an ostrich farm.

The Karoo plains to the east of Beaufort West Show details

Murraysburg and surroundings Show details