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


The MOLTENO PASS (S32º 12’49.88” E22º 32’52.22”) is on the R381 approximately 18kms north-east on Beaufort West and target species here are Karoo Eremomela, African Rock Pipit, Cape Penduline Tit and Cinnamon-breasted Warbler. Birds of Prey include Jackal Buzzard and Verreaux’s Eagles. In summer expect to find Steppe Buzzard, Booted Eagle, Lesser Kestrel and sometimes even Amur Falcon. The rocky areas often produce Pale-winged Starling, Dusky Sunbird, Layard’s Tit-Babbler, Short-toed Rock-Thrush and Ground Woodpecker. More common species to be found include Long-billed Crombec, Fairy Flycatcher, Long-billed Pipit and Rufous-eared Warbler. Both Orange-breasted and Southern Double-collared Sunbirds have been recorded here recently. There are unfortunately very few safe places to stop along this pass - extreme caution is advised. The R381 continues to Loxton and interesting species have also been described along this road.

The N1 to the north may look tedious, but should not be underestimated as there is a wide selection of private game reserves and farm lodges along the way, many of them offering mind-blowing birding. We stayed at TAAIBOSCHFONTEIN (S32º 03’32.17” E23º 00’07.37”) for two days. The farm nestles against the Nuweveld mountain range and the habitat is dominated by Karoo grassland and massive stands of mature riverine thickets - this is different from the typical Karoo scrub to be found further to the south. The woodland around the homestead produced, among other excitements, Acacia Pied Barbet roosting in a tree outside the lounge, Black-throated and White-throated Canaries, Fairy Flycatcher, Southern Grey-headed Sparrow, Chestnut-vented Tit-Babbler, Namaqua Warbler, Cardinal Woodpecker and many more. Birds of prey include Marshall and Verreaux’s Eagles, African Fish-Eagle, Southern Pale Chanting Goshawk, Gabar Goshawk, Secretarybird and what locals call ‘the Christmas Falcon’ (Lesser Kestrel). The plains are largely grassland, and on it we found Karoo and Sickle-winged Chat, Spike-heeled Larks, Karoo Korhaan and Ground Woodpecker. We recorded more than 75 species in a day’s casual birding - an ideal spot for birders passing through the Karoo.

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

The Karoo plains to the east of Beaufort West Show details

Murraysburg and surroundings Show details