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


There are two important passes when travelling eastwards from the Tanqua Karoo onto the Roggeveld escarpment. The GANNAGA PASS (S32º 02’02.53” E20º 07’50.97”) takes one to Middelpos and the OUBERG PASS (S32º 26’15.64” E20º 37’28.34”) connects Karoopoort to Sutherland. Both passes offer spectacular vistas over the Tanqua Karoo and the Ceres Karoo Mountains in the distance, but should be travelled with caution as this is a remote area. Several hairpin bends occur and the roads are often not well maintained. Birds found on the Gannaga Pass and beyond include European Bee-eaters (summer), Verreaux’s Eagle, Karoo Eremomela, Grey-winged Francolin, Karoo Korhaan and Karoo and Large-billed Larks. The Ouberg Pass road can produce Sickle-winged Chat, Booted Eagle, Cape Eagle-Owl, African Rock Pipit, Pale-winged Starling and Ground Woodpecker.

The town of SUTHERLAND (S32º 23’46.84” E20º 39’39.06”) is probably best known for its extremely low temperatures and the Southern African Large Telescope (SALT) just to the east of the town. A visit to the South African Astronomical Observatory must be included during a visit to Sutherland - both day and night tours are on offer and stargazing is also presented in the town. (Visit www.sutherlandinfo.co.za). Sutherland can also be reached via the tarred R354 from Matjiesfontein along which the Verlatenkloof Pass often produces good birding. From Sutherland one can also travel back to the N1 and eventually Beaufort West or via either Fraserburg or Merweville. Birding along the R356 between Sutherland and Fraserburg should not be underestimated as Pririt Batis, Black-headed and Black-throated Canaries, Chat Flycatcher, Black-eared Sparrowlark, Grey Tit, Cape Penduline Tit and Rufous-eared Warbler can be anticipated. Larger species can include Ludwig’s Bustard, Martial Eagle, Karoo Korhaan and Black-chested Snake-Eagle. Birds seen on the road to Merweville can produce species such as Namaqua Dove, Greater Flamingo, Dusky Sunbird and Namaqua Warbler. The road that runs between Merweville and the N1 can be particularly rewarding as large numbers of birds of prey are regularly found here.

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