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ADVISE ON BIRDING TANQUA

Posted on the 29th October 2012

(We received this request from birders wanting to visit the Tanqua and we load reactions and recommendations as user comments below. - Ed.)

Hi
 
I will be going to the Tanqua Karroo for three days from 2 to 5 November. I would appreciate Please some info on good birding spots and where to stay .
 
Many thanks
 
Kind regards
 
Jenny Findlay
 

 

COMMENTS

1126
JOHAN SLABBERT (posted: 2012-10-29)
Phew, where to start.
OK, first off, where to stay:
1. Lots of info available on their website at http://www.sanparks.org/parks/tankwa/
2. They have a number of converted farmsteads which are quite rustic & charming (Varschfontein et al), without electricity, but with hot water from a donkey boiler. Many people prefer these to anything else, being very romantic & secluded.
3. They’ve got a number of camping sites, one of which, Perdekloof has just recently been upgraded with brand new ablution blocks. Once again without electricity. Very scenic & charming.
4. The former farmstead & guesthouse known as Tankwa Lodge, close to the Oudebaaskraal dam. This one, with power & lights (but limited)
5. The smart, upmarket chalets known as the Elandsberg Cottages, each with private plunge pool. They’re modern, comfortable, well appointed & charming, with great views towards the Roggeveld Mountains & Gannaga Pass. The vegetation in that part of the park is also more lush. There are several cottages of differing configurations & capacities. A bit more expensive than the other options, but well worth it.
6. Gannaga Lodge on the escarpment at the top end of Gannaga Pass. Privately owned, with all amenities AND AIRCON.
Some birding spots & areas:
a. Again, check the bird list on the website
b. The area around the Park Reception/Info area at Roodewerf, for a wide range of ‘plaaswerf’ birds
c. Oudebaaskraal dam, particularly the riverine area below the weir, for waterfowl
d. The area in the vicinity of the Tankwa Guest House for Ludwig’s Bustard=
e. The road P2250 approaching the park from the R355 side (between Ceres & Calvinia) for Burchell’s & Double-banded Courser & Karoo Korhaan
f. Gannaga Pass for Verreaux Eagle & Mountain Wheatear/Chat
g. Gannaga Lodge area for Grey-winged Francolin
h. The main road P2250 up to Roodewerf (from the south) for Jackal Buzzard & if you’re lucky, Martial Eagle
i. The main road P2250 beyond Roodewerf, towards Gannaga Pass & Calvinia, for Pale Chanting Goshawk (although they’re just about everywhere) & Greater Kestrel
j.Farm & other buildings & water courses/sources for Cape Bunting, Black-headed Canary (keep a sharp eye out for Damara Canary with them)
k. The Elandsberg area (all around the cottages, often) for all manner of little birds, such as Karoo Prinia, Sunbirds, Karoo Scrub-robin, Flycatchers & Narina Trogon (just kidding!).
l. Keep your eyes peeled for Grey-backed Sparrowlark, Black-eared Sparrowlark, Karoo Long-billed Lark, Spike-heeled lark, Karoo Lark, Namaqua Warbler (don’t mistake it for the Karoo Prinia!!), Rufus-eared Warbler, Layard’s Tit-babbler (again, check carefully to avoid mistaking it for the Chestnut-vented cousin), Grey Tit, Karoo Eremomela, Pririt Batis & many many more.
m. The Karoo of course is known for its LBJ’s but take your time & look closely or you could easily miss the specials (which for the most part are also LBJ’s).
Enjoy!
Johan Slabbert
082 455 6186
johanslabbert@vodamail.co.za



JENNY FINDLAY (posted: 2012-10-29)
Hi Anton
Many thanks for the most informative link.
Kind regards
Jenny Findlay
ANTON ODENDAL (posted: 2012-10-29)
Hi Jenny,
There is a lot of information on Tanqua at this link:

http://www.westerncapebirding.co.za/karoo/routes.php

Kindly let me know if I could be of any further assistance once you have worked through it.
Kind regards.
Anton