(Published in July 2009 BirdLife South Africa E-Newsletter)
The Agulhas National Park hosts a variety of habitat types and great biodiversity as far as birds are concerned. Large expanses of coastal fynbos allow birders access to species such as Cape Sugarbird, Victorin's Warbler and Orange-breasted Sunbird, and the patches of Renosterveld host large numbers of Black Harriers. The iconic bird of the park is the range-restricted Agulhas Long-billed Lark. Large groves of milkwood trees throughout the park offer Southern Tchagra, African Olive Dove, Lemon Dove and a variety of small raptors.
The wetlands and marshes at Soetendalsvallei, Nuwejaarsrivier and Voёlvlei host species such African Rail, African Fish-Eagle, African Snipe, Black Crake and kingfishers. In summer the quality and quantity of waders seen at Voёlvlei and Soutpan is simply impressive and prolific.
To top this all the De Mond Nature Reserve is in close proximity – this is wader heaven! The coastal belt along the reserve allows access to most of the seabirds that one would normally expect along the Western Cape coastline. An added advantage of the Agulhas National Park is that birders can now travel from the birding hot spots such as Rooiels, Harold Porter and Fernkloof via the park on their way to De Hoop and De Mond. Also keep in mind that the hamlet of Napier, the shipwreck museum in Bredasdorp and the southernmost point in Africa should be visited when one visits the “deep south”. Birders do not have to race through the Overberg along the N2 any more – visit the southern Overberg and enjoy the leisurely lifestyle and great endemic birds.
The Agulhas National Park Honorary Rangers are presenting their second birding weekend in collaboration with SASOL, Glendower and the Moravian community at Elim between 30 October and 1 November 2009. Read more about the delights of this area and the birding weekend on