Birding Routes

THEEWATERSKLOOF BIRDING - INTRODUCTORY COMMENTS Show details

THE ENDEMIC AND OTHER SPECIAL BIRD SPECIES OF THE THEEWATERSKLOOF REGION Show details

BIRDING IN THE OVERBERG WHEATBELT IMPORTANT BIRD AND BIODIVERSITY AREA - INTRODUCTORY OVERVIEW Show details

THE SIR LOWRYS PASS SITE Show details

THE KOGELBERG BIOSPHERE RESERVE Show details

THE HIGHLANDS AND VALLEY ROADS LOOPS Show details

THE ELGIN/ GRABOUW COUNTRY CLUB & EIKENHOF DAM Show details

HOTTENTOTS HOLLAND NATURE RESERVE Show details

VILLIERSDORP Show details

THE THEEWATERSKLOOF DAM Show details

BOTRIVER VILLAGE AND VAN DER STEL PASS Show details

THE KARWYDERSKRAAL AND SWARTRIVIER ROADS Show details

CALEDON VILLAGE Show details

THE CALEDON WILD FLOWER GARDEN Show details

THE OUDEKRAAL ROAD AND TESSELAARSDAL Show details

THE R326 BETWEEN STANFORD AND RIVIERSONDEREND Show details

THE R406 TO GREYTON Show details

GREYTON VILLAGE AND NATURE RESERVE Show details

THE R406 BETWEEN GREYTON AND RIVIERSONDEREND Show details

BIRDING IN AND AROUND RIVIERSONDEREND Show details



(NB! This section is still under production and will be completed by middle January 2016. - Ed.)

 

RIVIERSONDEREND ULTRA CITY
34° 08'56.62'S 19° 54'34.61"E
STANFORD TURN-OFF ALONG N2
34° 10'08.07"S 19° 48'08.74"E


RIVIERSONDEREND
Riviersonderend is often overlooked as a drive through en route to an alternate destination. The surrounding countryside offers much to see and do for outdoor and nature lovers. The area offers everything from mountain and river hiking, to kloofing, fishing, and indigenous fynbos. Birders will be interested to know the surrounding fields boast some of South Africa’s most frequent sitings of endangered Blue crane. 

Activities and Attractions in Riviersonderend
Try the moderate 4.4 km Kleinbergie hiking trail or the 7 km river trail
The Riviersonderend Canyon Trail and the Suicide Gorge provide for some exceptional kloofing
Go Bass fishing or bird watching
Have fun on a 4X4 farm trail
Visit the Riviersonderend Small Hall Photographic Museum
Swim in, or canoe on, the Sonderend River
Have a round of gold on the nine-hole course at the Riviersonderend Golf Club
Riviersonderend conservation area

This 69 000 ha part state and part privately owned land is a particularly scenic part of the Cape Overberg. The Riviersonderend conservation area incorporates the Riviersonderend, Greyton, McGregor and Villiersdorp towns. It is essentially a mountain catchment area that supplies water to the Greater Cape Town Metropolitan area. 
Most people who have travelled the Garden Route think of Riviersonderend predominantly as a refuelling station. The N2 national road, which runs directly through the town centre, forms its Main Street. 

What many people don’t realise is that Riviersonderend is also an ideal spot for outdoor adventure and nature appreciation. Those who do take a little time to explore will experience first hand the breathtaking valley and mountain views, waterfalls and incredible canyon scenery. This is where you come to appreciate the true meaning of unspoilt nature and rural country tranquility. 

Riviersonderend conservation area
This 69 000 ha part state and part privately owned land is a particularly scenic part of the Cape Overberg. The Riviersonderend conservation area incorporates the Riviersonderend, Greyton, McGregor and Villiersdorp towns. It is essentially a mountain catchment area that supplies water to the Greater Cape Town Metropolitan area.

The N2 highway between these two towns is not regarded as prime birding territory, although a pair of Peregrine Falcons regularly breed on the cliffs at the picnic spot some 10 kms. north of Caledon. It is recommended that either the Wheatbelt Routes (see elsewhere) or the R406 between Riviersonderend and Greyton be used if there is time.
The N2 highway between these two towns is not regarded as prime birding territory, although a pair of Peregrine Falcons regularly breed on the cliffs at the picnic spot some 10 kms. north of Caledon. It is recommended that either the Wheatbelt Routes (see elsewhere) or the R406 between Riviersonderend and Greyton be used if there is time.
Jan Malherbe Private Nature Reserve

Riviersonderend, the little village in the Cape Overberg that lays claim to a river without end, lies roughly between Caledon and Swellendam on the N2 about 160 kilometres from Cape Town.
Only an hour inland from the coast, Riviersonderend is marketed by some as part of the Garden Route, and it isn’t hard to see why the pretty farming village would want incorporating, even if technically it is hardly en route. This must be more than an indication that something about Riviersonderend is worth the detour. Certainly sightings of blue cranes, in fields in the Riviersonderend area, make a trip here mandatory.
The Riviersonderend Mountains that begin at the village and run east to west to Villiersdorp, separate the Breede River Valley from the Cape Overberg and create a beautiful backdrop to the town, providing some breathtaking hikes, kloofing and fishing opportunities.
The Kleinbergie hiking trail in particular deserves mention whilst the Riviersonderend Canyon Trail and Suicide Gorge Trail provide some incredible kloofing, complete with waterfalls and superb canyon scenery (access is from the Hottentots Holland Nature Reserve).
Riviersonderend is a perfect example of rural tranquillity, surrounded by farms and gorgeous mountain and river scenery. The Sonderend River, which begins in the mountains behind the town, is one of the possible sources of the name of the village – there is some debate. Names aside, the town is a lovely stopover and an ideal position from which to explore both the Overberg - Napier, Malgas and Bredasdorp - and the Breede River Valley - McGregor, Robertsonand Montagu.

3405-1955
FYNBOS SPECIALS
CAPE SISKIN, CAPE SUGARBIRD, ORANGE-BREASTED SUNBIRD, PROTEA SEEDEATER, VICTORIN'S WARBLER,

OTHER ENDEMICS OR NEAR ENDEMICS
CAPE CANARY, FISCAL FLYCATCHER, CAPE WHITE-EYE, SWEE WAXBILL, CAPE GRASSBIRD, CAPE SPURFOWL,

WHEATFIELDS AND OPEN COUNTRY
BRIMSTONE CANARY, AFRICAN PIPIT, KAROO PRINIA, AFRICAN STONECHAT,
SOUTHERN RED BISHOP, CAPE CROW, BLACK-HEADED HERON, STREAKY-HEADED SEEDEATER, LITTLE SWIFT,
YELLOW BISHOPS, BLUE CRANE, ALPINE SWIFT,
GREY-BACKED and ZITTING CISTICOLAS, CATTLE EGRET, NEDDICKY,
DENHAM'S BUSTARD,KAROO KORHAAN, AGULHAS LONG-BILLED LARK, CAPE CLAPPER LARK, LARGE-BILLED AND RED-CAPPED LARKS, CAPE LONGCLAW,

BIRDS OF FOREST HABITATS OR THICKETS
BAR-THROATED APALIS, CAPE BATIS, AFRICAN DUSKY FLYCATCHER, AFRICAN PARADISE-FLYCATCHER, SOUTHERN BOUBOU, FOREST CANARY, BLUE-MANTLED CRESTED-FLYCATCHER, BLACK CUCKOO-SHRIKE, TAMBOURINE DOVE, OLIVE WOODPECKER,
COMMON SPECIES
FORK-TAILED DRONGO, CAPE ROBIN-CHAT, GREATER DOUBLE-COLLARED and MALACHITE SUNBIRDS, CAPE WAGTAIL, CAPE WEAVER,
SOUTHERN GREY-HEADED SPARROW, COMMON WAXBILL, SOUTHERN DOUBLE-COLLARED SUNBIRDS,
BOKMAKIERIE, CAPE BULBUL, BROWN-HOODED KINGFISHER, AMETHYST SUNBIRD, CAPPED WHEATEAR,
WATERBIRDS
LEVAILLANT'S CISTICOLA, YELLOW-BILLED DUCK, EGYPTIAN GOOSE, LITTLE GREBE, BLACKSMITH LAPWING, COMMON MOORHEN, THREE-BANDED PLOVER, CAPE and RED-BILLED TEALS, RED-KNOBBED COOT, LESSER SWAMP-WARBLER,REED CORMORANT, LITTLE RUSH-WARBLER, SPURWINGED GEESE, AFRICAN DARTER, AFRICAN BLACK AND WHITE-FACED DUCKS, HAMERKOP, GREY HERON, GIANT and MALACHITE KINGFISHERS, AFRICAN SPOONBILL, LITTLE BITTERN, MACCOA DUCK,
(NB: CONSIDER ADDING MORE DUCKS, ETC ONCE THE AREA HAS BEEN VISITED)
BIRDS OF PREY
JACKAL BUZZARD, BLACK SPARROWHAWK, kites, FOREST and STEPPE BUZZARDS, BOOTED EAGLE, AFRICAN HARRIER-HAWK, ROCK KESTREL, MARTIAL AND VERREAUX'S EAGLES, SPOTTED EAGLE-OWL, LANNER FALCON, AFRICAN FISH-EAGLE, AFRICAN GOSHAWK, BLACK HARRIER, BARN OWL, SECRETARYBIRD, RUFOUS-CHESTED SPARROWHAWKS,
MIGRANTS
GREATER STRIPED SWALLOW, KLAAS'S AND RED-CHESTED CUCKOOS, WHITE STORK, BLACK SAWWING, BARN, PEARL-BREASTED, WHITE-THROATED SWALLOW, LESSER KESTREL,
RARE: LITTLE BITTERN, FOREST CANARY, BLACK CUCKOO-SHRIKE, TAMBOURINE DOVE, COMB DUCK, RED-CHESTED FLUFFTAIL, AFRICAN JACANA,
VAGRANT: GREEN-BACKED HERON, AFRICAN JACANA, AFRICAN OPENBILL, GREY WAGTAIL,

(Note that there are links to more information, trip reports and the like below the photographs that may be used to further plan a visit to the area).

Black-winged Stilt  (Image by CA)
African Black Ducks  (Image by AO)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yellow-billed Kite  (Image by CA)

 

 

 

 

 

Yellow Canary  (Image by RM)

 

 

 

 

 

Long-billed Crombec  (Image by AO)

 

 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Show details