Birding Routes

Introducing the Flamingo Birding Route Show details

Birds and Birding along the West Coast Show details

The West Coast National Park: Geelbek and Surrounds Show details

The West Coast National Park: The Outlying Areas Show details

The Swartland Local Municipal Region: Malmesbury, Hopefield and Moorreesburg Show details

The Swartland Local Municipal Region: Darling and Yzerfontein Show details

The Saldanha Bay Local Municipal Region: Langebaan and Surrounds Show details

Saldanha Bay Local Municipal Region: Saldanha to Velddrif Show details


The SAS SALDANHA NATURE RESERVE ( S33º 02’02.95” E17º 54’42.52”) is managed by the SANDF and approval for entry is required. There is a variety of hiking trails that can be used seven days a week. The best time of year to bird here is after good rains in winter and until the middle of summer. In addition to coastal species, there is a fair diversity of terrestrial species, notably LBJ’s, and good numbers of birds of prey available. Look out for most of the egrets, Black-crowned Night-Heron, Namaqua Sandgrouse and Cape Penduline Tit.

The two coastal villages of JACOBSBAAI (S32º 58’07.77” E17º 53’26.62”) and MAURITZBAAI (S32º 57’18.79” E17º 52’54.07”) are also worth investigating. The access roads often produce Sickle-winged Chat, Southern Black Korhaan, Long-billed Pipit and Cape Penduline Tit, but these villages are best known for their large day roosts of terns. In summer many Common, Sandwich and Swift Terns can be found, but look carefully for Roseate Terns as these are sometimes present. Expect to find large numbers of Antarctic Terns in winter.

The VREDENBURG/ SALDANHA GOLF COURSE, ( S32º 92’18.80” E18º 05’57.40”) where permission for entry should be obtained from the Club Manager, has a bird hide on the northern side of the course. Access is from the R45 and it is well worth a visit. Specials here can include Black-crowned Night-Heron, Greater Painted-snipe, Black Sparrowhawk and a selection of swallows, swifts and martins during summer.

The PENINSULA DRIVE that takes one from Vredenburg to Velddrif via Paternoster and St Helena Bay comes highly recommended for birders. In late winter Burchell’s Courser can be found in sparsely vegetated fields and look out for Greater Painted-snipe at dams. Bokmakierie, Sickle-winged Chat and Capped Wheatear are often found on roadside fences and the area is well known for its birds of prey. Even Pale Chanting Goshawk and Greater Kestrel, normally associated with Karoo habitats, occasionally occur. Also look for roosting Spotted Eagle-Owl amongst the large granite domes. The Cape Columbine Nature Reserve, just west of Paternoster, is also very good for terns. Large numbers of Antarctic Terns occur in winter. Ruddy Turnstone are also common in summer. Terrestrial species along here can include White-throated and Yellow Canaries, Grey-backed Cisticola, Karoo Prinia, Wattled Starling and Grey Tit. Breeding Pied Avocets can sometimes be found along the road to the east of Paternoster. Locals at St Helena call Britannia Heights ‘Five Larks Country’. There is a steep road to the top of the hill near the reservoir; here birders can look for Cape Clapper, Cape Long-billed, Large-billed and Red-capped Larks and Grey-backed Sparrowlark. This represents quite a challenge for novice birders. Also expect to find Acacia Pied Barbet, Blue Crane, Ant-eating Chat and Chestnut-vented Tit-Babbler.

The Berg River Local Municipal Region: Porterville to Velddrif Show details

The Berg River Local Municipal Region: The Lower Berg River Wetlands Show details

The Berg River Local Municipal Region: Laaiplek & Rocherpan Show details

The Cederberg Local Municipal Area: Cederberg Wilderness Area Show details

The Cederberg Local Municipal Area: Citrusdal to Verlorenvlei & Elandsbaai Show details

Cederberg Local Municipal Area: Clanwilliam to Lambert Show details

The Matzikama Local Municipal Region: Olifants River Estuary Show details

The Matzikama Local Municipal Region: Vanrhynsdorp and the Knersvlakte Show details