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 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


CLANWILLIAM is best known for its wildflowers and as the gateway to the Cederberg and the birding delights in the Pakhuis Pass. The truly spectacular annual Clanwilliam Wild Flower Show is unmissable. Birding in the town and surroundings can be exceptional. Ensure that the Clanwilliam Dam is explored, as waterfowl abound and Whiskered Tern are often present in large numbers.

Try an interesting alternative when travelling from Clanwilliam to Lambert’s Bay: Roughly 10km south of Clanwilliam along the N7 a gravel road (signposted as Paleisheuwel) turns west to KRANSVLEIPOORT. (S32º 27’54.99” E18º 51’25.94”) It soon follows a narrow gorge, and a slow stroll here is well worthwhile. Well known for its canaries, the area is regarded as one of the best spots to find Protea Seedeater. There is a breeding pair of Verreaux’s Eagle, and Ground Woodpecker is often found on rocky outcrops. Be on the lookout for Namaqua Warbler in the reed beds along the river, and Long-billed Crombec, Fairy Flycatcher and Layard’s Tit-Babbler in scrubs along the hillsides. Travel from here via Paleisheuwel and Leipoldtville to Lambert’s Bay.

BIRD ISLAND NATURE RESERVE (S32º 05’ E18º 18’) at Lambert’s Bay is yet another Important Bird Area (SA 100) along the Cape West Coast and certainly one of the highlights along the Flamingo Birding Route. The island is linked to the shore by a harbour wall and causeway from which many interesting species can be observed and photographed. Species here include most of the cormorants (Cape Cormorants being particularly numerous), African Black Oystercatcher, several species of tern and a variety of waders. Pelagic species such as Northern Giant Petrel, Sooty Shearwaters and White-chinned Petrels can sometimes be observed from the causeway, mostly during stormy weather. Bird Island is, however, world renowned for its breeding flock of Cape Gannets. A convenient hide that allows for viewing through windows gives one the opportunity to watch the antics of the gannets from close quarters. JAKKALSVLEI (S32º 05’24.01” E18º 19’33.71”) is a seasonal pan on the northern edge of Lambert’s Bay that is accessed through the caravan park. Birding here can be exceptional as the pan hosts many waterfowl when conditions are suitable. WADRIF SALT-PAN, (S32º 12’12.69” E18º 19’52.28”) an ephemeral pan 10 km south of Lambert’s Bay, is worth a visit, particularly after good winter rains and during spring. It normally dries out in summer. The Sishen-Saldanha railway line was unfortunately built through the pan in the 1970’s and has resulted in three pans now being available. The pans can be viewed from either the main road from Elands Bay to Lambert’s Bay (spotting scopes required here), or from the railway service road. Pied Avocet, Maccoa Duck, both flamingos, Chestnut-banded Plover, SA Shelduck and Cape Teal are often found here. A vagrant Baird’s Sandpiper caused a sensation a few years ago.

The Matzikama Local Municipal Region: Olifants River Estuary Show details

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