Birding Routes

Birds and birding in the central Karoo region Show details

Endemic and other special birds of the Karoo Show details

The Karoo National Park Show details

Cape Town to Beaufort West Show details

Birding at Beaufort West and surroundings Show details

From Beaufort West to the North Show details

Tanqua National Park Show details

The Tanqua Karoo to Sutherland and beyond Show details

Seweweeksport to Laingsburg Show details

The Swartberg Pass Show details

From Meiringsport to Prince Albert Show details

Prince Albert and surroundings Show details

The Karoo plains to the east of Beaufort West Show details

Murraysburg and surroundings Show details


The MURRAYSBURG area (S31º 57’43.47” E23º 45’42.30”) has in recent years become known for sightings of a variety of species not normally associated with the Western Cape Province. This is largely due to reports by Stefan Theron, a local birder from the farm Vierfontein. Here the Karoo-like landscape in the west gives way to high altitude grasslands reminiscent of the higher reaches of the Eastern Cape and Southern KwaZulu-Natal. These different habitats have brought about the discovery of ‘new’ species for the Western Cape Province and Stefan’s records indicate some real specials that have been found on various farms in the district. The farms Langrug and Vierfontein produced Hottentot Buttonquail, Northern Black Korhaan, Red-headed and Scaly-feathered Finches, Red-billed Firefinch, Village Indigobird, Pink-billed Lark and African Rock Pipit. The farm Doornbosch came up with Yellow-crowned Bishop, Verreaux’s Eagle-Owl and Drakensberg Rock-jumper. The farm Aasvoëlkrans added Cinnamon-breasted and Golden-breasted Buntings, African Firefinch and Yellow-throated Petronia. Other species sighted in the district include Desert Cisticola, Red-headed Finch, Eastern Clapper Lark, Sabota Lark and Amethyst Sunbird. European Bee-Eaters are numerous during summer. It gets even better as Bateleur, European Nightjar and Short-toed Rock-Thrush have all been positively identified in the region. Gabar Goshawk, Cape Eagle-Owl and Rufous-chested Sparrowhawk are also resident in the district and other interesting species include Kori Bustard and Blue Crane.

This list of special species certainly suggests that the Murraysburg region should in future become a real birding hotspot. Note should be taken of the fact that most of these specials occur on privately owned land and active farms and that permission for entry should be obtained from the owners. Stefan Theron has kindly volunteered to assist in this regard and he can be contacted at 082 907 2801 or stefant@elsenburg.com It seems evident that the Murraysburg district is set to become one of the main birding destinations of the Western Cape Province.