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


Most people simply pass through BEAUFORT WEST, (S32º 20’56.45” E22º 34’58.50”) or use it as a refuelling station. Birding here could be very rewarding as species such as Karoo Long-billed Lark, Cape Penduline Tit, Black-eared Sparrowlark, Southern Tchagra, Namaqua Warbler and many more interesting birds are known to occur in and around the town. Astonishingly, Yellow-crowned Bishop and Green Wood-Hoopoe have been recorded here. The local water treatment works (S32º 22’44.12” E22º 35’17.82”) should not be ignored as it provides the only open water in the area during dry spells. The majority of ducks and herons of the region have been identified here, and flamingos move through the area nomadically. Good numbers of migratory waders are found during summer months. White-winged Terns visit regularly and Whiskered Terns less often. Pied Avocet, Grey-headed Gull and Black-winged Stilt are often found in large numbers. Follow Bird Street to the south out of town - the treatment works is on the right hand side of the road after it has become gravel. The Springfontein Dam could equally support good numbers of waterfowl when conditions are favourable. Visitors should also keep in mind that the Karoo National Park is just outside town and even a casual day visit could produce exciting birding and sightings of some of the special Karoo birds - see description elsewhere.

The birding potential of the area is well illustrated by the fact that ‘THE KAROO KORHAANS’, under the leadership of Karoo birding expert Japie Claassen, often record more than 150 species within the 24 hours allowed during BirdLife South Africa’s Birding Big Day. They usually win the so-called ‘handicap competition’ as they normally achieve the highest percentage of species to be found in a restricted area. This major achievement shows that birding at Beaufort West and surroundings should not be underestimated.

An added bonus is that there are several private game and nature reserves in close proximity to Beaufort West, many if them offering outstanding birding opportunities. Some of these destinations are improving their birding infrastructure at present.

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