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


DARLING FARM LANDS

The highly underrated area around Darling and Yzerfontein includes a number of birding sites and great wine estates. The DARLING HILLS ROAD can be reached by either turning inland at the GROTTO BEACH turnoff (S33º 30’02.28” E18º 19’58.73”) along the R27, or by travelling for 8.8 km from Darling to Atlantis and turning right towards the GROOTE POST WINE CELLAR. (S33º 48’27.78” E18º 41’05.56”). The Oudepost Flower Reserve (1.7 km outside Darling on the road to Atlantis) and the Waylands Wildflower Reserve (3.5 along the same road), are both very good for birding and wild flowers. Both are only open to the public during August and September. Also try the BURGHERSPOST FARM ROAD which is reached 0.5km outside Darling on the R315 to Yzerfontein. Offering a variety of bush and open country species, the area is well known for its large flocks of European Bee-eaters during summer. It is also recommended as most of the ‘fynbos specials’, together with species such as Bokmakierie, Cape Bunting, Southern Double-collared Sunbird and Chestnut-vented Tit-Babbler can be found here. The TIENIE VERSVELD WILDFLOWER RESERVE (S33º 20’03.02” E18º 16’27.76”) is found 12 km outside Darling on the R315 and is well known for its massive displays of flowers during spring. It provides excellent birding throughout the year. It represents a unique remnant of grassland, fynbos and a seasonal wetland within the vast agricultural fields of the Swartland. A network of trails gives easy access to a wide selection of LBJ’s. In summer most of the martins, swallows and swifts can be found, with European Bee-eaters being particularly numerous. Quail Finch and Common Quail (summer) are often flushed. Look for African Snipe in wet cycles. The flowering bulbs in spring should not be missed.

THE AFMINE GYPSUM MINE (S33º 20’18.82” E18º 11’55.21”) is signposted along the R315 to Yzerfontein, 4 km past the junction with the R27 and is on the edge of a vast salt-pan. Obtain permission to enter from the mine office and proceed to the edge of the pan on foot. This ephemeral pan, surrounded by coastal strandveld and fynbos, has salt marshes around the edges. Greater and Lesser Flamingos and Great White Pelican can occur in huge numbers when conditions are suitable. It is the closest breeding site to Cape Town for Chestnut-banded Plover. At Yzerfontein the network of roads along the coast, beaches and harbour areas is excellent for birding throughout the year. Sabine Gull, vast numbers of African Black Oystercatchers, Little Tern and a recent vagrant Lesser Crested Tern are the highlights found here.

DASSEN ISLAND lies just offshore and has been registered as an Important Bird Area (SA 109). It is unfortunately not open to the public as it serves as a critical breeding site for many threatened coastal birds, most notably the Great White Pelican and African Penguin.

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

The Matzikama Local Municipal Region: Olifants River Estuary Show details

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