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


LANGEBAAN, considered the holiday Mecca of the Cape West Coast, is known for its top class accommodation, restaurants and kite surfing. Birding here should not, however, be overlooked. Open areas of fields within and around the town often produce sightings of species such as Southern Black Korhaan, Karoo and Large-billed Lark, Karoo Prinia, Karoo Scrub-Robin, Pied Starling, Grey Tit and the occasional Black Harrier. The steep hill at the northern gate of the West Coast National Park should be explored as a variety of canaries, Acacia Pied Barbet, Spotted Eagle-Owl, Rock Kestrel and Southern Pale Chanting Goshawk are often encountered. Spotting scopes are needed to study coastal and seabirds around SCHAAPEN ISLAND. Birds to look out for include Bank, Cape and Crowned Cormorants, Hartlaub’s and Kelp Gulls, African Black Oystercatcher, White-fronted Plover, together with most of the terns to be expected in the region. In birding circles Langebaan is perhaps best known for the pair of breeding Verreaux’s Eagles at the LANGEBAAN QUARRY (33º 03’17.47” E18º 03’13.84”). Visitors are urged not to disturb these birds during the winter breeding season. This site often produces Peregrine Falcon, Rock Kestrel and Ground Woodpecker. Langebaan can be used very effectively as a base to explore the birding delights of destinations such as the Lower Berg River Wetlands, the West Coast National Park and the West Coast Fossil Park.

The WEST COAST FOSSIL PARK (S32º 52’51.29” E18º 00’22.32”) is accessed from the R45 and is open to the public between 10h00 and 16h00 on weekdays and 10h00 and 13h00 over weekends. Covering a large area, it has fascinating excavated fossils on display. The West Coast Fossil Park offers one of the richest fossil bird deposits in the world. In scientific literature the site is known as Langebaanweg and it represents a time period of about ten million years to about two million years ago. About 200 fossil taxa have been identified, of which roughly 80 are birds. Most of the modern Orders are well represented and the park offers fascinating insights into ancient avifauna. It offers quite a different dimension to birding experiences on the Cape West Coast. A large dam, complete with hide, attracts many waterfowl. Open veld species abound, and the identification of LBJ’s can be very challenging. Birds often found here include Acacia Pied Barbet, Jackal Buzzard, Spotted Eagle-Owl, Barn Owl, SA Shelduck, Chestnut-vented Tit-Babbler, Cardinal Woodpecker and a variety of LBJ’s, martins and swallows.

The R45 to Hopefield also deserves some attention. Good numbers of Blue Cranes are often encountered and Bokmakierie, Black-shouldered Kite, Karoo Lark, Pied Starling and Capped Wheatear are common. In summer, large numbers of Steppe Buzzards, European Bee-eaters and Yellow-billed Kites can be found. European Rollers are also reported occasionally.

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