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


SWARTJIESBAAI (S32º 48’10.35” E18º 11’40.30”) on the road towards Hopefield offers Red-necked Phalarope, Common Redshank, African Purple Swamphen, White-winged Tern, Water Thick-knee and more recently Goliath Heron. Look out for Blue Crane, Lanner Falcon, Southern Black Korhaan and Barn Owl along the access road. Permission for entry should be obtained from the owner. (Contact Jan Kotze at +27 022 783 0818). The salt-pans are non-tidal, and amongst others, Chestnut-banded Plover, Red-necked Phalarope, Cape Long-billed and Large-billed Larks and Chestnut-vented Tit-Babbler may be found. Hartlaub’s Gulls and Swift Terns have bred here.

Also ensure that the harbour at LAAIPLEK is visited towards the end of day. Most spectacularly, up to 30,000 Cape Cormorants can at times fly over to roost in the salt-pans. More than 100,000 birds have been recorded here.

Velddrif serves as a wonderful base for birding in this central part of the Cape West Coast throughout the year. It lies central to the West Coast National Park, the West Coast Fossil Park, St Helena Bay, Rocherpan, Verlorenvlei, Aurora and Piketberg. The diversity of species to be found at these different birding destinations makes a visit to Velddrif and environs a priority for visiting birders.

ROCHERPAN NATURE RESERVE, (S32º 37’03.16” E18º 17’52.38”) managed by CapeNature, is found along the R27 just north of LAAIPLEK and DWARSKERSBOS. This ephemeral pan usually fills in winter and becomes dry in late summer. Excellent photographic opportunities are to be had at the bird hides when conditions are suitable. Large flocks of flamingos, together with African Spoonbill, all three grebes, and a variety of ducks, including Maccoa Duck, SA Shelduck and Cape Shoveler are on display in wetter cycles. The entire suite of the migratory waders that visit the West Coast during summer can be found, depending on water levels. The extensive reed beds around the pan produce many warblers, Black Crake, African Rail and African Purple Swamphen. Vast numbers of martins, swallows and swifts are found in summer. The Strandveld vegetation surrounding the pan is also very good for birding and birders can expect to find a variety of canaries and larks, Grey Tit, as well as European Bee-eater and cuckoos in summer. It is also interesting that both Namaqua and Rufous-eared Warblers are found here on the southern limits of their distribution range. Grassland habitats host Blue Crane, Secretarybird and bustards in winter. Raptors include Black Harrier, and Steppe Buzzard and Yellow-billed Kite in summer. The dunes and extensive beaches also produce many coastal birds. Cottages are now available here, allowing birders the opportunity to overnight in this exciting reserve. Visit www.capenature.co.za.

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