Birding Routes

BIRDING IN THE WITZENBERG REGION - INTRODUCTORY COMMENTS Show details

THE ENDEMIC AND OTHER SPECIAL SPECIES OF THE WITZENBERG REGION Show details

THE MOUNTAIN PASSES OF THE WITZENBERG REGION Show details

THE TULBAGH REGION 1 - GENERAL INTRODUCTION Show details

THE TULBAGH REGION 2 - THE TWEE JONGEGEZELLEN ROAD Show details

THE TULBAGH REGION 3 - THE THEUNISKRAAL ROAD Show details

THE TULBAGH REGION 4 - THE ROAD TO WOLSELEY Show details


BIRDING ALONG THE ROAD TO WOLSELEY
The road from Tulbagh to Wolseley differs greatly from the two routes described earlier as it presents open, refreshing farming areas dominated by wheatfield, rather than vineyards, orchards and dense vegetation. This offers a completely different array of birds to those discussed earlier and makes a birding visit to the Tulbagh region that much more appealing and worthwhile. Caution is advised as this road usually carries heavy traffic despite broad road verges mostly in play. The key species to look for include the BLUE CRANE, BLACK HARRIER and SOUTHERN BLACK KORHAAN. Raptors found commonly are the JACKAL BUZZARD, PEREGRINE FALCON, ROCK KESTREL and BLACK-SHOULDERED KITE. In summer, the MARTIAL EAGLE is occasionally seen, but the numbers of migratory STEPPE BUZZARDS and YELLOW-BILLED KITES are far more generous. Pleasantly common species include the SOUTHERN RED and YELLOW BISHOPS, CAPE CROW, BLACK-HEADED HERON, LARGE-BILLED and RED-CAPPED LARKS, AFRICAN PIPIT, KAROO PRINIA, STREAKY-HEADED SEEDEATER, PIED STARLING, AFRICAN STONECHAT and CAPPED WHEATEAR, but watch out for the sporadic LESSER KESTRELS during summer. One, with a bit of good fortune, might spot species found less frequently in this habitat type including the FAMILIAR CHAT, GREY-BACKED and ZITTING CISTICOLAS, NAMAQUA DOVE, CROWNED LAPWING, CAPE LONGCLAW, NEDDICKY, LONG-BILLED PIPIT, WATTLED STARLING and ALPINE and LITTLE SWIFTS.

Three premiere destinations are featured along this route. The GUINEVERE GUEST FARM (33° 34'39”S 19° 16'17”) features a variety of habitat types ranging from beautiful fynbos and renosterveld to boulder strewn hills and a small river flourishing with vegetation. The species list, therefore, includes species as diverse as the JACKAL BUZZARD, BLACK HARRIER, HALF-COLLARED KINGFISHER, SOUTHERN BLACK KORHAAN, CAPE SISKIN, CAPE SUGARBIRD and ORANGE-BREASTED SUNBIRD. Novice birders will have their identification skills tested to the limit with the assortment  of LBJs on the farm. It is recommended that a few nights be spent at Guinevere as birding is sublime and it is primely situated to explore the birding delights of surrounding areas.
CONTACT DETAILS: Tel: +27 (0)23 004 0149 E-mail: info.guinevere@gmail.com Website: www.guinevereguestfarm.com

The WILD OLIVE FARM is nestled in the foothills of the mesmerising Witzenberg mountain range, but the centrepiece is a number of dams featuring excellent waterbird viewing. Visitors even talk about “the bird-watching dams”. It is an active olive farm, but expect to watch birds in a tranquil and scenic environment. One will easily find the common water birds of the region, but look out for the GREAT CRESTED, LITTLE and BLACK-NECKED GREBES, HAMERKOP, PURPLE HERON, GIANT and MALACHITE KINGFISHERS and CAPE SHOVELER. The reed beds and thickets may feature the LEVAILLANT'S CISTICOLA, BLACK CRAKE, COMMON MOORHEN, LITTLE RUSH-WARBLER and LESSER SWAMP-WARBLER, with AFRICAN REED-WARBLER being present in summer.
CONTACT DETAILS: reservations@wildolivefarm.com Website: http://wildolivefarm.com/ 

HORSE ABOUT (33° 34'94”S 19° 16'41”E) represents something completely different, because they specialise in horseback trails through picturesque mountainous landscapes. During summer months, they offer a tipi campsite for those who enjoy escaping into nature. Certainly, birding on horseback is not everyone's cup of tea, but many exciting species are on record on the farm and the access to fynbos areas for bird-watching is unparalleled. The AFRICAN FISH-EAGLE and SECRETARYBIRD are seen quite frequently and the dams host a wide selection of waterbirds. The renosterveld produces the majority of regional LBJs and fynbos habitats offer most of the endemic species associated with it. Sightings of the CAPE BATIS, EUROPEAN BEE-EATER, JACKAL BUZZARD, BLUE CRANE, BLACK HARRIER, AFRICAN HOOPOE and CAPE SUGARBIRD were also taken note of. Day visiting birders who do not wish to ride horses are welcome to utilise the many hiking trails on the farm , but kindly contact management in advance. A thorough bird list is currently being developed.
CONTACT DETAILS: Tel: +27 (0)82-884 9881 E-mail: info@horseabout.co.za Website: www.horseabout.co.za

Three additional destinations further along the R46, namely WAVERLEY HILLS ORGANIC WINES, THE RIVER SIDING and WHITE BRIDGE FARM, will be discussed under the description of the Wolseley district to follow hereafter.

(Note that there are links to more information, trip reports and the like below the photographs that may be used to further plan a visit to the area).

White-backed Duck  (Image by CG)
Red-billed Teals  (Image by AO)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Black Harrier  (Image by CM)
Female Southern Black Korhaan  (Image by AO)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Capped Wheatear  (Image by JW)
Cape Clapper Lark  (Image by RM)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BAINSKLOOF PASS AND BERGSIG WINE ESTATE Show details

BERGSIG WINE ESTATE TO WOLSELEY - AN ALTERNATIVE ROUTE Show details

WOLSELEY AND MICHELLS PASS Show details

BIRDING IN CERES Show details

CIRCLE ROUTES FROM CERES 1 - CERES TO KAROOPOORT Show details

CIRCLE ROUTES FROM CERES 1 - KAROOPOORT TO TANKWA FARM STALL Show details

CIRCLE ROUTES FROM CERES 1 - KATBAKKIES TO OP-DIE-BERG Show details

CIRCLE ROUTES FROM CERES 1 - OP-DIE-BERG TO CERES Show details

CIRCLE ROUTES FROM CERES 2 - SWAARMOED PASS & BO-SWAARMOED FARMING AREA Show details

CIRCLE ROUTE FROM CERES 2 CONTINUED - THE DROEHOEK ROAD TO GYDO PASS Show details

THE TANKWA-KAROO NATIONAL PARK - THE P2250 GRAVEL ROAD Show details

THE TANKWA KAROO NATIONAL PARK 2 - OUDEBAASKRAAL AND SURROUNDS Show details

THE TANKWA KAROO NATIONAL PARK 3 - THE INTERIOR ROADS AND ACCOMMODATION Show details

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Show details