This route incorporating Potchefstroom, the Vredefort dome and surrounding grasslands and offers birders the opportunity to visit and explore the various habitats within the Dome park, Vaal river to the rolling grasslands surrounding Potchefstroom. Within the region is the well-known OPM Prozesky bird sanctuary. This sub route is also easily accessible from Johannesburg. At least 5 days would be needed for this route to gain insight into this special area.
Great birding sites in the Grasslands to Dome Route are:
Boskop Dam Nature Reserve
This small nature reserve 3000 ha is set in the rolling grasslands of the Mooi River valley surrounding the Boskop Dam. The dam is fed by the Mooi River and is a popular recreational area for the town of Potchefstroom. The reserve hosts a wide variety of game including Eland, Black wildebeest, Hartebeest, Blesbok, Springbok and Zebra, as well as a wide variety of grassland and wetland bird species. 250 Species of birds have been recorded.
Boskop Dam and Nature Reserve is located in the Mooi River valley 20 km north of the town of Potchefstroom a short distance from the R501 Carltonville road and 30km from the N14 Ventersdorp/Krugersdorp road on the Rysmierbult turnoff.
Lat: 26° 33' 284" S
Lon: 27° 7' 159" E
Accommodation: There are camping and picnic sites available.
For further information contact the park manager: Miss Emelang Malefo
Tel: +27 (0)82 8171 997
Mobile: + 27 (0)83 237 2811
Faan Meintjies Nature Reserve
This scenic 1000ha reserve hosts a large number of endemic grassland birds as well as over 30 mammal species including white rhino. The landscape consists of low koppies, scattered acacia thorn trees and large areas of grassveld. A 14km or 28km loop of well-maintained gravel roads offers access to all areas. There is a large picnic area and also three good quality chalets with an outstanding caravan park. The entry tickets have a bird list printed on the rear. Depending on the time taken to identify the many LBJs, the reserve can be covered just comfortably in one day. Staying overnight would enable one to see the nocturnal birds and animals as well. 150 bird species have been listed.
Bokmakierie, Malachite Sunbird, Pallid Harrier, Violet-eared Waxbill, Cape Penduline Tit
- Situated 12 km from Klerksdorp
- The road to the reserve is well signposted at all entrances to Klerksdorp.
- Klerksdorp is 110 km from Johannesburg and 170km from Pretoria
Entry is from 10am till 4pm. Residents in the Chalets/caravan Park may move around the park at any time. An entry fee is payable.
Tel: +27 (0)18 462 5700
Fax: +27 (0)18 462 5700
OPM Prozesky Bird Sanctuary
The reserve was established in the 1980's. The disused sewage ponds of the local municipality attracted prolific birdlife and nature lovers and the municipality wanted to establish a sanctuary where all forms of wildlife would be protected. The reserve is a joint project of Birdlife Wesvaal and the Potchefstroom City Council whose land it is. The reserve is named after the well-known ornithologist, Dr OPM Prozesky of the Transvaal Museum who championed the cause of the reserve.
The Prozesky Bird Sanctuary was established to conserve and protect the bio-diversity of the habit. As part of our green heritage, we have a duty towards the environment to preserve and protect it for future generations. At the same time the area should be accessible to all for enjoyment and education. The reserve belongs to the community of Potchefstroom therefore it should be utilized with minimal disturbance.
Birding is the main activity and the reserve has been developed and maintained to be accessible to birders on foot. The paths are maintained by the Potchefstroom City Council and lead of different birding spots and hides. Bridges enable the visitor to gain access to all parts of the reserve and the hides are strategically placed to give the best views of birdlife.
Species: As the area is a wetland, many types of water birds (and waders in summer) can be observed at close quarters. About 200 species have been observed over the years. Interesting birds almost always seen include African Purple Swamphen, Black Crake, Black-winged Stilt, Goliath Heron and various species of duck. In the reed beds different warblers can be heard, weavers are prolific in summer and in the grassveld waxbills, cisticolas, pipits and chats can be seen. Recently a flock of Openbill Storks have moved into the reserve and Thick-billed Weavers have established themselves in the region.
Mainly wetland bird species and recently Openbill Storks
The Sanctuary lies within the boundaries of the town of Potchefstroom and lies to the south of Potchefstroom along the banks of the Mooi River
Lat: 26° 44' 939" S
Lon: 27° 5" 794" E
Facilities: The reserve is fenced but easily accessible from the main entrance. Visitors can enter the reserve during daylight hours, no permit is needed and no entrance fee is levied. The kiosk, toilets and Hide no 2 are locked after office hours, but keys can be obtained by arrangement. Access by car for persons who walk difficulty can be arranged.
NO PICNICS, NO FIRES AND NO SMOKING IN THE RESERVE
For more information contact Westvaal Bird Club or the Potchefstroom Tourist Bureau +27(0)18 299 5372.
Vredefort Dome Conservancy
Venterskroon area, about 28 km from Potchefstroom on the Parys road, offering various trails to suite all tastes and degrees of fitness, especially the spectacular Rooihaas Hiking Trail named after the Smith's Red Rock Rabbit that occurs in this rocky region. These trails set in this interesting region with an atmosphere of its own, provides hikers with spectacular nature as well as a glimpse into the history of the region.
Information- Dome Highland Trails / Koepelroetes
Tel: +27 (0)18 294 8572
E-mail Leon Bekker: email@example.com
Vredefort Dome Hiking Trails
Situated in the Vredefort Dome World Heritage site near Potchefstroom are four trails to explore this fascinating region. It covers the site where the largest known meteorite struck the earth more than 2 billion years ago creating a massive crater originally thought to have been 250/300 km in diameter.. One of the trails is a birding route and another takes one to an ancient Matabele city that once housed up to 20 000 people in the 1500's and 1700's.
Suitable for beginners and families.
Tel: +27 (0)12 662 0586/1140
Tierfontein Hiking Trails
This 70 km wide crater was created by a 10 cubic meter meteorite that hit earth about 3 000 million years ago. This area is a prime adventure tourism region with a large number of tour operators and types of accommodation available. There is a Vredefort Conservancy birding route and meander which takes one to interesting areas to explore. Due to the diversity of habitats, the area hosts 450 species of birds, including substantial populations of Whitebacked Night-Heron and over 20 pairs of Goliath Heron.
The Dome Conservancy houses a finely balanced ecosystem. A great diversity of habitats exist, including open plains, bushveld and reverine bush valleys, mountains and ravines with abundant flora are found within the 150km circular ground plan. At least 99 plant species have already been identified, of which the world's largest Olive Wood Tree forest is probably the best known. This forest comprises thousands of indigenous Olive Wood Trees tucked against the slopes of the mountains. Typical bushveld trees like the Spekboom and the Red Ivory are also found.
The area is an Important Bird Area( IBA SA038.) The area contains as many identified butterflies as are found in the whole of Great Britain, and is also home to relatively uncommon animal species, such as the Caracal, aardwolf, leopard, several small buck and the endangered rock dassie. Baboon, of course abound. Historically the "Big Five" were also found here and plans are under way to reintroduce them into the area.
African Finfoot, White-backed Night-Heron
- Can be accessed via Parys or Potchefstroom
- The dome is situated about 100 km south west of Johannesburg, a short distance away from the N1 highway to Cape Town.
|Parys Town Centre||26° 54' 336" S||27° 27' 033" E|
For more information about Parys, telephone Parys Info on +27 (0)56 817 2986 or visit the town's website, www.parysinfo.co.za and, for more information about the Vredefort Dome birding route, phone Tillie Burger on +27 (0)18 294 6641.
For trail info look on www.linx.co.za/trails/lists/nw25list.html
Day and weekend trails near Fochville.
23 km of trail offering bird and small wildlife as well as ruins and excellent views.
Tel: +27 (0)18 771 7900
This day walk is situated near Hartbeesfontein and offers archaeological sites and Birds
Mobile: +27 (0)82 740 8046