Flamingo Birding Route

african black oyster catcher banner

The West Coast, stretching from the Atlantic shores from Cape Town northwards to the Olifants River, is best known for coastal wetlands and spectacular spring wildflower displays. Birding is excellent with an abundance of migrant waders and a host of other waterbirds. Specials range from Black Harrier, Grey-winged Francolin, Southern Black Korhaan to the Cape Gannet colony at Lambert's Bay.

The coastal route from Cape Town to Lambert's Bay includes the West Coast National Park, Langebaan Lagoon and the charming seaside towns of Velddrif and Paternoster.

Langebaan Lagoon in the West Coast National Park was registered as a wetland of international importance for birds, under the RAMSAR Convention, in 1988. The lagoon supports large numbers (up to 55 000) of waterbirds in summer.

Rocherpan Nature Reserve, 15 km north of Velddrif, consists largely of seasonal wetlands, though usually dry between March and June. The reserve also provides a sanctuary for one of Africa's most endangered coastal birds - the Black Oystercatcher.

Darling & Swartland

Darling 1

The Swartland Birding Route begins 50 kilometres north of Cape Town and consists of the regions between the towns of Malmesbury in the south, Darling and Yzerfontein in the west, Moorreesburg and Koringberg in the north and Riebeek West and Riebeek Kasteel in the east. The area has a varied landscape from sea, coastal plains, wild flowers (including Fynbos), to wheat fields on the fertile plain, interrupted by vineyards, olive farms and mountains. Approximately 250 bird species can be seen in this vast differentiated land scape. Amongst the birds that can be observed are the Black Harrier and the endangered Blue Crane.

Darling Birding Route was launched during April 2014. The diversity of vegetation in the Darling area presents birders with a wide range of different birds from larks and pipits to lesser flamingoes and great white pelicans. The area stretches from the strandveld of the Darling Hills Rd and Groote Post to the renosterveld of Waylands and Oudepost wildflower reserves. The beauty of the flowering bulbs and the immense variety of wildflowers create a unique springtime experience. During summer months large numbers of blue cranes may be seen in the wheatfields along the Darling / Malmesbury and Moorreesburg roads.

The following birding sites can be visited:

West Coast National Park - surrounds the Langebaan Lagoon, a Ramsar site (wetland of international importance). Thousands of seabirds roost on sheltered islands, pristine golden beaches stretch endlessly into the early morning mist and brooding salt marshes are home to vast concentrations of migrant waders from the northern hemisphere. For more information visit: http://www.nature-reserve.co.za/west-coast-national-park.html 

Cloof Wine Estate - Also occurring naturally is a variety of birds, reptiles and amphibians which are now also protected from persecution. Some of the endangered or protected species include Blue Cranes, Secretarybirds, and Black Harriers. For more information visit: http://www.cloof.co.za/ 

Groote Post Wine Estate - In 1996 Peter Pentz was the first private individual to be awarded the States premier conservation award for the major contribution he made to soil conservation over a fifteen-year period. He was also one of the driving forces in establishing the Cape West Coast Biosphere Reserve, which incorporates Groote Post farm and stretches from the Milnerton lagoon to Langebaan and was proclaimed by UNESCO in 2000. For more information visit: http://www.grootepost.com/ 

Cape West Coast Biosphere - The Reserve farms and fishing villages, lagoons, rivers, the sea, pristine flora and unique birdlife, combine to offer residents and visitors a diversity of natural, cultural, historical, recreational and spiritual experiences. It lies on South Africa's West Coast between the Diep River (Milnerton) in the south, the Berg River (Velddrif) in the north, the N7 (Malmesbury, Moorreesburg) in the east and the Atlantic Ocean in the west. For more information visit: http://www.capebiospheretrails.co.za

The !Khwa ttu San Culture & Education Centre enable the visitor to further enjoy the diversity of Darling and its prolific bird life. For more information visit: http://www.khwattu.org/

Contact

Dianne le Roux

Tel: +27(0)22 492 3361
Email: info@darlingtourism.co.za
Web: www.darlingtourism.co.za

Dassen Island

Dassen Island lies roughly halfway between Table Bay and Saldanha Bay, just 9 km's off-shore of Yzerfontein on the West Coast. The 273 ha island is South Africa's second largest off-shore island (Robben Island is the largest) and is low and flat, the highest point being only 19 m. Rimmed by a rocky shoreline, the inner island is predominantly sandy. Several man-made structures occur, the most obvious of which is the lighthouse in the south-east and the low concrete wall that partially encloses the island. The island's bird populations have been subject to predation by introduced mice and domestic cats, but an eradication program is in place and has considerably reduced numbers of these 'foreigners'. Dassen Island is off-limits to visitors, though boat trips can be arranged (weather dependent) to see the birds up close and personal, with the added benefit of whale and dolphin watching while out at sea!

Dassen Island is ranked as an IBA for its global conservation significance in supporting breeding populations of endemic African penguin, Crowned & Bank cormorant and African black oystercatcher. This island supports a significant portion of the worlds' ±26 000 pairs of breeding African penguin, as well as 5% of the breeding population of African black oystercatcher. Furthermore, together with Lake St Lucia (KZN), Dassen Island is only one of two sites in South Africa where Great white pelican breed. Unlike many other seabird populations, the Dassen Island population of pelican has increased over the past years and is now at ±550 pairs. The island also supports healthy breeding populations of Cape cormorant, Hartlaub's & Kelp gulls and Swift tern. Discovered only in 1996, Leach's storm-petrel was found to be breeding on Dassen Island, one of only three off-shore islands in South Africa where this species breeds. During the summer months a number of Palearctic waders roost on the island.

Facilities

Dassen Island is accessible only by boat. Unfortunately there are currently not any commercial operators that run tours from Yzerfontein, but you may be lucky if you ask around at the harbour.

Alternatively, Schaafsma Charters operate from Saldanha Bay and offer a two-day trip to Dassen Island. The boat can sleep 10 people and is self-catering.

Directions

From Cape Town: head north on the R27 to Langebaan-Velddrif. At the R315 Yzerfontein-Darling intersection turn left towards Yzerfontein and drive for 8 km's before you reach the village. Standing anywhere along the coast in Yzerfontein, Dassen Island lies 9 km's south-west off-shore.

GPS Coordinates

Lat: S 33° 25' 23.96"
Long: E 18° 05' 10.72" 

Schaafsma Charters: + 27 (0)22 714 4235 / +27 (0)82 638 5723
Website: www.sailboats.co.za
E-mail: slipway@mweb.co.za
Boat trip: R5 000 for the boat (sleeps 10)

West Coast National Park (WCNP)

West Coast National Park (WCNP) lies just inland from Saldanha Bay, with the town of Langebaan as its northern neighbour. The 27 000 ha Park includes Langebaan Lagoon, Postberg Nature Reserve, much of 16 Mile Beach and the Saldanha Bay islands of Jutten, Malgas, Marcus and Schaapen. Meeuw Island, which still belongs to the South African National Defence Force (ZANDF), is also included in the IBA. Langebaan Lagoon is a sheltered arm of Saldanha Bay, and unlike most lagoons has no freshwater inlet, thus this tidal lagoon is purely salt water. The lagoon is roughly 15 km long and 3 km wide, with depths ranging from 2 – 6m. The southern section of the lagoon has extensive areas of mudflat, sandflat and saltmarsh which are exposed at low tide. These periodically flooded areas support rich concentrations of molluscs and crustacean which in turn support vast numbers of waterbirds. Also in the south are extensive reed-beds interspersed with mixed sedges and rushes. The terrestrial vegetation of the Park is predominantly Strandveld, a transitional vegetation type between fynbos and karoo-veld, comprising low bushes and succulents. During springtime (Aug – Sept) many flowering annuals make their presence know, particularly in the Postberg section which can be carpeted with a rainbow of flowers. Of the five islands which lie in Saldanha Bay, most are sparsely vegetated and only Marcus Island can be accessed from the mainland via a 2 km long causeway. Jutten and Malgas Islands lie at the mouth of Langebaan Lagoon, Marcus Island lies a little further into the lagoon, and Schaapen and Meeuw islands lie well within the lagoon.

WCNP has been ranked as an IBA as its wetlands regularly support over 35 000 waterbirds in summer, as well as globally important breeding populations of African penguin, Cape gannet (Malgas Island has 25% of global population), African black oystercatcher, Crowned & Bank cormorant and Black harrier. The 5 Saldanha Bay islands are home to 250 000 coastal seabirds. Furthermore, the lagoon and islands also support important populations of Cape cormorant, Greater flamingo, Pied avocet, Grey plover, Kittlitz's & White-fronted plover, Kelp & Hartlaub's gull, Swift & Common tern, Ruddy turnstone, Sanderling, Curlew sandpiper and Red knot. Please note that access to all the islands is prohibited in an effort to conserve seabirds by providing a safe and undisturbed breeding area.

Strandveld vegetation, you will notice, dominates WCNP, and as you drive through the park you'll likely see White-backed mousebird, Grey tit, Cape penduline-tit, Chestnut-vented tit-babbler, Karoo scrub-robin, Karoo prinia, Cape bulbul, Karoo lark, Southern double-collared sunbird, Cape grassbird, Bokmakierie and Grey-backed cisticola in the short scrub. Keep an eye open for hunting Black harriers throughout the reserve. Also watch out for Angulate tortoises which are very common inhabitants of WCNP and are regularly seen on the roads! The area around Geelbek Manor House is great for seeing the bolder birds of the Strandveld, and Karoo scrub-robin, Karoo prinia, Cape weaver, African hoopoe and Cape spurfowl are regularly found on the lawns. There are a number of fantastic bird hides throughout the park, most of them located at various positions around Langebaan Lagoon. The most popular hide for wader watching is without doubt Geelbek hide. This hide, and 3 others, are accessed from Geelbek Manor House. Summer is a great time to visit Geelbek hide as vast numbers of Palaearctic migrants, and often rare species, boost bird numbers on the tidal mudflats. The best time for wader viewing is just as the water begins to recede from its highest point, as the mud flats begin to be exposed and the birds are forced into the narrow margin of land close to the hide. As the tide drops, the birds have a greater area over which to forage and move further out following the receding water. Although it is difficult to predict precisely, the best viewing is roughly 4½ hrs after high tide in Cape Town/Table Bay. Closer to the town of Langebaan are Seeberg Lookout and Seeberg Hide, both worth stopping at. The Lookout provides an elevated view of the azure-blue lagoon and the surrounding strandveld, and the jumble of boulders is home to a family of Rock hyrax/Dassies. The short gravel road down to Seeberg Hide from the main road, as well as the path to the hide, are great for strandveld birds. In particular, Cape penduline-tit, Grey tit, Malachite sunbird and Chestnut-vented tit-babbler are regularly seen here. Abrahamskraal waterhole is one of the only regular sources of freshwater in the reserve, and as such, is visited by numerous birds. The seedeaters are numerous, so look for Namaqua dove, White-throated, Brimstone & Yellow canary, Cape bunting and Common waxbill, as well as flocks of Common, Wattled & Pied starlings. Little, African black, White-rumped & Alpine swifts together with White-throated, Barn & Pearl-breasted swallows may be seen overhead. The water and associated reeds host South African shelduck, Little grebe, Cape shoveler, Black crake, Lesser swamp warbler, Little rush warbler and the skulking African rail. The Postberg section of the reserve, only open to the public during the flower season (Aug – Oct), is well worth a visit for the spectacular floral displays as well as for the numerous mammal species that occur in WCNP – Gemsbok, Eland, Red hartebeest, Bontebok, Plains zebra, Springbok, Common duiker and Steenbok. The vegetation in this section is also strandveld, so offers similar birding to the rest of the reserve. The road ends at Tsaarsbank, with fantastic views across the Atlantic Ocean, and a good vantage point to look for African black oystercatcher, all four species of marine cormorants and Antarctic tern (winter). This is also a great spot for whale watching!

The road network in the reserve covers ± 160 km's and provides ample opportunity for bird-viewing. There are also a number of walking trails in WCNP which are great options if you prefer to bird by foot.

Facilities

  • There are fuel, shops, ATM and restaurants in Langebaan.
  • Geelbek Manor House has an excellent restaurant.
  • Duinepos Chalets: 11 x 4-bed chalets. Fully equipped. Self-catering.
  • Abrahamskraal Cottage: 1 x 6-bed cottage with 2 bedrooms. Fully equipped. Self-catering.
  • Jo-Anne's Beach Cottages: An exclusive cottage with 3 en-suite bedrooms. Fully equipped. Self-catering.
  • Houseboats: 2 x houseboats moored on the lagoon. Fully equipped. Self-catering.

Directions

From Cape Town: head north on the R27 to Langebaan-Velddrif. After the R315 Yzerfontein-Darling intersection continue on the R27 for a further 10.9 km's before turning left into the well signed West Coast National Park.

GPS Coordinates

Location Latitude Longitude
Southern entrance gate S 33° 14'37.60" E 18° 12'14.76"

Central Reservations: + 27 (0) 12 428 9111 / +27 (0)22 772 2144
Website: www.sanparks.org
E-mail: reservations@sanparks.org

Entry Fees (day visitors):

Oct – July
R26 pp (SA residents & citizens)
R36 pp (SADC nationals)
R40 pp (other nationals)

Aug / Sept (flower season)
R38 pp (SA residents & citizens)
R52pp (SADC nationals)
R72 pp (other nationals)

Gate opening and closing times:

Apr – Aug: 07h00 – 18h00
Sept – Mar: 07h00 – 19h00
Postberg: 09h00 – 17h00

Lower Berg River

The Berg River rises in the Drakenstein Mountains (close to Cape Town) before winding its way for almost 300 km's to empty into the Atlantic Ocean in St Helena Bay. The towns of Laaiplek, Port Owen and Velddrif form a continuous complex along the northern banks of the lower Berg River just before it enters the Atlantic. The Berg River is tidal for many kilometers inland and is navigable throughout the year, providing birders with the option of seeing the wetlands and its avifauna from a small boat! In addition to the main channel and its associated floodplain, the lower Berg River also has ephemeral pans, saltmarsh and intertidal mudflats, with reed beds and sedge-marshes forming a varied mosaic along the river. Together with Lake St Lucia and Langebaan Lagoon, the lower Berg River wetland is one of the top 3 most important estuaries for wetland birds in South Africa. In particular, the estuarine mudflats and ephemeral pans provide vital foraging opportunities, while the riparian marshes and saltpans provide important breeding grounds.

In combination the estuary and floodplain of the lower Berg River regularly support over 20 000 birds, making this site an IBA. Palearctic migrants boost the bird numbers in summer, and over 8 000 migrant waders can be present here, especially Curlew sandpiper and Little stint. The commercial saltpans support around 10% of the breeding population of Caspian tern in South Africa, as well as breeding Chestnut-banded plover and occasionally Swift tern. Hartlaub's & Kelp gull are residents and occur in large numbers, breeding in midsummer and early winter respectively. Great white pelican occur regularly on the lower Berg River, this being a key foraging and roosting area for the Dassen Island breeding population during the non-breeding season. Great crested & Black-necked grebe breed here occasionally, and South African shelduck regularly use the estuary in large numbers as a moulting and breeding site. The upper estuary's saltmarshes support breeding populations of Cape teal, Cape shoveller, Yellow-billed duck and Red-knobbed coot. The bird hide located off Voortrekker Road (just upstream from the Riviera Hotel where the keys to the hide are kept) overlooks a superb area of intertidal mudflats and saltmarsh where you'll find the ducks along with Black-winged stilt, Greater & Lesser flamingo, Kittlitz's & Three-banded plover, Ruff, Common greenshank, Pied avocet and a wide selection of terns. The best time for wader viewing at the hide is 1.5 hrs after high tide in Table Bay. In the terrestrial vegetation in the surrounds, Karoo scrub-robin, Large-billed lark, Bokmakierie and Pied starling are common. Approximately 44 km's upriver from the mouth, 1 km west of Kersefontein farmhouse, there is a large heronry which is known to have existed for the past 300 years. Thirteen species breed at this site, including substantial numbers of Yellow-billed egret, African spoonbill and Glossy ibis.

Facilities

  • There are fuel, shops, restaurants and ATM facilities in the town complex of Laaiplek, Port Owen and Velddrif.
  • Accommodation is available in a number of B&B's, guesthouses and hotels.
  • See www.tourismcapetown.co.za , click on the 'Where to go' and 'Cape West Coast' links. The 'Travel directory' link provides accommodation options.

Directions

From Cape Town: Travel north on the N7 past Malmesbury and Morreesburg. Just before the town of Piketberg take a left onto the R399 towards Velddrif. Continue for 65 km's until you reach the town complex of Velddrif, Port Owen and Laaiplek.

GPS Coordinates

Location Latitude Longitude
Berg River mouth S 32° 46' 12.65" E 18° 08' 41.26"
Bird hide S 32° 47' 12.30" E 18° 10' 27.39"

Reservations: see website below
Website: www.tourismcapetown.co.za

Verlorenvlei

Verlorenvlei is a vast estuary and lake system stretching from the coastal village of Eland's Bay on the Atlantic coast to Redelinghuys 28 km's inland. The lake and vlei are hemmed in by a ridge of rocky hills to the south, and reach the sea via a narrow, shallow stretch of estuary. The mouth of the estuary is naturally blocked by a rock sill topped with a sand bar, severely limiting the time that the mouth remains open. In addition, the four artificial obstructions in the channel also impede flow of the system seawards. Covering an area of ±1 700 ha, Verlorenvlei is one of South Africa's largest freshwater lakes and one of the few coastal freshwater lakes. The main body of the lake is roughly 13 x 1.5 km with an average depth of 2.5 m. During the rainy winter months the Verlorenvlei River drains into the lake causing it to rise and overflow into the ocean, but during the dry summer months the levels of the lake drop markedly, reaching its lowest levels at the end of summer. Extensive reed-beds occur along the edge of the lake, with patches of wide, open wetlands occurring all along the Verlorenvlei River and saltpan vegetation towards the mouth. The terrestrial vegetation surrounding the vlei is transitional between karroid and fynbos vegetation, resulting in a high diversity of ecotonal communities.

Verlorenvlei is rated as an IBA because the wetland regularly supports over 5 000 birds (occasionally up to 20 000 birds), including more than 1 000 waders of at least 11 different species including Pied avocet, Black-winged stilt, Curlew & Common sandpiper and Little stint. Furthermore, Verlorenvlei is a key moulting ground and summer refuge for large numbers of ducks, regularly supporting extremely large numbers of Yellow-billed duck, Cape shoveller and South African shelduck. Large numbers of Great crested grebe, Red-knobbed coot, Hartlaub's gull and White-breasted cormorant are also reliant on the wetland. African marsh harrier, which forage over the entire wetland, occur in good numbers. Great white pelican use the wetland to forage. African black oystercatcher, Chestnut-banded plover and Cape & Bank cormorant are recorded at the estuary mouth from time to time. The diverse wetland habitat supports populations of secretive Red-chested flufftail, African rail and Baillon's crake, as well as Common moorhen and Purple swamphen – the river bridge is a good place to look for reed-bed birds. The fynbos - karroid vegetation around Verlorenvlei's fringes supports several restricted-range and biome-restricted species, including Cape long-billed lark, Southern black korhaan, Grey-backed cisticola, Karoo scrub-robin, Grey tit and Cape bulbul.

Facilities

There are fuel, shops, restaurants and ATM facilities in Elands Bay. Accommodation is available in a number of B&B's, guesthouses and hotels. See www.tourismcapetown.co.za , click on the 'Where to go' and 'Cape West Coast' links. The 'Travel directory' link provides accommodation options.

Directions

From Cape Town: Travel north on the N7 past Malmesbury and Morreesburg. Just before the town of Piketberg take a left onto the R365 that takes you through the town. After passing through Piketberg the road forks, take the left-hand fork, the R366 towards Redelinghuys and Elands Bay. You will be driving alongside the Verlorenvlei River for much of the drive.

GPS Coordinates

Lat: S 32°18'52.11"
Long: E 18°21'19.20"

Reservations: see website below
Website: www.tourismcapetown.co.za

Bird Island

african penguinBird Island is a 3 ha rocky outcrop situated in Lambert's Bay just off the Atlantic coast. Less than 300 km's from Cape Town, Bird Island is the most accessible Cape gannet colony in the world – there are only 6 breeding sites for this bird! Lying only 150 m's offshore, this small island is easily accessed via a concrete causeway, enabling visitor's close-up views of both Cape gannet and African penguins, as well as numerous terns and gulls that roost here. Bird Island has a superb bird hide that has transformed the island into something of an educational classroom on the life of Cape gannets. One can unobtrusively witness the unique mating dances of these birds (Apr – Sept), and experience the incredible vocalising of thousands of birds. It also means that visitors are less subject to the incredibly strong smell of guano!

Bird Island is rated as an IBA due to the presence of species of global conservation concern – African penguin, and breeding populations of both Cape gannet and Crowned cormorant. Cape gannets dominate the island, occupying a single, large colony in the centre of the island. Breeding numbers have fluctuated dramatically, most recently the total abandonment of Bird Island in 2005 caused by predation of the birds by Cape fur seals. However, the gannets have returned en masse, and the island is once again an avian spectacle! Historically, Bird Island was dominated by African penguin, but the continued poaching of eggs by guano collectors in the early to mid 1990's decimated the population with the result that today the population of breeding birds is low. Cape cormorant nest on the island, and at times have numbered about 60 000 birds. Crowned cormorant, Kelp gull and occasionally Swift tern, nest on the outlying rocks of the island. The island is also used as a roost by Hartlaub's gull, Bank cormorant and various tern species.

Facilities

A superb hide with interpretive material provides an excellent vantage from which to view the gannets on the island and an informative Visitors Centre can be found on the mainland. The Visitor Centre has a coffee shop, toilets, curio shop, aquarium and a penguin pool. A guano museum provides a history of the search for the islands' 'white gold'.

NB: Access to Bird Island may be prohibited if rough seas make it too dangerous to cross the breakwater.

Directions

From Cape Town: Travel north along the N7 until you reach the town of Clanwilliam on your right hand-side, turn left onto the R364 to Lambert's Bay. Continue along the R364 for 60 km's and as you enter Lambert's Bay look for the BP garage. Turn right after the BP garage and follow the Bird Island signboards.

GPS Coordinates

Lat: S 32° 05'31.26"
Long: E 18° 18'06.82"

Reservations: + 27 (0) 861 227 362 8873 or +27 (0)21 659 3500
Website: www.capenature.org.za
E-mail: on the CapeNature website click on the 'Contact Us' link.

Entrance Fee, Day visitors: Adults R30 (May – July entrance is R20)

Gate opening and closing times:

Oct – April: 07h00 – 19h00
May - Sept: 07h00 – 17h00

Olifants River Estuary

The Olifants River estuary (one of only 4 estuaries on South Africa's west coast) lies approximately 250 km's north of Cape Town, flanked by the small fishing village of Papendorp. The nearest towns are Lutzville (24 km) and Vredendal (42 km). The Olifants River rises in the mountains surrounding Ceres before flowing north for 285 km's and emptying into the Atlantic Ocean at Papendorp. The flanks of the estuary support extensive saltmarsh, and on the estuary's southern banks salt is still gathered by the locals in the traditional manner. The northern shoreline is steep and rocky, forming a gravel terrace. The flood-plain holds numerous plant species with more terrestrial affinities, and reedbeds of Scirpus and Phragmites line the banks of the river upstream. The vegetation on higher ground is of interest, as it is one of the few areas where Namib-Karoo vegetation reaches the west coast. The beach north of the river mouth is out of bounds to visitors as it is a diamond mining concession; however you are free to wander on the southern beach and up the southern bank of the Olifants River as far as you please. Alternatively you could climb into a small boat and explore the estuary from a different perspective!

The Olifants River estuary and its surrounds holds IBA status due to the presence of nine range-restricted Nama-Karoo bird species (of a potential 19 species), it regularly supports in excess of 15 000 waterbirds, and this estuary acts as a vital staging point for Palearctic migrants and flamingos between the Orange River mouth and important wetlands to the south (i.e. Berg River wetland, Langebaan Lagoon, Rietvlei and Wilderness-Sedgefield Lakes complex). Great white pelican use the estuary as a foraging and roosting area during the late summer and winter months.

Once in the village look for the Papendorp Resort, there is a school on the left hand side, turn right on a gravel road, drive through the small residential area, and up to a ruin. You can easily scan the saltmarsh below. The numerous channels of the estuary and the mouth itself support Cape teal, South-African shelduck, Cape shoveller, Yellow-billed duck, White-fronted plover, Chestnut-banded plover, Curlew sandpiper, lots of Greater & Lesser flamingo, Common whimbrel, Pied avocet, Black-winged stilt, Kelp, Grey-headed & Hartlaub's gull. Terns are regular visitors and you may find Caspian, Common, Sandwich & Swift terns, and occasionally Damara tern. The vegetation surrounding the estuary is suitable for many of the species restricted to the Namib–Karoo biome and for other arid-zone birds, including Karoo korhaan, Grey tit, Black-headed canary, Long-billed & Karoo lark and Tractrac, Karoo & Sickle-winged chat. Namaqua warbler occur in the Acacia thickets and reedbeds along the river margin. A visit coinciding with spring will reveal a landscape transformed by a mass of flowering plants, turning the rather drab landscape into a kaleidoscope of colour.

Facilities

  • There are no fuel or shop facilities at Papendorp, visit either Doring Bay or Vredendal for shops and/or fuel.
  • There are basic, self-catering chalets in Papendorp.
  • A range of accommodation options are available in the nearby villages of Strandfontein, Doring Bay and in the town of Vredendal. Please contact Matzikama Tourism – see below.

Directions

From Cape Town: Travel north along the N7 until the town of Klawer, turn left onto the R363 to Vredendal. Continue along the R363 through Vredendal to Lutzville. At the R362 – R363 intersection in Lutzville, turn left onto the R362 and drive for approx. 20 km's before turning right off the R362 towards the village of Papendorp.

GPS Coordinates

Lat: S 31° 41' 54.96"
Long: E 18° 12' 33.35"

Additional Information

Matzikama Tourism: + 27 (0) 27 201 3378 / + 27 (0) 27 201 3378
Website: www.tourismmatzikama.co.za
E-mail: tourism@matzikamamun.co.za / matzikamatourism@gmail.com
Boat trips: R100 - 2 people
Entry Fee:N/A
Gate opening and closing times: N/A

Birder Friendly Establishments in this area:
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