Cape Birding Route
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| Contact : Mark Dixon | Mobile : + 27 (0)82 213 5931 | E-mail : twitcher@gardenroutebirding.co.za |

The following routes are suitable for day and multi day birding outings in the Eden District and the Garden Route. All routes have been compiled to offer a traveling through a diversity of habitat to increase the potential of bird species recorded. Most of the routes are presented in a circular routing permitting a variety of start and end locations.

In the event that your plans require you to traverse sections of one or two routes, you can easily access the relevant roads to plan your birding on your journey.

The Routes described are annotated on the birding map on Google Map accessed from the map page.

Route #1 : The Lakes Loop.

This route is central to the Garden Route and takes you through wetland, pasture and Afromontane environments. Birding sites along the Lakes Loop route include two constructed bird hides, canoeing opportunities and short forest walks.

Start : Sedgefield.

Expected bird count for this route : between 85 and 125 species

Route :

  1. From Sedgefield travel west on the N2 towards Wilderness. After crossing over the bridge spanning Swartvlei, turn right at the Pine Lake Marina turnoff.
  2. At the bottom of the hill the route veers to the left onto a gravel road. Follow this to the SAN Parks turnoff to the right. Turn right and follow the track to the Rondevlei Bird Hide. There is a parking facility, but no ablutions.
  3. After leaving the bird hide, return to the gravel road and continue west by turning right. As you round the lake on your right you can stop after the reeds looking out for a pair of nesting Fish Eagles and a selection of waterfowl, some perching on the fence spanning the end of the lake.
  4. Continuing on the road you cross over a culvert between Rondevlei and Langvlei - this is a wonderful birding site with marsh and pasture species present. Two special species are the Bokkmekerrie and the Cape Longclaw.
  5. Traveling on you reach a T-junction. Turn left and continue to the Malachite Bird Hide approximately 1.5km further on. This is an ideal location to photograph Malachite Kingfishers and Lesser Swamp Warbler's
  6. Moving on, continue on the gravel road passing over the culvert of Duiwerivier. Here you can stop and walk on the Brownhooded Kingfisher Trail. This return walk offers sightings of forest birds and some raptures.
  7. From Duiwerievier you pass Island Lake on your left with a few stopping points to watch Little and Greater Crested Grebes amongst the mass of Red Knobbed Coots. If you have a canoe you can turn into the SAN Parks picnic site and paddle to the Serpentine River for a wonderful collection of waterfowl and the opportunity to see African Jacana and African Purple Swamphen.
  8. Back on the road from the picnic site you reach a T-junction with a sealed road. Turning to the left you pass some fenced pastures on your left with the chance of spotting some Blacksmith Plovers and African Marsh Harriers.
  9. On the right you reach a turning onto a gravel road which takes you to the Ebb & Flow campsite of Wilderness National Park. Here you can plan for at least 90 minutes to either walk or canoe up the Touw River for some spectacular riverine forest birding. Good lunch spot.
  10. Moving on from Ebb & Flow, retrace your route to the tar road and turn left and continue traveling up the hill to Hoekwil. Remain on the road through Hoekwill and past Touwsranten to the Woodville Big Tree. Here is another 40 minute circular forest walk with frequent sightings of Yellow Throated Woodland Warblers, Green Woodhoepoe's and Terrestrial Brownbuls.
  11. Back on the sealed road continue traveling eastwards to the Hoogekraal Turnoff to the right (approx 5km). Turn right and be on the look out for Buzzards and Eagles. At the bottom of the Hoogekraal pass pause for a moment at the causeway and look for the African Finfoot.
  12. Moving on you come to a T-junction with a sealed road. Turn to your right and continue till you cross a river and reach another T-junction.
  13. Here turn right and continue till you reach a T-junction with the N2.
  14. Turn right and travel to the next left taking you into the Lake Pleasant road leading to Lake Pleasant Chalets. Park at the picnic site and walk on either of the walkways to the lakes edge. This is a perfect location to see Black Crakes.
  15. Should you wish to walk along the lakes edge, continue on the gravel road past the Lake Pleasant Living entrance till you reach a turning to the left. One of the signs on the corner is for 'Mvubu Bush Camp'. Follow this road to the public parking site.
  16. From here follow the Lake Trail through the Milkwood Forest and look out for Paradise Flycatchers and the pair of resident Fish Eagles. Purple Herons are abundant in the reeds.
  17. On completing the Lake Trail, return to the T-Junction where the Mvubu sign is and turn left.
  18. Follow this road to a parking lot over looking the ocean and look out for a resident pair of African Black Oystercatchers. If the tide is out, walk about 1.2km to the west (right when looking at the ocean) and you will se a colony of Cape Gulls, Whitebreasted Cormorants and Cape Cormorants. Good sundowner site.
  19. From the parking lot, return to the N2 and turn left to return to Sedgefield.

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| Contact |Mark Dixon : +27822135931 | E-mail : twitchers@coastalbirding.co.za |