Birding in the Western Cape: Extended Trips

In addition to the day trips, Indwa Birding also offers extended trips into other rewarding Western Cape hotspots. Each of these trips (as is the case with Indwa’s day trips) are individually tailor-made according to your personal preferences, taking into account target species, available time, accommodation preferences and budget. The following areas are covered:

The Garden Route:
Having passed through the Overberg region via the N2 National Road, one gradually approaches the area of the Western Cape known as the Garden Route. This area consists of a series of inter-connected coastal lakes, tracts of pristine indigenous forest and prime riverine and estuarine habitat.

This diversity of habitats is home to a number of otherwise difficult-to-spot and sought after species such as Knysna Turaco, Knysna Warbler, African Finfoot, Chorister Robin-Chat, Yellow-throated Woodland Warbler, Olive and Knysna Woodpeckers, Narina Trogon, Grey Cuckooshrike and Half-collared Kingfisher.

Because of the size of the area, as well as the diversity of habitats to be covered, it is best to take a leisurely two to three days to properly explore the area. Mandatory stops in the Wilderness area would include the bird hides situated at Langvlei and Rondevlei respectively, as well as the isolated and rewarding Woodville Forest, while the Knysna Heads remain an accessible locality for, amongst other species, Knysna Warbler. In addition, first class forest birding can be enjoyed at several localities in and around Knysna, and especially at the De Vasselot campsite at Nature’s Valley.

The Great Karoo:
A trip to the Garden Route can quite easily be combined with a visit to the starkly different Great Karoo via the dramatically scenic Swartberg Pass. As one heads inland and northwards from the Garden Route, the countryside becomes notably drier and relatively easy access is afforded to several Fynbos and mountain Fynbos species such as Protea Seedeater, Cape Sugarbird, Orange breasted Sunbird, Cape Grassbird and Victorin’s Scrub Warbler. The rockier areas of the Swartberg Pass are also home to the sought after Cape Rockjumper, Cape Siskin, Ground Woodpecker and both Sentinel and Cape Rock Thrushes.

Further inland, it is well worth spending a night or two at the Karoo National Park just outside the town of Beaufort West. Apart from an opportunity to spot recently re-introduced Black Rhino, the Karoo National Park also offers one the opportunity to tick several of the trickier dryland and rocky habitat species in a relatively small area. Acacia bushes are home to Southern Tchagra, the characterful Fairy Flycatcher, Pririt Batis and Redeyed Bulbul, while Cinnamon-breasted Warbler and African Rock Pipit are resident in more mountainous habitat.

Due to its central location, Beaufort West also serves as a gateway to the Northern Cape, or alternatively one can indulge in some leisurely and productive roadside birding as one returns to Cape Town via the N1 National Road.