Birding routes

Table Mountain from Robben Island


Birding routes have become well established in South Africa, especially in the Western Cape. Many of these routes have good information online. Some of the routes are listed below, although there are many more blogs and webpages on the specific birding sites. (Right at the end of this page are some random African bird sites outside the W Cape).

Western Cape routes

The table below is based mainly on the websites listed below. If links change, they will be updated as discovered. Information may be out of date, so consult other websites as well, or best of all contact local bird guides.

Birding Africa – Cape Birding Route – excellent site, some maps, top birds.

Western Cape Birding Routes – loads of info, website navigation could be improved.

BLSA GoBirding – covers all provinces, includes BLSA Birder Friendly Establishments, generally no maps or photos. BirdLife South Africa old site

Cape Bird Club – lists top birding sites, rather than being organised as routes – always includes useful site maps.

Agulhas Plain Birding Route – detailed info for the area, with maps.

Table with links to birding sites – W Cape

Listed according to popular birding routes (sites can be visited in many different sequences, however). Entr(ance) or other GPS links included for most sites.



Route Birding Africa WC Birding Cape Bird Club BLSA Notes
Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens (entr) BA CBC y Birds4Africa [bird list]
Constantia Greenbelts – De Hel (Main, S Cross) (B/vlei) BA ebird
Table Mountain (cablecar) BA [brief] y ebird
Green Point Park [parking] ebird
Silvermine [entr] BA [brief] CBC ebird
Kommetjie [parking] BA CBC ebird
Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve [entr] BA [link failed] CBC y ebird
Boulders Beach, Simonstown [entr] BA CBC y ebird
Strandfontein Sewage Works (False Bay NR) [entr] [birding area] BA CBC y Birds4Africa [includes bird list]
Rondevlei Nature Reserve [entr] BA [brief] CBC y Birds4Africa [lists 6 bird hides]
Two Rivers Urban Park [entr] CBC
Intaka Island [entr] CBC ebird
Robben Island [tickets] BA [+Sea Point] y Birds4Africa
Seabirding / pelagics BA CBC
Route Birding Africa WC Birding Cape Bird Club BLSA Notes
2. FLAMINGO BIRDING ROUTE (West Coast) BA y [problem with web] CBC y Birds4Africa
Rietvlei Wetland Reserve [entr] BA [also Milnerton] CBC y ebird
Dolphin Beach pans [pans] CBC ebird
Blauuwberg NR [park] [PHOWN 1110]
Koeberg Nature Reserve [entr] CBC ebird
Silwerstroomstrand [start] BA
Darling Hills & Swartland [west] [hide] [east] BA CBC y ebird
Tienie Versveld Nature Reserve [entr] CBC ebird
Rooi Pan, Yzerfontein / Dassen Island [entr] [pans] BA CBC y
West Coast National Park [entr S] [entr N] BA CBC y ebird
Langebaan Quarry [turn] BA [brief] ebird
Vredenburg to Paternoster & St Helena Bay [] BA WCB WCB covers Saldanha to Velddrif
Berg River Estuary, Velddrif [estuary] [view] [De Plaat] BA CBC y ebird
Kuifkopvisvanger farm [reception] ebird
Kliphoek saltpans [turn] ebird
Lambert’s Bay to Verlorenvlei / Bird Island [entr] BA y
Olifants River estuary [] y
Kransvlei Poort [start] BA
Route Birding Africa WC Birding Cape Bird Club BLSA Notes
Helderberg Nature Reserve [entr] CBC ebird
Dick Dent Bird Sanctuary [park] CBC ebird
Macassar [pans] BLSA [3rd site in video] ebird
Paardevlei, Somerset West [entr] WCB [scroll] ebird
Distell dams, Stellenbosch [entr]
Paarl Mountain Reserve [start] [botanic] CBC ebird
Paarl Bird Sanctuary [entr] CBC ebird
Route Birding Africa WC Birding Cape Bird Club BLSA Notes
4. OVERBERG & SOUTH COAST BA y y y Birds4Africa
Sir Lowry’s Pass [parking] BA CBC
Rooi Els [turn off] [BA] y CBC ebird
Stoney Point, Betty’s Bay [parking] [BA] y CBC
Harold Porter National Botanical Gardens [parking] [BA] y CBC ebird
Botriviervlei & Kleinmond estuary [entr] y y
Rooisand [entr] y ebird
Fernkloof Nature Reserve, Hermanus [entr] y ebird
Eastern False Bay mountains [entr] y
Dyer Island Nature Reserve [] y y
Heuningnes River & estuary [] y
Overberg farmland loops [west N to S] BA
De Hoop Nature Reserve [entr] BA y ebird
Potberg [parking] ebird
De Mond Nature Reserve [entr] BA Agulhas [scroll to Route 11]
Agulhas Plains [entr] Agulhas [best web for area]
Swellendam campsite [entr] BA
Bontebok National Park [entr] BA y ebird
Grootvadersbosch Nature Reserve [camp] BA ebird
Route Birding Africa WC Birding Cape Bird Club BLSA Notes
5. TANQUA KAROO (to be expanded) BA y
Karoopoort BA
Karoopoort to Eierkop BA
Eierkop to Katbakkies BA
Katbakkies BA
Three Passes: Theronsberg, Mitchell’s & Bains Kloof BA
Paarl Mt & Bird Sanctuary BA CBC
Tygerberg Nature Reserve CBC
6. CENTRAL KAROO (to be expanded)
Vrolijkheid Nature Reserve CBC ebird
Koue Bokkeveld CBC
Karoo Desert National Botanical Gardens CBC
Karoo National Park BA
Route Birding Africa WC Birding Cape Bird Club BLSA Notes
7. GARDEN ROUTE (to be expanded) BA y
Wilderness region BA
Knysna & Plettenberg Bay BA
Nature’s Valley BA ebird
Swartberg Pass BA ebird

Some other sites in Africa

African Bird Club – bird info by country

Eastern Cape birding sites

Polokwane-Letsitele area, Limpopo Province, RSA [webinar] – covers 3 main areas:
1. Polokwane plateau – Chebeng grasslands, Polokwane Game Reserve, Sebayeng and Makotopong wetlands
2. Northern Escarpment – Wolkberg Wilderness area, Haenertsburg grasslands, Woodbush forest drive
3. Lowveld – Tzaneen and Ledzee, Letsitele surrounds