Route 6: Birds
West Coast National ParkLangebaan Lagoon in the West Coast National Park was registered as a wetlands of international importance for birds, under the RAMSAR Convention, in 1988. More than 25% of South African bird species can be viewed in the park. The lagoon supports large numbers (up to 55 000) of waterbirds in summer. Most of these are waders (23 species). The largest colony of kelp gulls in South Africa is found on Schaapen Island. Visit the Geelbek hide for rare waders including Hudsonian and blacktailed godwits, whiterumped sandpipers and Dunlins; the salt-marsh hides and the Seeberg hides are excellent areas for flamingos.
Tel: +27 22 772 2798, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, Web: www.langebaaninfo.com
Langebaan or VelddrifOvernight in Langebaan or Velddrif.
Langebaan Tourism info: +27 22 772 1515
VelddrifHotspot for rare waders. There are few if any other areas in the entire country where such a plethora of rare waterbirds can be seen. Recent rarities include the Little Blue Heron, Hudsonian Godwit, Black Harrier and Lesser Yellowlegs.
Tourism info: +27 22 783 1821, E-mail: email@example.com
Rocherpan Nature ReserveThis reserve, only 15km North of Velddrif, was established in 1967 and consists largely of seasonal wetlands, though usually dry between March and June. The adjacent section of the Atlantic Ocean was declared a marine reserve in 1988. This combination of marine, wetlands and bush conditions, provides ample feeding and breeding conditions for a wide variety of birds. The reserve also provides a sanctuary for one of Africaís most endangered coastal birds - the Black Oystercatcher. The reserve provides one of the most important breeding and moulting sites for the Cape Shovellers. Tel: +27 22 931 2900,
Tourism Info: +27 22 783 1821, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Elands BayOvernight in the seafood mecca of Elands Bay. Tourism info: +27 27 432 1000, E-mail: email@example.com
VerlorenvleiVerlorenvlei ('lost marsh') is a beautiful, but unprotected, wetland situated outside of Elands Bay on the road to Redelinghuys. The shores of the vlei are private property, but there are numerous good birding spots along the road as well as from the accommodation establishments on the banks of the vlei. Notable species include the Purple Gallinule, Eastern White Pelican, African Spoonbill, African Eagle as well as European Bee- eaters, which breed in this area. The vlei has been identified as an important bird area and is a RAMSAR listed site. Tourism info: +27 27 432 1000
Bird Island: Lambers Bay
The internationally famous Bird Island of Lamberts Bay is linked to the shore by a breakwater connected to the harbour and is therefore easily accessible to the public. It is the most accessible Cape Gannet colony in the world. The Nature Reserve provides shelter and protection to thousands of Cape Gannets, as well as various species of cormorants and penguins. The hide puts you within a wingspan of more than 25 000 blue-eyed Cape Gannets.
Visitors can witness the unique mating dances (April - September) and captivating vocalizing of thousands of gannets. Visitors are welcome from 07:00 - 19:00 in summer and 07:00 - 17:00 in winter. Tourism info: +27 27 432 1000, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, Web: www.lambertsbay.co.za
Overnight in one of the accommodation establishments and enjoy a leisurely 2-hour drive back to Cape Town the next day.