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Trip report covering Oct 20th to Nov 11th (1 Viewer)

Reader

Well-known member
I have completed my trip report on my web site covering our trip around South Africa for the above dates.

Here is a link to the report.
http://www.coventrybirder.co.uk/main pages/South Africa 2011 Trip report.htm

As always the written report is summarised and on the page at the top are links to pages of photos. There is also a page of recommendations.

The route of the trip was as follows.

We started out in the Cape Town area, taking in a Pelagic on Oct 23rd, The Constantia Greenbelts, Paarl, Hottentot Hollands and Nuweberg areas. After a few days in that area we moved up the West Coast as far as Lamberts Bay via a stop at Yzerfontein then cut across to Clanwilliam. From there we cut south from Clanwilliam via Cederberg & Ceres then onto just outside of Worcester.

From there we moved onto Bredasdorp via reserves near Robertson then through Stormsvlei. We took in De Mond then moved onto the Wildernes area for a few days before moving onto Plettisberg bay for a few days and did that area. Finally we returned to Cape Town via Swellendham taking in the Bontebok N.R then De Hoop.

All in all it was a stunning three weeks with excellent weather, good birds and some good guides.

There are two places I would highly recommend staying. The first was in Clanwilliam. It was called Yellow Aloe and not only was it a B&B it was also a plant Nursery and the garden stretched out for about 100 yards. Weavers (including Southern Masked plus there were about twenty Red Bishops in the mornings on the feeders), Sunbirds (Malachite and Lesser Double-collared), Laughing Doves (over 50 of them) Cape Sparrows & House Sparrows, Cape Wagtails plus a lone Cape Robin Chat were all close to where we ate in the morning. Not only that it had free WiFi and a massive 50” flat screen TV with plenty of channels to choose from. On top of all that the owner (Cheryl) is a passionate birder with plenty of contacts so this is definitely the place to stay if you are in the Clanwilliam area. If you are in this area do yourself a favour and book it. Here is Cheryl's Web site. http://www.yellowaloe.co.za/

The second was in the Wildernes area, close to Sedgefield. The address is:

Refletions Eco-Reserve, Rondevlei, Wildernes, South Africa

This is at Tim Carr's place and what a place this was. Smack in the middle of the Wilderness reserve in Eco friendly wooden chalet's. Tim and his wife Angelique have an amazing project going on here as they are planting only native species on his large piece of land. The power is produced by them as they are completely off-grid and use a combined hybrid Wind Turbine-Solar combination to provide them with all the power needs. Don't expect a TV or Wi Fi (although I think Tim will be getting this in the not too distant future). What you can expect is a fabulous wooden chalet with a log fire if you need it (doubtful as the property is extremely warm). A short stroll (about 75 yards) and you have your own platform looking over a large lake (part of the Rondevlei reserve). Apart from a fabulous bathroom & shower there is also an outside shower if you feel like going native outdoors. A patio outside to rest your weary legs with a can of beer or a glass of wine and in the morning (if you get up early enough) you can witness a beautiful sunrise (as shown below).

On the land there are loads of different birds including a nesting pair of Fish Eagles with a chick (at the time I write this), Fiery-necked Nightjar's plus as you take a walk around his reserve then via the defunct rail track to the lake hide (about 2-3km) you will see many other species on your way. If you are in this area I would highly recommend that you get in touch with Tim as any Birder would love this place.His website is as follows. http://www.reflectionsreserve.com and here is his Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/pages/Reflections-Eco-Reserve/118458404866855.

E:mail is [email protected]

Phone. +27 071 683 4133

A big bonus to staying at Tim's (or even if you were staying elsewhere in the area) is if you were thinking of Birdwatching in this area, and needed a guide, Tim is your man. Tim is an absolutely brilliant bird guide as well as knowing his plants, and their names, just as good. I can highly recommend him. We had 4 extremely excellent days with him and some of the Bird calls he made, plus the bird spotting he did, were amongst the best I have ever witnessed. On top of this Tim is a very likeable person and his knowledge is given at a pace even a lowly birder could take in.

I hope you like the photos I have taken.

John
 

Reader

Well-known member
Here are a few photos as tasters from the trip.

1. Cape Rockjumper
2. African Emerald Cuckoo
3. Bar-throated Apalais
4. Female Cape Sugarbird
5. Chestnut-banded Plover

John
 

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Sal

Well-known member
Thanks John for the advice and the summary and the pics which are great. Now I am off to look at the full report on your website. Sounds like a brilliant trip.
 

Sal

Well-known member
Later - wonderful bird list and photos and some great advice re places to stay and to visit, many thanks.
 

Reader

Well-known member
It was a fabulous trip Sal.

Your country is amazingly beautiful. From the stunning coastline through to the scenic mountain passes and all points between.

It is also good to see the Blue Crane doing so well. We saw hundreds of them and on our drive back from Swellendham to Cape Town counted well over a hundred just on the drive.

BTW can you take a look at my ID thread. There are five photos I have posted of birds I'm not sure of.

John


Thanks John for the advice and the summary and the pics which are great. Now I am off to look at the full report on your website. Sounds like a brilliant trip.
 
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