The park protects an exceptionally fine tract of mountainous
Karoo landscape near the town of Beaufort West, and is well-stocked
with game including Black Rhino (Diceros bicornis),
Black Wildebeest (Connochaetes gnou), Gemsbok (Oryx
gazella) and Cape Mountain Zebra (Equus zebra zebra).
It also boasts an excellent selection of Karoo specials, providing
you with easy access to three tricky rock-loving species,
Warbler (p.85*), African
Rock Pipit (p.125*) and Short-toed Rock Thrush.
Another of the parks attractions is the opportunity
to join guided night-drives and go spotlighting for some exciting
Karoo mammals, among them Aardvark, Caracal and Aardwolf (see
section on Nocturnal Mammals of the Karoo). Cape
Eagle Owl (p.105*) may also, very occasionally, be
seen on these night drives.
entrance to the national park is on the N1 national road,
5 km south of Beaufort West. A tarred road leads to the parks
headquarters and rest camp (1 on map overleaf), where Mountain
Chat, Red-eyed Bulbul and Cape Bunting are
tame and conspicuous. Black Eagle regularly passes
overhead. Take an amble around the nearby campsite (2), set
in dense acacia thicket, as it offers some of the best birding
in the park. Namaqua
Warbler (p.85*), Southern Tchagra, Acacia
Pied Barbet, Cardinal Woodpecker, Dusky Sunbird,
Batis, Titbabbler and Fairy Flycatcher
are all vocal but inconspicuous thicket dwellers. Rather more
obvious are all three South African mousebird species.
Pass drive, which winds up the escarpment of the plateau behind
the rest camp, provides access to the three specials of rocky
country. Check the slopes at the base of the pass (in the
vicinity of 3) for Layards Titbabbler, African
Rock Pipit and Short-toed Rock Thrush. The latter
occurs scarcely but regularly along the length of the meandering
road up to the pass; the birds here are of the central dryland
subspecies pretoriae, which has been regarded as a
full species by some authors (see p.13). The vicinity of the
fenced lookout point at the summit of the pass at 4 is a good
site for both Cinnamon-breasted
Warbler and African Rock Pipit, neither of
which is likely to be seen without staying very alert to their
calls, which drift across from the cliff faces. The pipit
also occurs on the rocky hillocks of the plateau itself, alongside
the similarly rock-loving Long-billed Pipit. Other
mountain species that are typical of the cliffs along the
Klipspringer Pass are Black and Booted Eagles,
Woodpecker (p.105*) and Pale-winged Starling.
Continue on to the plateau, where the road moves into more
open country and Sickle-winged Chat and Chat Flycatcher
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4 Crassula Way, Pinelands, 7405, Cape Town, South Africa
Gibbs reports back from Gough
Island! Read the blog!
26/09/09: New Cape
Town Pelagics trip report from trips of 12 and 19 September
Birdwatching Fair at Rutland Water proved very successful,
with sunny weather and over 20,000 visitors. Callan's "Birding
Namibia and the Okavango" was the most highly-attended
lecture on the Saturday, with over 240 people. Congratulations
to the winners of the Birding Africa competition and the
African Bird Club raffle that we helped sponsor!
12/08/09: New Cape
Town Pelagics trip reports from August and July 2009.
Shearwater and more!
sub-adult Black Sarrowhawk visits our garden again! Read
on about Raptor Research in the Western Cape.
Town's Verreauxs' Eagle Chick has grown! And its sibling
never had a chance to hatch. See the pictures of the chick,
its nest and the breeding pair. Find out more about the Western
Cape Raptor Research Programme.
27/07/09: To follow modern nomenclature and systematics, we've
adopted the IOC
World Bird List, Version 2.1.
13/07/09: The 8th
African Bird ID Challenge has launched! Win a 50% discount
on a Cape Town Pelagics
trip, a copy of Southern
African Birdfinder, or African
Bird Club membership for 1 year.
6 July 09: Cape
White-eye research in our garden.
2 July 09: Cape
Town's Verreauxs' Eagle Chick has hatched! See the pictures
of the chick, its nest and the breeding pair. Find out more
about the Western Cape Raptor Research Programme.
2 July 09: Campbell
Fleming, a Cape Town scholar, avid birder and photographer,
joined Birding Africa last month as an intern. Click here,
to see what he got up to.
2 July 09: New pelagic
trip reports from the Cape Town Pelagics trips in June
2009. Highlights: Slenderbilled
Prion and Leach's Storm Petrel
30 july 09: Our latest Cape Fynbos and Karoo trip
reports feature Hottentot
Warbler and other fynbos and Karoo endemics...
26 June 09: Tungsten
mining threatens RAMSAR site, South Africa's Verlorenvlei.
Read the Media Release.
22 June 09: Claire
Spottiswoode, one of the Cape Birding Route founders,
was part of the exploratory team at Mount Mabu. The mountain
is part of the newly discovered largest
rainforest in Southern Africa.
11 June 09: A colour-ringed
Black Sparrowhawk visits the Birding Africa office garden.
Read why it's a 10 months old male!
14 June 09:
at the office of The Cape Birding Route, Birding Africa
and Cape Town Pelagics.
31 May 09:
Michel Watelet wins the 7th African Bird Club & Birding Africa
ID Challenge. Test your African birding skills and WIN
Africa Cape town day trip or a copy of the Birdfinder!
30 May 09:
A tragedy unfolds at Kommetjie south of Cape town as 44 beached
Killer Whales were shot. Click here for more details and
14 March 09: Raptor
Watch in Cape Town on 14 March 09