Tanqua Karoo, a part of the Succulent Karoo Biome (see p.7),
merits one full days exploration at the very least,
although two days are preferable. As a dawn birding start
is optimal, staying overnight in the nearby town of Ceres
is a favourable option. This provides the freedom to explore,
unhurriedly, both the Tanqua Karoo and the series of scenic
and productive passes that lies between it and Cape Town.
The route incorporating these passes is the less direct of
the two main possibilities the faster road, for a pre-dawn
dash, takes in the N1 national road. It is quite feasible
to make the round trip from Cape Town in a single day, but
note, however, that this entails a total drive of about 500
with limited time would do well to leave Cape Town about two
hours before dawn and embark on the N1 to reach Karoopoort
at the edge of the Karoo shortly after sunrise.
From Karoopoort, you can work your way north to Katbakkies,
stopping at the sites described below, before heading back
again by mid-afternoon. Katbakkies makes a good lunch stop,
as the birding here is not as dependent on early-morning activity
as is that at Karoopoort and the plains between. You can then
make a leisurely return to Cape Town via the scenic but undeniably
slower three passes fynbos route through the towns
of Ceres, Wellington and Paarl.
winelands town of Paarl has two excellent birding sites associated
with it, offering, respectively, localized fynbos and waterbirds,
and can be included in a Karoo excursion. Alternatively, these
sites can easily be tackled as a relaxed day trip from Cape
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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