Birding & Wildlife

If you’re looking to escape into the great outdoors to experience nature at its best, try Darling. Darling is known as the Flower of the West Coast and the abundance of flora and natural flowers is undoubtedly its greatest asset.

Click on any of the links on the right for pictures and more information.


 

!Khwa ttu San Culture & Education Centre

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!Khwa ttu is the home to a number of game species, which include ostriches, eland, oryx, bontebok, zebra and large herds of springbok. Not only can our guests view game at !Khwa ttu but also learn from professional San guides how to track the spoors of these animals. It will be an amazing experience to realise that a San tracker is able to identify the footprints and droppings of all the game at !Khwa ttu, as well as making out the animal’s sex, age and overall condition.

Throughout the year a high number of species of the indigenous fynbos vegetation can be observed at !Khwa ttu. During August and September the centre’s landscape turns into a blaze of colours when giant patches of wild flowers bloom in bight red, purple and yellow.

contact: The General Manager to book
tel: 022 492 2998
fax: 022 492 3566
email: info@khwattu.org
web: www.khwattu.org
GPS: 33º 22’11.00″ S / 18º 15’52.00″ E
hours: Tues to Sun: 09h00 – 17h00

 


Buffelsfontein Game Nature Reserve

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Buffelsfontein offer game drives daily at 09h00 and 14h00(except the first Sunday of each month). Duration of a game drive can be up to 3 hours.

Game you can expect to see on a drive: Lion, Buffalo, Giraffe, Zebra, Blue Wildebeest, Red Hartebeest, Kudu, Eland, Oryx (Gemsbok), Bontebok, Springbok, Duiker, Steenbok and Caracal.

Game seen less often on a drive: African Wildcat, Bat-eared fox, Cape fox, Genet, Grey buck, Mountain Reedbuck, Porcupine, Aardvark, Aardwolf and Honey Badgers.

Buffelsfontein also offers a shooting range with target shooting and clay pigeon shooting. (Except Sundays)

address: (R27) West Coast Road, Darling, 7345
tel: 022 451 2824
fax: 022 451 2414
all hours: 072 356 4797
email: buffontein@xsinet.co.za
web: www.buffelsfontein.co.za
GPS: 33°15’55.22″S / 18°13’7.97″E

 


Burgherspost Wine Estate

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Biodiversity and Wine Champions Cloof and Burgherspost Wine Estates have the best of both wine and nature, all bundled together in a neat package. Hop onboard our Landrover for a guided game drive through our 1 200 ha lowlands Fynbos reserve and see the spectacular show of flowers (in season) and discover the often unseen, rare and endangered species of Darling.

Along the way you’ll also see some large game such as eland, bontebok, zebra and gemsbok to name but a few.

  • Game drives: R150 per person (2 – 6 persons) booking essential.
  • Accommodation: 2 x Private, luxury, self-catering cottages overlook the vineyards and reserve at the foot of Dassenberg mountain.
  • Wine Tasting: Come and taste our award-winning Shiraz and Pinotage wines at Cloof. Barrel tastings also available on appointment basis.
  • Restaurant: Cloof kitchen restaurant serve a variety of decadent light lunches to compliment our wines.
  • Weddings: The day of all days in the place of all places! Scenic, intimate and really good wine!
address: Mamre Road, just up the road past Cloof Wine Estate
tel: 022 492 2830
cell: 082 923 8652 (Alexa)

084 673 5708 (Jacques)

email: nature@cloof.co.za
web: www.burgherspost.co.za
GPS: 33° 30’ 08.91” S / 18° 32’ 06.57” E
rate: Wild flower game drives (mid-Aug to mid-Oct)

R150 per person (2 – 6 persons)

Accommodation available (see Accommodation section)

note: Bookings have to be made at least 2 days in advance

 


Darling & Swartland Birding Route

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The Swartland Birding Route begins some 50 kilometres north of Cape Town and consists of the regions between the towns of Malmesbury in the south, Darling and Yzerfontein in the west, Moorreesburg and Koringberg in the north and Riebeek West and Riebeek Kasteel in the east.

The area has a varied landscape from sea, coastal plains, wild flowers (including Fynbos), to wheat fields on the fertile plain, interrupted by vineyards, olive farms and mountains.

It is said that you can find at least 250 bird species in this vast differentiated land scape. This will provide birders, beginners to serious twitchers, with a diverse range of birds to be ticked. The rare Black Harrier and the endangered South African National bird, the Blue Crane, which are both seen on the Swartland Birding Route, will generate significant interest for both local and international tourists.

The diversity of vegetation in the Darling area presents birders with a wide range of different birds from larks and pipits to lesser flamingoes and great white pelicans. The area stretches from the strandveld of the Darling Hills Rd and Groote Post to the renosterveld of Waylands and Oudepost wildflower reserves. The beauty of the flowering bulbs and the immense variety of wildflowers create a unique springtime experience. During summer months large numbers of blue cranes may be seen in the wheatfields along the Darling / Malmesbury and Moorreesburg roads.

Just as dear to our heart as our birds is our flora. Jan van Riebeeck called this softly undulating country between the mountain ranges “Het Zwarte Land” (the Black Land) because of the endemic Renosterbos-veld. (Directly translated as rhinoceros bush.) These dark grey shrubs and bushes turn almost black in summer, resembling the colour of Rhino hide. Although only less than 10% of the Renosterveld remains, the area was almost covered with it in the 1650’s when settlers started to move into the West Coast area.

Today less than 2% of Renosterveld vegetation types are formally conserved, and these are some of the most threatened types of vegetation in the world. We kindly request that visitors to our beautiful, fragile area, leave nothing but their foot prints behind and take only good memories to bring them back for another visit.

Happy birding!

address: For more information and maps of the different routes visit our web site or join our very active facebook page.
web: www.swartlandtourism.co.za/birding-route
facebook: www.facebook.com/groups/swartland.birding.route