Darlings gone to the birds

Darling Tourism have launched a new bird route, set to cater to bird lovers from all over. The route was officially launched by Dr Anton Odendal at a launch event held at Groote Post Wine Estate on Thursday, 24 April 2014. With its completely rural, peaceful and natural habitat, the small town located less than an hour out of Cape Town, boasts diverse vegetation which attracts a wide range of birdlife.

Birders can look forward to seeing a wide range of bird species from larks and pipits to lesser flamingoes and great white pelicans as well as a wide range of raptors in an area which stretches from the Strandveld of the Darling Hills Rd and Groote Post to the Renosterveld of Waylands and Oudepost wildflower reserves.

“The intention is to appeal to dedicated birders promoting the numerous locations within Darling including the nearby Ramsar site at the Langebaan Lagoon as well as appealing to casual birders who visit Darling to enjoy a show at the Perron or a visit to one of the excellent wine cellars or one of the many activities held throughout the year in Darling,” says Shaun McLaughlin of Darling Tourism.

An easy to use tab on the Darling website will enable the market to access 5 different sites with route maps detailing the places to visit and these maps as well as bird lists will be available to visitors year round at the Darling info office.

Darling Tourism has been ably supported by Wesgro, the Western Cape’s Tourism, Trade and Investment Promotion agency in launching its bird route.

“We have identified projects that meet a sustainable tourism drive and the launch of the new bird route will go a long way in increasing both international and domestic visitor numbers into Darling and surrounding areas,” says Judy Lain, Chief Marketing Officer at Wesgro.

Future plans include the intention to train a dedicated guide from the Darling community to be able to offer guided tours as well as ensuring that visitors on the popular Darling Stagger are made aware of the wonderful bird life found within the area.

The beauty of the flowering bulbs and the immense variety of wildflowers in the area create a unique springtime experience. During summer months, large numbers of blue cranes may be seen in the wheat fields along the Darling / Malmesbury and Moorreesburg roads. The Tienie Versfeld Reserve and the !Khwa ttu San Culture & Education Centre enable the visitor to further enjoy the diversity of Darling and its prolific bird life.

For more info, please contact Dianne le Roux on 022 492 3361 orinfo@darlingtourism.co.za