Wilderness, Western Cape – Bergplaas Road

About the Birding

Just after turning off the 7 Passes Road, the road goes past a small cluster of farm houses, including the Woodville Trading store. Around here one can pick up birds such as Pin-tailed Whydah and occasionally Black-bellied Starling. Long-crested Eagle inhabit this area as well and should be looked out for.

Moving north, the road goes through a section of grazing farmland. In the fields on either side of the road, Black-winged Lapwing, Red-capped Lark, and Cape Crow can be found. Keeping an eye on the skies above can yield Zitting Cisticola, Forest Buzzard, and a variety of Swifts and Swallows.

At around -33.92714, 22.67172, you start to enter the outer forest. On the west side of the road are a number of dead trees, which African Cuckoohawk occasionally perches in. On the other side of the road is a patch of dense bush which holds Blue-mantled Crested Flycatcher and Knysna Warbler, the latter of which should be listened out for along the entire road.

A few hundred meters further, the road gets goes into more mature forest. Bird parties hold Yellow-throated Woodland Warbler, and the melodic calls of White-starred Robin and Chorister Robin-chat float through the forest. Narina Trogon, Grey Cuckooshrike and in summer, African Emerald Cuckoo can be seen flitting through the canopy of the trees.

The road starts to wind a bit as it reaches the top of the forest. Here one should look out for Scaly-throated Honeyguide and Tambourine Dove.

One comes out of the forest at around -33.91686, 22.67371, and incredible views of the forest and farmland are offered. Olive Bushshrike and on overcast days, Buff-spotted Flufftail can be heard from here.

Slightly further along at -33.91191, 22.67377 the habitat changes to fynbos. The vegetation on the slopes hold Victorins Warbler and Striped Flufftail, while Orange-breasted Sunbird is easier to see. Trees line the road as it heads downhill toward the village, which are great for Honeyguides.

Around the village itself, Jackal Buzzard and Red-necked Spurfowl are fairly common.

About the Birding Site

Having three major habitats in such a short stretch of road make this an ideal spot for a quick mornings birding. The farmland, Forest, and Fynbos all hold different species, some being quite special. The forested section is part of the SANParks Wilderness National Park, although requires no permit to drive through.

At the turn off to the 7 Passes Road is the Woodville trading store, which is a fantastic spot to stop for coffee after a mornings birding.

Other Related Information

The Bergplaas road starts at -33.93642, 22.66989 (https://maps.app.goo.gl/boRFZKquFaxCc1X59), and stretches a few kilometres to the Bergplaas Village at -33.901303, 22.674309. The road is public and accessible to anyone, but that means one must also be mindful of passing cars.

There is a small farm stall at the start of the road, otherwise that the closest shops or fuel stations are in Wilderness (22km away) and Sedgefield (25km away).

Key species:

Black-winged Lapwing, Knysna Warbler, Narina Trogon, White-starred Robin, Grey Cuckooshrike, Scaly-throated Honeyguide, Red-necked Spurfowl, Orange-breasted Sunbird, Victorins Warbler, Striped Flufftail

Contact details:


Email: enquiries.wilderness@sanparks.org

Tel: +27 (0) 44 877 1197

Contact Woodville Trading Store:

Tel: +27 (0)79 169 1682