Blouberg – Blouberg Nature Reserve

About the Birding

One of the highlights of the Blouberg nature Reserve is the large vulture restaurant and hide, which is best visited in the winter months (April-September). Here, one is able to study the Cape, Lappet-faced, White-headed, Hooded and White-backed Vultures at close range. There is a large Cape Vulture colony on the nearby cliffs, where a male Rüppell’s Vulture is sometimes sighted with its mated Cape Vulture mate.

General birding is excellent in the Blouberg Nature Reserve and birders should look for the Groundscraper Thrush, Dark-capped Bulbul, Terrestrial Brownbul, Yellow-bellied Greenbul, Southern Black Tit, African Dusky and Grey Tit-flycatchers, Brown-hooded and Woodland (summer) Kingfishers, Natal Spurfowl, Crested Francolin and Yellow-throated Bush Sparrow. The rare Three-banded Courser is also possible, though this species is best seen elsewhere. Aside from the vultures, birds-of-prey are well represented and the African Hawk-eagle, Tawny and Wahlberg’s Eagles, Bateleur and African Harrier-hawk are all regularly sighted. The Steppe Eagle is occasionally seen in the summer months.

About the Birding Site

Blanketing the eastern foothills of the Blouberg Mountain, the Blouberg Nature Reserve covers an area of 9,360 hectares. The Blouberg Mountain itself is an inselberg forming part of the Soutpansberg range but is separated from the latter by a flat plain spanning roughly 30km. The highest peak protrudes 1200m above the surrounding plain. The area is dominated by a wide variety of vegetation and habitats including up to 16 different habitat types. These include small areas of Afro-montane ‘fynbos,’ sour mixed bushveld, a small Sycamore Fig Forest, Tamboti woodland, and several small dams and woodlands. The reserve has a bird list of over 270 species and lists of over 100 are not unusual during the summer months.

Other Related Information

Directions: Travel to Vivo and turn west towards Bochum. After 8.6km turn right towards Kromhoek; the reserve is a further 8.4 km on the left.
For accommodation there’s Molope Bush Camp, Mashatu Camp, Tamboti Bush Camp and Modumele Wilderness.

The entrance fee is R50 Adult, R25 for kids, pensioners R30.

Text prepared by:

Daniel Danckwerts (Rockjumper Birding Tours)

Key species:

White-backed, Cape, Lappet-faced, Hooded, and White-headed Vultures, Retz’s Helmetshrike, Three-banded Courser.