East London – Gonubie Mouth Bird Sanctuary
About the Birding
The Gonubie Mouth Bird Sanctuary offers visitors an easy retreat within the heart of East London. The surrounding areas are rich in species supporting roughly 160 bird species including several notable endemics. The reserve is surrounded by coastal wetlands and coastal forest, and is flanked to the north by the Gqunube River Estuary.
About the Birding Site
The city of East London is one of the most accessible ports of entry into the Eastern Cape, sandwiched between the Buffalo River to the east and the Gonubie River to the west. Its Settler ancestry is incredibly evident, and the city has a distinctive old-fashioned charm about it. Traffic congestion is the exception to the norm, the endless swathes of beaches imply year-round enjoyment without large crowds, and the natural history of the surrounding areas is truly something to behold; altogether providing a refreshingly and incredibly pleasant holiday experience for all.
Other Related Information
Gonubie is situated roughly 20Km to the north of East London, following the N2. Take exit 1054 then follow Main Road into Gonubie. The estuary is accessible at several points to the north of Main Road – especially along Tidewaters Drive. The bird sanctuary is accessible by following 7th Street south towards Oceanway Road.
Facilities and access:
Braai and picnic facilities are available along Tidewaters Drive, from where it is possible to view the Gqunube River and explore the surrounding forests. Access is admission free. Note, however, that the picnic site is incredibly popular during weekends.