Free State (Central) – Kloofeind

About the Birding

The main attraction at Kloofeind is undoubtedly the presence of African Rock Pipit – this is the closest locality to Bloemfontein for this species, and it is quite easy to hear and see this sought-after endemic here. Good area to search for them is: -29.164269, 26.042364. Other species to be found include Layard’s Tit-babbler (Warbler), Fairy Flycatcher, Grey-backed Cisticola and Short-toed Rock Thrush. Cape Penduline-tit, Yellow-bellied Eremomela, Karoo Scrub Robin, Nicholson’s Pipit and Cinnamon-breasted Bunting are generally common.

Both Ashy and Grey Tit have been observed on the hillsides and in thornveld as well as Klaas’s Cuckoo. Ground Woodpeckers have been rarely recorded in the past. Pink-billed, Melodious, Eastern Clapper and Rufous-naped Lark are common in the surrounding grassland areas, with birds calling and displaying in summer. Blue Korhaans are frequently heard calling from grassland areas just west of Kloofeind. Both Common Quail and Common (Kurrichane) Buttonquail have been observed in both grassland and in grassy patches in thornveld. In the thornveld areas (-29.182608, 26.031778), reached by following the Kloofeind farm gravel road from the main tarred N8 (going through two farm gates), Kalahari Scrub Robin, Chestnut-vented Tit-babbler (Warbler), Brown-crowned Tchagra, Namaqua Dove and Pririt Batis may be encountered. Other species recorded include Golden-breasted Bunting, Black-faced and Violet-eared Waxbill, Cardinal Woodpecker, Red-throated Wryneck and Jacobin Cuckoo (summer). Secretarybird breed on occasion in the area. Other raptors to be seen include Booted Eagle, Lanner Falcon and Black-winged Kite. Both Western Barn Owl and Spotted Eagle-Owl have been seen on the hillsides.

Key species:

African Rock Pipit, Layard’s Tit-babbler (Warbler), Short-toed Rock Thrush, Cape Penduline-tit, Yellow-bellied Eremomela, Karoo Scrub Robin, Nicholson’s Pipit, Eastern Clapper Lark, Pririt Batis and Violet-eared Waxbill

About the Birding Site

Kloofeind is privately-owned land situated next to the N8, about 20km west of Bloemfontein. The steep rocky hillsides and extensive plateaus are dominated by wild olive trees, sagewood (Buddleja sp.) and several other shrub species. The surrounding areas comprise mainly Themeda triandra grassland with eroded areas with small karroid shrubs. An area known as Linden, with thorn trees as well as two small dams is also part of Kloofeind.

Key species:

African Rock Pipit, Layard’s Tit-babbler (Warbler), Short-toed Rock Thrush, Cape Penduline-tit, Yellow-bellied Eremomela, Karoo Scrub Robin, Nicholson’s Pipit, Eastern Clapper Lark, Pririt Batis and Violet-eared Waxbill

Other Related Information

Directions:
Kloofeind is easily reached from the N8, about 20 km west of Bloemfontein. When traveling west, travel past the turn off (left) to the tarred road sign-posted “Kloofeind” and continue on the N8 just past the Lochs Hoek Farm for All bakery/deli (great spot for pit stop) on the left hand side; the gravel turn-off to Kloofeind farm is soon after Lochs Hoek on the left hand side of the N8. Use the entrance over the cattle grid. The large hill of Kloofeind is clearly visible on the left hand side of the farm road/track.

Other related information:

GPS Coordinates:
Lochs Hoek : -29.159739, 26.044506
Entrance road/track to Kloofeind farm: -29.159825, 26.042250

Access and facilities:
Kloofeind is privately-owned land and permission for access must be arranged beforehand by contacting the owners: Mr Kruger (+27(0)82 770 5317), Dr Meyer (+27(0)82 859 5826) or Mr Van Heerden (+27(0)83 406 0672). Alternatively Dawie de Swardt (+27(0)83 638 1604) can assist with the necessary arrangements to access Kloofeind.

Recommended accommodation nearby:
No Birder Friendly Establishments are currently available in the area. However, all types of accommodation are available in and nearby Bloemfontein.

Local guide information:
No Birder Friendly Tour Operators or local guides are currently available in the area.

Text prepared and edited by:
Dawie de Swart
Martin Benadie | Specialist Birding Guide (mbenadie@gmail.com)

Key species:

African Rock Pipit, Layard’s Tit-babbler (Warbler), Short-toed Rock Thrush, Cape Penduline-tit, Yellow-bellied Eremomela, Karoo Scrub Robin, Nicholson’s Pipit, Eastern Clapper Lark, Pririt Batis and Violet-eared Waxbill

Contact details:

Access must be arranged beforehand by contacting the owners:

Mr Kruger
Cell: +27 (0)82 770 5317

Dr Meyer
Cell: +27 (0)82 859 5826

Mr Van Heerden
Cell: +27 (0)83 406 0672

Alternatively Dawie de Swardt (+27(0)83 638 1604) can assist with the necessary arrangements to access Kloofeind:

Dawie de Swardt
Cell: +27 (0)83 638 1604

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