Free State (East) – Witsieshoek-Sentinel Peak
About the Birding
Above Phuthaditjhaba, upon entering the Witsieshoek Conservation Area (beyond a checkpoint), the habitat is a mix of sandstone cliffs, open grasslands, ouhout scrub and some exotic vegetation. You will no doubt see your first Jackal Buzzard amongst other species such as Familiar Chat, Wing-snapping Cisticola, Rock Kestrel, White-necked Raven, Drakensberg Prinia, Cape Grassbird and Cape Binting.
About the Birding Site
Witsieshoek is situated high up in the Drakensberg Mountains within the Witsieshoek Conservation Area. The QwaQwa region around Witsieshoek Mountain Lodge is primarily inhabited by members of the Batlokoa chiefdom. The Batlokoa community comprises a range of different Sotho-Tswana peoples. Witsieshoek overlooks the Royal Natal National Park and the habitats here comprise sandstone cliffs, montane grassland and rocky hillsides closer to Sentinel Peak. It provides convenient access from Gauteng for a range of Drakensberg specials.
Other Related Information
Witsieshoek is easily accessible via Harrismith. Take the N5 out of Harrismith to Kestell/Bethlehem. After 4 km take a left onto the R712 to Phuthaditjhaba and follow the R712 for approx. 50 km. Pass through Phuthaditjhaba and look for signs to Witsieshoek.
Bearded Vulture, Cape Vulture, White-necked Raven, Nicholson’s Pipit, Mountain Pipit (summer), Drakensberg Rockjumper, Sentinel Rock Thrush, Drakensberg Siskin, Cape Bunting, Rock Kestrel
Witsieshoek Mountain Lodge
Tel: +27 (0)58 713 6361/2
Cell: +27 (0)82 609 8988