Free State (West) – Sandveld Nature Reserve
About the Birding
The main camp and surrounding areas provide excellent birding opportunities, with birds such as Marico Flycatcher, Crimson-breasted Shrike, Kalahari Scrub Robin, Groundscraper Thrush and Scaly-feathered Finch (Weaver) being quite confiding. Pririt Batis, Ashy Tit and Cape Penduline-tit are also found here. Thickets are excellent for warblers, particularly in late summer, with Garden Warbler, Willow Warbler, African Reed Warbler, Marsh Warbler and Icterine Warbler recorded.
About the Birding Site
Sandveld Nature Reserve is arguably one of the best birding sites in the Free State and adjoins the Bloemhof Dam. Birding habitats include open water, shoreline, marshy areas, grassland, savanna (mostly Kalahari Thornveld) and Karoo scrub, most of which are accessible in a sedan vehicle. With a checklist of 295 bird species, lists of 70-80 bird species are easily achievable in the reserve; up to 150 species may be seen during a two- to three-day stay in summer.
Other Related Information
Sandveld Nature Reserve is situated on the R34 between Hoopstad (Free State) and Bloemhof (North West Province), approx. 35km from Hoopstad and 10km from Bloemhof. The reserve surrounds the Vaal River and Vet River confluence sections of the Bloemhof Dam, in the Free State.
Access and facilities:
An entrance fee is payable. The reserve has a good network of gravel roads.
Entrance to Sandveld Nature Reserve on the R34: -27.638569, 25.687978