Garied and the Far North – Gariep Dam, Venterstad and Oviston
About the Birding
The area consists of a set of reserves that surround the Gariep Dam on the Orange (Gariep) River. The Gariep Dam Nature Reserve covers most of the dam and the northern section; the Tussen-Die-Riviere Nature Reserve lies in the east wedged between the Caledon and Orange rivers; and Oviston Nature Reserve is in the centre. The Oviston Nature Reserve in particular covers an area of roughly 16 000 hectares and stretches from the Gariep Dam Wall to the west, to the Bethulie railroad bridge to the east.
About the Birding Site
The provincial boundaries between the Eastern Cape and both the Northern Cape and the Free State have gained recent recognition among provincial listers for a plethora of species that reach their southern distributional limit here. Among these are the Orange River Francolin, Orange River White-eye, Cinnamon-breasted Warbler, Black-chested Prinia, Red-chested Swallow, Ashy Tit, and Brubru. However, the region supports well more than 290 bird species including significant numbers of waterbirds.
Other Related Information
From Graaf-Rienet – travel north along the N9 to reach Colesburg. At Colesburg, turn to the east and follow the R58 past the Gariep Dam to Veterstad. From Venterstad’s main street, take the Oviston turn off. Proceed straight with the tar road until you reach the main gate. About 2 km from the main gate turn right to Oviston and at about 5 km arrive at Oviston Nature Reserve office.