Gariep and the Far North – Middelburg
About the Birding
The village of Middleburg is centrally situated roughly 100Km from Graaf Rienet, Cradock, Steynsburg, Colesburg, Richmond and Hanover – hence its name. Boasting interesting cultural heritage, fascinating geography and a particularly rich fossil history (documenting the beginning of the Triassic era) – the town is an eco-adventure mecca. From a birding perspective, the surrounding area supports an extremely high diversity of karoo species with several notable species in a provincial sense. At least one full day is recommended to explore the region in sufficient detail and overnight visits are recommended.
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 for 109Km to reach Middelburg. Recommended routes from there extend north on unpaved roads from the R56 between Middelburg and Roseamead in the direction of Brulberg.
Access and facilities:
Limited shopping facilities, fuel stations and banks are available in Middelburg. Note that much of the surrounding areas are privately owned and access is through prior arrangement only. Farmers are often amenable to visiting birders but do not take lightly to trespassing.