Greater Karoo – Anysberg Nature Reserve

About the Birding

Anysberg Nature Reserve is recognized as an Important Bird Area for its populations of Ground Woodpecker, Cape Rockjumper and Cape Siskin. Furthermore, other endemic fynbos birds such as Victorin’s Warbler, Cape Sugarbird, Orange-breasted Sunbird, Protea Seed-eater, Cape Francolin and Cape Bulbul have been recorded here. Although it is the fynbos specials that rank the site as an IBA, Anysberg NR is also a fantastic destination to look for Karoo specials!

In particular, the lowland plains are good habitat for Ludwig’s Bustard, Karoo & Southern Black Korhaan, Karoo Lark, Grey-backed Cisticola, Karoo Chat, Karoo Eremomela and Rufous-eared Warbler. Southern Pale Chanting Goshawk is common, while Black Harrier is an occasional visitor. On the higher slopes the fynbos is home to Cape Francolin, Cape Bulbul, Cape Grassbird and Cape Siskin, also look for Cape Sugarbird, Orange-breasted & Malachite Sunbird and Protea Seedeater near flowering plants or Protea thickets. Preferring the rocky habitats of the kloofs, gorges and higher mountain slopes are Cape Rockjumper, Pale-winged Starling, Ground Woodpecker, Cape Rock-thrush, Cape Siskin and the secretive and localized African Rock Pipit. The dry riverbeds are the best place to search for Pririt Batis, Namaqua Warbler, Layard’s Warbler, Fairy Flycatcher, White-throated Canary and Grey Tit.

The reserve also hosts a number of game species like Eland, Gemsbuck, Kudu, Cape Mountain Zebra, Grey Rhebuck, Steenbuck, Common Duiker and some nocturnal animals like Caracal, Bat-eared Fox, Black-backed Jackal, Striped Polecat, Aardvark, Porcupine and Aardwolf. Leopard may still occur in the mountains.

About the Birding Site

Anysberg Nature Reserve lies on the western fringe of the Little Karoo, in the transition zone between fynbos and karoo-type vegetation. Situated only 4 hours from Cape Town, near the towns of Laingsburg and Ladismith, this 79 600 ha reserve offers some spectacular scenery. From gently undulating terrain and Karoo plains to rugged mountains with steep gorges, the landscape is never boring. The wide, open valleys support Karoo scrub interspersed with eye-catching succulents, while at higher elevations montane fynbos dominates with some impressive stands of Protea in the wetter areas, and belts of Acacia-dominated vegetation line the mostly dry riverbeds.

Other Related Information

Directions

From Cape Town: head east on the N1 towards Worcester and Beaufort West. As you enter Laingsburg, just after crossing the Buffels River, turn right onto Van Riebeeck Street and head south along the river. After you cross the Buffels River again, keep straight for approximately 17 km’s. At the fork, turn right and after a further ± 2 km’s turn right again. The road runs parallel to the “Suurkloof se berg” for quite a way before veering south, and after about 8km’s look for a small road off to the right. From this point it is only 6 km’s to the main entrance gate (-33.454, 20.750).

The reserve can also be approached from the four nearest towns. Touwsrivier and Laingsburg on the N1 and Montagu and Ladismith on the R62. From Ladismith/Laingsburg you will enter the reserve from the eastern gate at Grand Canyon. From Touwsrivier you will enter the reserve from the western side at Kruisriver gate using the Bloutoring road. From Montagu, you will follow the road over Ouberg Pass and enter through the Spitskop gate at Allemorgensfontein also on the western side of reserve.

Grand Canyon Gate: -33.431, 20.800

Kruisrivier Gate: -33.500, 20.339

Spitskop Gate: -33.567, 20.374

Entry fees

Adults: Day Access = R50; Overnight fee = R40

Children: Day Access = R30; Overnight fee = R20

Facilities

There are no fuel or shop facilities in the reserve, but firewood can be bought on-site. The nearest shops and fuel are Ladismith or Laingsburg.

Cottages: 4 x rustic flat-roofed cottages, sleeping 1 – 6 people, communal ablutions. 1 x cottage, en-suite, sleeps 4. All are fully equipped. Self-catering.

Campsite: 2 x camp/caravan sites. No electricity. Communal ablutions.

Horse trail: A 2-day trail, sleeping under the stars.

Other

No cell phone reception in reserve
Gate opening and closing times: Reserve gates are not locked

Text prepared by:

Japie Claassen

Key species:

Ground Woodpecker, Cape Rockjumper, Ludwig’s Bustard, Karoo Korhaan, Karoo Eremomela, Rufous-eared Warbler, Pririt Batis, Namaqua Warbler, Layard’s Warbler, Fairy Flycatcher.

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