Greater Panorama – Crystal Springs
About the Birding
The key to birding this superb reserve is to cover as many of the diverse habitats as possible. The cottages are tastefully situated along a rocky ridge, providing great birding. garden birds include Familiar Chat, Cape Robin-Chat, Chorister Robin-Chat (winter), Red-winged Starling, Gurney’s Sugarbird, Malachite Sunbird, Amethyst Sunbird, Southern Double-collared Sunbird, Greater Double-collared Sunbird, Swee Waxbill, Cape Bunting, and occasionally Forest Canary.
About the Birding Site
Situated in the mountains above Pilgrim’s Rest, this 5000-hectare private nature reserve is home to over 290 species of birds – a phenomenal total when considering the size of the reserve. This diversity is due to a varied topography and consequent diverse vegetation types. A number of walking trails have been laid out through all the vegetation types and these give access to the majority of the reserve’s birds. An impressive number of mammal species occur on the property, both introduced and naturally occurring, including Grey Rhebuck, Mountain Reedbuck, Oribi, Blesbok, Burchell’s Zebra, Blue Wildebeest, Impala, Giraffe, Serval, Caracal, Leopard, Aardwolf, Antbear, Cape Clawless Otter, Honey Badger, Brown Hyaena and others.
Other Related Information
From Johannesburg leave the N4 highway near Belfast, taking the R540 to Lydenburg. Then get on to the R36 Ohrigstad/Hoedpsruit road and 29 km out of Lydenburg take a right turn indicated as “Pilgrim’s Rest”(R533). The road climbs up Robber’s Pass and Crystal Springs is sign-posted on the left at the top of the pass. Alternatively, from Nelspruit take the R37 to Sabie and then the R532/533 to Pilgrim’s Rest. Bypass the village and continue up Robber’s Pass (sign-posted “Lydenburg”). Crystal Springs will be on the right at the top of the pass.
Crystal Springs Mountain Lodge.
Tel: 013 768 5000
Please check in at the reception and let them know you are here to do some birding. A small fee of R50 is asked per a person for the day. The lodge has a lovely restaurant where one can enjoy a meal after birding.
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