Greater Plettenberg Bay – Harkerville and Kranzhoek viewpoint

About the Birding

Access to the reserve requires a wild card or Cape Nature fee. Please note that this hike is very tough and requires good fitness, a surefooted demeanour and a well-equipped backpack with a large amount of time.

Around the parking lot lookout for Cape Siskin, Karoo Prinia and Orange-breasted Sunbird and Red-necked Spurfowl. Rock Kestrel, Cape Rock Thrush, White-necked Raven can be found at the boulder sections.

Cape Grassbird, Bar-throated Apalis, Greater and Southern Double-collared Sunbirds, Southern Tchagra, Neddicky, Red-winged Starling and Sombre Greenbul are found along the trail. Ground Woodpecker is seen on the trail near the Fountain Shack on the western flank.

African Oystercatcher, Cape Cormorant and Greater-crested Tern are seen along the coast, near the seal colony and at the point.

Robbergvlei (-34.0911, 23.3696) – A nice walk around this wetland can produce Little Bittern, Purple Heron, Lesser Swamp and Little Rush Warbler. The fringe is a good spot for Burchell’s Coucal, Olive Bush Shrike, Cape Weaver, Common Waxbill, Cardinal Woodpecker and Red-necked Spurfowl.

Key species:

Knysna Warbler, Victorin’s Warbler, Knysna Turaco, Knysna Woodpecker, African Rail, Red-chested Flufftail, Glossy Ibis, Cape Siskin, Orange-breasted Sunbird, Karoo Prinia

About the Birding Site

The Plettenberg Bay Region covers the area from Harkerville off the N2, then along the airport road to Robberg Nature Reserve, through the coastal town of Plettenberg Bay, and then joining back on the N2 past the Sewage Treatment Plant, Riettvlei dam and road to Emily Moon and the Bitou River Valley to Uplands on the R340, as well as the Keurbooms River.

Indigenous forest, fynbos, coastal rocky cliffs, urban gardens, wetlands, grasslands, and estuary ensures a wide range of habitat around this beautiful birding area between Knysna and Tsitsikamma.

Key species:

Knysna Warbler, Victorin’s Warbler, Knysna Turaco, Knysna Woodpecker, African Rail, Red-chested Flufftail, Glossy Ibis, Cape Siskin, Orange-breasted Sunbird, Karoo Prinia

Other Related Information

Directions:
Robberg Nature Reserve (-34.0998, 23.3735) is located 8km south of Plettenberg Bay and is best accessed by taking the Piesang Valley Road turn-off (-34.0514, 23.3535) from the N2.

Access and facilities:
Adults Day Access = R50; Children Day Access = R30 – Free to Wild Card holders
Gate Opening and Closing Times
Feb – Nov: 07h00 – 17h00
Dec – Jan: 07h00 – 20h00

Other related information:

Note: the hiking trail is rocky, uneven and precarious in places. Sure footed hikers, a good level of fitness, decent shoes, water, hat and enough time is required. There is NO water or bathroom facilities on the trail. The Parking area has great views, good access to picnic tables, with braai and ablution facilities.

Bitou Hide on the Bitou Pan: (-34.0029, 23.3540), Cost R50pp – booking: +27 (0)72 316 8897

Recommended accommodation nearby:
There is a wide range of accommodation available in the Greater Plettenberg Bay area.

Local guide information:
No BirdLife South Africa recognised Birder Friendly tour operators in the area.
Ian Pletzer
Cell: +27 (0)83 357 5267
Email: Pletzer.Ian@gmail.com

Text prepared by:
Ian Pletzer, BirdwatchPlett & Outeniqua Birding

Key species:

Knysna Warbler, Victorin’s Warbler, Knysna Turaco, Knysna Woodpecker, African Rail, Red-chested Flufftail, Glossy Ibis, Cape Siskin, Orange-breasted Sunbird, Karoo Prinia

Contact details:

Robberg Nature Reserve
Tel: +27 (0)44 533 2125/85
Website: https://www.capenature.co.za/reserves/robberg-nature-reserve