Jeffrey’s Bay and St Francis – Mondplaas Ponds
About the Birding
The Mondplaas Ponds have long been rated as one of the top birding sites for waders in the Eastern Cape and, given its close proximity to Port Elizabeth, means it should be well worth a visit. Roughly 1 hour is sufficient to explore the Mondplaas Ponds and visits are best combined with the Gamtoos River Mouth Nature Reserve, Seejooei River Nature Reserve, and the Kabeljous Lagoon Nature Reserve.
About the Birding Site
Located roughly 60Km to the west of Port Elizabeth, the small coastal villages of St Francis and Jeffreys Bay are popular among holidaymakers. The area is perhaps best known for their uncrowded pristine beaches and surf conditions. However, in an ecological sense, the region is perfectly situated in a transitional zone between the summer and winter rainfall areas of the Eastern Cape. As such, several notable habitats meet within this broad area include up to 5 distinct biomes!
Other Related Information
Follow the N2 west from Port Elizabeth in the direction of Cape Town. Approximately 50Km to the west of Port Elizabeth, immediately after crossing the Gamtoos River, take the Mondplaas ramp and turn inlands heading north. The access to the ponds is the first gravel road to the right. Note that access to the ponds themselves is now limited, demanding permission from the land owners.