Kariega and Bushmans – Golden Mile
About the Birding
The narrow stretch of agricultural land stretching west from the small coastal village of Boknes, to as far as the eastern boarder of the Woody Cape section of Addo Elephant National Park, is widely regarded as one of South Africa’s richest farming areas; hence the name, the Golden Mile. The area benefits from year-round moisture provided by the warm Indian Ocean and is dominated by lush grasslands, dense coastal thickets, and rich primary forest.
About the Birding Site
The Bushmans and Kariega Rivers drain two small basins in the Eastern Cape, both entering the Indian Ocean on either side of the small coastal town of Kenton-on-Sea. Both rivers flow permanently across much of their lengths, supporting large agricultural and conservation areas. The Bushmans and Kariega triangle is of ecological significance, supporting several endemic and highly threatened species. This includes the almost mythical nominate race of the African Barred Owlet – which likely constitutes a true species and would thus be endemic to the area – as well as the critically endangered Eastern Cape Cycad (Encephalartos altensteinii).
Other Related Information
At the main intersection as you enter the coastal village of Boknes, head north-west along the unpaved gravel road. Turn to the left at -33.7223, 26.5659 and continue straight for several kilometres until you pass through a security boom. The Golden Mile road continues west from here, before finally turning north through the Woody Cape section of Addo Elephant National Park, and eventually culminating in the village of Alexandria.