Kariega and Bushman’s River – Ngciyo pans and hide
About the Birding
Water levels within the Ngciyo Pans are distinctly seasonal and the pans tend to only fill in years of heavy rainfall. The pans are frequently dry in drought periods. However, when wet, the area supports immense numbers of waterfowl. Most numerous are the Egyptian and Spur-winged Geese, Red-billed and Cape Teals, Cape Shoveler, and both White-faced Whistling and Yellow-billed Ducks. Southern Pochard, Black-necked Grebe, and Maccoa Duck are occasional visitors. The extensive reedbeds support Purple Heron, African Swamphen, Little Bittern, Red-chested Flufftail, and large breeding colonies of weavers including the scarce Yellow Weaver.
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 with notable populations of 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
The Ngciyo Pans are located along a public gravel road connecting the R72 between Alexandria and Kenton-on-Sea, and the R343 between Kenton-on-Sea and Salem. If travelling between Alexandria and Kenton-on-Sea, turn to the north at -33.6540, 26.5353 to the pans. Alternatively, if travelling between Kenton-on-Sea and Salem, turn west at -33.6161, 26.6119. The pans are located on either side of the Bushman’s River and are viewable from several places along this access road.
The nearest towns are:
Port Alfred: 41Km