Western Cape, Garden Route – Little Brak Estuary

    About the Birding

    Little Brak Estuary is a prime birding spot offering a variety of habitats. Start your birding journey at the estuary mouth (-34.0902, 22.1496), where the tidal action creates ideal conditions for shorebirds. Look out for African Black Oystercatchers and White-fronted Plovers along the sandy stretches. A large Tern roost is often present on the rocky outcrops or sandbanks at the estuary mouth, comprising of a mixture between Greater Crested Tern, Common Tern and Sandwich Tern. If your lucky, between April and June, Roseate Terns roost amongst the other terns, sporting their faint-pinkish wash on their underparts.

    As you move inland (-34.0884, 22.1434 or -34.0857, 22.1425), the estuary’s mudflats attract a range of waders, including Grey Plover, Common Ringed Plover, and Eurasian Whimbrel. Pied Kingfishers are a frequent sight, hovering over the water before plunging in to catch their prey. The reed beds and marsh areas are home to Little Egrets, Lesser Swamp Warblers and Little Rush Warblers. The latter two is easiest distinguished by their very distinctive calls. The Lesser Swamp Warbler with its melodic song and the Little Rush Warbler sounding like a train.

    From the coastal thicket on the opposite riverbank, you will often hear Southern Boubou, Southern Tchagra, Long-billed Crombec, Bar-throated Apalis, and Knysna Woodpecker. Keep you eyes open for the pair of local Peregrine Falcons sweeping past or the African Fish Eagle calling from the trees.

    About the Birding Site

    Little Brak Estuary is situated at -34.0902, 22.1496 northeast of Mossel Bay. The estuary is easily accessible and offers a peaceful birding experience. The surrounding areas consist of sand dunes and coastal thicket, providing a diverse range of habitats. The estuary is tidal, so the birding experience can vary depending on the tide.

    Other Related Information

    Estuary mouth: -34.0902, 22.1496,
    Van der Reit St: -34.0884, 22.1434, &
    Malherbe St: -34.0857, 22.1425.

    Key species:

    Grey Plover, Common Ringed Plover, White-fronted Plover, Eurasian Whimbrel, Caspian Tern, African Oystercatcher, White-breasted Cormorant, Cape Cormorant, Reed Cormorant and Pied Kingfisher.

    Contact details:


    Text prepared by:
    Rudi Minnie
    Cell: +27 (0)72 837 0242
    Email: rudi.minnie@gmail.com