Wilderness, Western Cape – Malachite Bird Hide

    About the Birding

    The best place to view birds on Langvlei is undoubtably the Malachite Bird Hide. The thicket around the parking can hold Olive Bushshrike, and the insect-like calls of Black Cuckooshrike and Brown-backed Honeybird might be heard.

    The pathway turns into a boardwalk as it starts to go through the reeds, and it is not uncommon to see Little Bittern and Lesser Swamp Warbler flying from one side to the other. Under the boardwalk, keep your eyes open for African Rail and Red-chested Flufftail crossing too.

    The south-facing Malachite bird hide offers a few dead trees as perches, where one might see birds such as Pied Kingfisher.

    Little Grebe is often present in front of the hide, while Great-crested Grebe might occasionally swim past. Further out on the water, large floats of birds are worth sifting through for Black-necked Grebe, Maccoa Duck, and White-backed Duck.

    Raptors are aften around too, with the most notable being African Fish-eagle. However, Osprey and African Marsh Harrier can be seen as well.

    Traveling to this area from Sedgefield, it could be worth while stopping at the channel of water that links Langvlei Lake to Rondevlei Lake at -33.99152, 22.69601. Red-necked Spurfowl can sometimes be seen crossing the road in this area. At the channel itself, Malachite Kingfisher can be seen flying up and down. Cape Grassbird is often calling in the vegetation around the hide as well. If you’re lucky, you might catch a glimpse of African Grass Owl flying over the reeds in the evening.

    About the Birding Site

    Situated in the heart of the Wilderness National Park, Langvlei lake is both a RAMSAR site and an IBA (Important Bird Area). The Lake and wetland are an important breeding site, and the number of birds is quite prominent.

    Although the Lake is the main birding attraction, the reeds and thicket surrounding the hide offer a few different species too.

    Other Related Information

    The parking area for the Malachite bird hide is at -33.98312, 22.67666 (https://maps.app.goo.gl/Gqb7fpxf7PNcS1hN8).

    The site does not charge an entrance fee.

    The bird hide is accessible by Wheelchair, however there are no railings on the boardwalk so care should be taken.

    Text prepared by:

    Justin Ponder

    Key species:

    Maccoa Duck, White-backed Duck, Black-necked Grebe, Great-crested Grebe, Little Bittern, Red-chested Flufftail, African Rail, African Marsh Harrier, African Grass Owl, Olive Bushshrike

    Contact details:


    Email: enquiries.wilderness@sanparks.org

    Tel: +27 (0) 44 877 1197