North West – Boons and Derby grasslands
About the Birding
The first route described begins just off the N14, just outside the Gauteng province, on the Boons Road (26°14’25.4″S 27°16’58.8″E, or -26.240385, 27.283004). This is the ‘main’ birding route in this area, as it supports almost all of the specials.
At the coordinates described above, turnoff north onto the Boons gravel road. The first 2.5km pass through predominantly agricultural areas, which don’t host much of interest – keep an eye out for Swainson’s Spurfowl and Long-tailed Widowbird.
About the Birding Site
This route describes a network of public roads covering the dry highveld grasslands located to the west of Johannesburg and south of the Magaliesberg. This is a predominantly open area, where grasslands dominate, but a number of agricultural areas exist as do areas of karoo-shrubland and pockets of dense bush. Various dams and wetlands are also present and further boost the bird list.
Other Related Information
Access and facilities:
The routes described above are all off public gravel/tar roads. The roads are regularly maintained and a small sedan vehicle is sufficient to cover the area. Most of the land, away from the road is private, and please seek permission before venturing off the road. This area is easily done as a half-day/day trip from Gauteng, and an overnight stop is usually not required.