Pledge Nature Reserve – Knysna

About the Birding

As you arrive at this magical place, you will be soothed by the busy rasping of a Knysna Warbler. This should be accompanied by the duetting of Southern Boubou or the mournful staccato “drumming” of a Tambourine Dove. Higher up in the canopy you’ll be aware of Branch-scrambling Knysna Turacos as they wend their way with their characteristic KOK-KOK call.

The keen-eyed birder will notice argumentative Cape Batis and Cape White-eyes in the mid-canopy and with very good luck, see the most often only heard Olive Bushshrike. Excited calls of Green Woodhoopoe echo through the canopy and the movement of these often gives rise to ever-hopeful hangers-on, such as Olive and Knysna Woodpeckers. Early morning visitors should be rewarded by the mysterious hooting of Buff-spotted Flufftail and sonorous or mimicking calls of Chorister Robin-chat in the denser thickets.

A climb up out of the forest into the fynbos area of the Reserve should reveal the presence of Cape Grassbird, Neddicky, Cape Sugarbird, and Karoo Prinia.

In all, a visit of an hour, or for as long as you like, will give you a rewarding feeling of being in a special place – right in the middle of town!

About the Birding Site

Hidden only 200 meters from the hum-drum of the Main Street in Knysna is a magnificent jewel of tranquillity. This is a 10ha piece of Municipal land known as Pledge Nature Reserve. This reserve has endured many insults and ravages of managerial abuse and neglect over the years. At first, it was regarded as waste land, then it was used as a brick field and latterly, when the brickfield was no longer in use, it became a rubbish tip and eventually fell into full neglect with the full-scale invasion of alien vegetation.

Two decades of careful resuscitation and management, coupled with thoughtful selection and planting of locally indigenous tree species to replace the cleared alien areas, have resulted in this quiet and relaxing Nature Reserve it is our pleasure to showcase. The trees in the central area, most of which are now just short of 20 years of age, provide a charming backdrop to your visit.

Other Related Information

34.030629 /23.043147 – Just to the north of Main Street in Knysna, behind Knysna Tourism Office.

Costs of Entry: Entry permits to be bought from Knysna Tourism, the Foundation in Main Street or SuperSpar. Adults: R20, Children: R10.

Once you have purchased a permit, proceed to entrance gate between the buildings of Oyster Walk Apartments and follow instructions on who to call to open the gate remotely. You will be asked for the permit number and how many persons wish to enter.

Write up prepared by: Robert Smith, Committee member Lakes Bird Club and Trustee of Pledge Nature Reserve and Pat Nurse, Chair Lakes Bird Club and Trustee of Pledge Nature Reserve.

Key species:

Knysna Warbler, Tambourine Dove, Olive Bush-shrike, Green Woodhoopoe, Olive Woodpecker, Knysna Woodpecker, Knysna Turaco, Buff-spotted Flufftail, Cape Grassbird, Neddicky

Contact details:

Pledge Nature Reserve

Address: 10 Bond Street, Upper Central Knysna. P.O. Box 3195 ,Knysna 6570.