Port Elizabeth and surrounds – The Island Reserve
About the Birding
The Island Forest Reserve is one of the last remaining indigenous coastal forests near Port Elizabeth, encompassing an area of roughly 480 hectares. Other notable habitats include bushveld thicket and open grassland. The reserve is conveniently situated on the outskirts of the city and is recommended for mid-week birding only as the weekend attracts many picnicking visitors. A morning visit of 2-3 hours is preferable to maximise chances at finding all of the forest specialties.
About the Birding Site
Port Elizabeth, an idyllic coastal city, is perhaps the most accessible port of entry into the Eastern Cape. Known as the ‘Friendly City,’ Port Elizabeth offers a superb value-for-money holiday base with a diverse selection of attractions, within easy reach, including a number of scenic nature trails, historic heritage, cultural experiences and several bird and wildlife viewing hotspots. Perhaps most important are the core section of Addo Elephant National Park and the Baviaanskloof Wilderness Complex; both under 1hr drive from the city’s international airport.
Other Related Information
Follow the national highway ‘N2’ west in the direction of Cape Town for roughly 25km, before taking the Seaview offramp to the left. The reserve is signposted to the left shortly after the Collen Glen/Kragga Kama road intersection at -33.9862, 25.3683.
Alternatively, follow the M9 west from Port Elizabeth until it merges with Seaview Road. Continue along Seaview Road for roughly 18km to reach the entrance to the Island Reserve.