Western Cape, Garden Route – Robertson Pass

About the Birding

Robertson Pass offers excellent fynbos endemic birding opportunities. The pass is known for its population of Cape Sugarbirds and Orange-breasted Sunbirds, which can often be seen feeding on the protea and erica flowers along the route. The area around the pass is also good for spotting Victorin’s Warbler and Knysna Warbler both of which are skulking species that require patience and a keen ear to locate.

The rocky outcrops along the pass are favoured by Cape Rockjumpers, which can be seen hopping among the rocks in search of insects. The fynbos habitats are also home to the Cape Siskin, Cape Bunting, and Cape Grassbird, which can be found in the thicker shrubbery and grassy areas. Keep an eye out for the striking Ground Woodpecker, which can sometimes be seen foraging on the ground or perched on rocks. Other interesting birds too keep an eye or ear out for are Black Harrier, Red-winged Francolin, Fynbos Buttonquail and Striped Flufftail. However, the latter two are notoriously difficult and requires exceptional patience and luck.

About the Birding Site

Robertson Pass is located north of Mossel Bay and cuts through the Outeniqua Mountains, while offering stunning views of the surrounding countryside. The area is characterized by rugged mountains, deep valleys, and fynbos vegetation, providing a diverse range of habitats for birds.

Access to Robertson Pass is via the R328, which runs between Mossel Bay and Oudtshoorn. The pass is easily accessible by car and there are several parking areas along the route where birders can stop and explore on foot.

Other Related Information

Starting point from either side of the pass:
• North (-33.8504, 22.0405)
• South (-33.9154, 22.0313)

Look-out points where birders can safely stop and avail from their vehicle:
a) From Oudtshoorn (-33.8638, 22.0282),
b) At the top from Oudtshoorn (-33.8729, 22.0311),
c) At the top from Mossel Bay (-33.8730, 22.0307),
d) Mid-section (-33.8806, 22.0288),
e) Mid-section from Mossel Bay (-33.8843, 22.0229), &
f) From Mossel Bay (-33.8898, 22.0245).

Key species:

Cape Sugarbird, Orange-breasted Sunbird, Cape Grassbird, Victorin's Warbler, Cape Bunting, Cape Siskin, Cape Rock Thrush, Cape Rockjumper, Ground Woodpecker, and Malachite Sunbird.

Contact details:


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