Rooisand Nature Reserve

    About the Birding

    A good time for Waders and Waterbirds in front of the hide is when this area is flooded with exposed muddy islands. As water levels recede, the Waders tend to move eastwards towards the Bot River estuary.

    The best birding times are normally from early spring into early summer but as previously mentioned, this is highly dependent on water levels. When the Bot River mouth is breeched and flows out to sea, large numbers of Flamingo, Gulls and Terns feed and roost around the exposed sandbanks. This is also a great time to see Waders and Waterbirds around the exposed banks.

    The approach road and drier areas around the water systems often hold interesting birds and a surprise or two!

    About the Birding Site

    The number and type of bird species to be found here is dependent on the Bot River water levels and also, of course, the season. As the water level in the Bot River rises, it starts to flow into the area in front of the bird hide and ultimately into the Kleinmond River system. From the parking area, there is a boardwalk which takes one to the bird hide overlooking a wide, flat area which floods in wet months. One can sometimes follow the Bot River margin either towards the mouth of the river or upriver from the parking area. However, when the area in front of the parking area is flooded, one is restricted to either the boardwalk or dry footpaths surrounding the flooded areas. The Bot River mouth is usually closed to the sea, but upon opening, it has wide, accessible sandbanks which appear all the way down to the estuary mouth.

    Other Related Information

    From the R44 between Kleinmond and Arabella, turn at (-34.3289, 19.0881) onto a dirt road sign-posted Rooisand. Continue for approximately 1.1 km to the Rooisand Nature Reserve parking area at (-34.3491, 19.0910). Note that this road is normally suitable for sedan vehicles. However, it does get a bit sandy at times and in wet periods there may be some flooded pools through which one needs to drive. A high clearance vehicle is best at these times. The reserve is managed by Cape Nature and is well-known for the wild horses which wander freely around the reserve.

    Specials to look for: (mostly spring / summer)

    Osprey, African Marsh Harrier, Great Crested Grebe, Black-necked Grebe, Red Knot, Eurasian Curlew, Wood Sandpiper, Terek Sandpiper, Sand Martin, Common Swift.

    Other birds of interest:

    Greater Flamingo, Lesser Flamingo, Marsh Sandpiper, Great White Pelican, Bar-tailed Godwit, Ruff, Sanderling, Ruddy Turnstone, African Snipe, Banded Martin, Intermediate Egret.

    Scarcities / Vagrants:

    Blue-cheeked Bee-Eater, Common Cuckoo, Greater Sand Plover, Tibetan Sand Plover, Pectoral Sandpiper, Yellow Wagtail, White Wagtail, Honey Buzzard, Eurasian Hobby, Lesser Crested Tern, Great White Egret.

    Contact details: