Soutpansberg – DWARF Picnic Site
About the Birding
The Albasini Dam is the largest body of water in the vicinity of Makhado (Louis Trichardt), located just to the south of Entabeni State Forest. Named after João Albasini, a slave trader and elephant hunter, it dams the Luvuvhu River, which rises in the Soutpansberg Mountains and flows for almost 200 km before joining the Limpopo River in the Kruger and flowing on to Mozambique. The Albasini supplies the area’s sub-tropical fruit farmers with a consistent source of water but is otherwise lined with riverine and semi-deciduous mixed forest.
About the Birding Site
The Soutpansberg Birding Route is situated in the very northernmost part of the Limpopo Province including the northern parts of Kruger National Park, Mapungubwe National Park, Venda and the Soutpansberg Mountain range. This is arguably one of the most diverse Birding Routes in all of South Africa, boasting a list well in excess of 540 bird species. Many of these species are residents of the region, implying that there is a year-round abundance of birds to see. However, the resident assemblage of species is supplemented by the mass influx of a high diversity of migrant species in the summer months.
Other Related Information
Take the R524 east from Makhado (Louis Trichardt); 21 km out of town turn right down the gravel road marked “Albasini”. The picnic site is 2.5 km further on, on the right. Just through the entrance gate take a sharp turn right and find your way along the roads. Please note that the best birding on the dam is done by boat trip organized by Shiluvari on the southern side of the Dam.
A nominal entrance fee of R5 is payable per person, plus a fee of R15 per vehicle. The picnic site is open from 07h00 to 18h00 daily.