Western Cape – Garden Route – Vleesbaai roads

    About the Birding

    The route starts when you turn south roughly 15km from Mossel Bay. Unfortunately, this 20km stretch of tar road towards the Gouritsriver bridge does not have a shoulder and care should be taken when birding on this road as it can be busy at times. This road will produce a good number of LBJ’s such as African Pipit, Agulhas Long-billed Lark, Red-capped Lark and Large-billed Lark. When you can pull over safely and give your ears a chance to listen, you will pick up other LBJs such as Common Quail, Zitting Cisticola, Cloud Cisticola and Grey-back Cisticola if at the right habitat types. Scan the adjacent fields for Spur-winged Goose, Denham’s Bustard, White Stork and Secretary Birds.

    Roughly 7.5km from the turnoff the road turns to the left and decent into a dip. In the dip, there is an opportunity to take a gravel road towards the west (right). 300m down this gravel road there is a fork in the road, taking the left route will lead back to a gravel 4-way intersection that opens up the greater area to the various habitats boosted by the area. Taking the road straight (southwest) or turning left (southeast) will both lead you back to the main Vleesbaai road.

    About the Birding Site

    Located southwest of Mossel Bay, the Vleesbaai roads cover a variety of landscapes. The plains are home to a rich diversity of birds. The valley thicket vegetation in the riparian/watercourse areas provides thicket-related birds which is a complete contrast to the birds found on the farmlands/plains.

    Other Related Information

    The route starts when you turn south, roughly 15km from Mossel Bay (-34.1792, 21.9606).

    Key species:

    Agulhas Long-billed Lark, Red-capped Lark, Large-billed Lark, Cape Clapper Lark, African Pipit, Capped Wheatear, African Stonechat, Yellow Bishop, Yellow Canary, White-throated Canary, Grey-backed Cisticola, Cloud Cisticola and Grey-winged Francolin.

    Contact details:

    For more information on Vleesbaai, you can visit: https://www.garden-route-info.co.za/routes/town/1245/vleesbaai

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