Wilderness Lakes system – Rondevlei hide

About the Birding

Continuing east from the Brown-hooded Kingfisher Trail along the gravel road will bring you around the back of the wilderness lakes and Langvlei in particular. There are various spots along the road that are worth stopping at to scan the lake, Great-Crested Grebe, Black-Necked Grebe, Southern Pochard, Osprey and African Fish Eagle are all seen here. The Malachite bird hide  (-33.98203, 22.6687)  is situated on Langvlei and will give good views across the lake but generally the hide further down the road on Rondevlei is better situated for birding.

In order to get to the Rondevlei hide, continue driving, turning right through the settlement of Rondevlei and stopping briefly at the culvert that crosses under the road linking Langvlei and Rondevlei (-33.9914, 22.6960)

This is a great spot for photography, Little Bittern, Blue-Billed Teal, Malachite Kingfishers and Goliath Heron, with many other species flying over, from one lake to the other. Cape Grassbird, Little Rush Warbler and Lesser Swamp Warbler can all be found easily here.  Jacobin Cuckoo and Black Sparrowhawk can be seen along the southern side of the road.

Follow the road along the lake, to the SANParks Research Station, watching out for Red-Necked Spurfowl feeding alongside the road and Knysna Woodpecker in the Milkwood thickets.

The Rondevlei hide (-33.9882, 22.7175) offers fantastic birding. The pathway leading to the hide is good for Olive Bushshrike, Knysna Turaco, Greater Double-Collared Sunbird and Sombre Greenbul while the  wooden walkway to the hide is a great spot to listen for the hooting call of the Red-Chested Flufftail.

From the hide African Swamphen, African Snipe, African Rail, Greater Flamingo, African Fish Eagle, Western Osprey, Malachite and Pied Kingfishers. All three Grebe species Little, Great-crested and Black-necked, Maccoa Duck and White-Backed Duck are all seen from here. Little Egret and Yellow-billed Egret as well as the occasional Squacco Heron are all present.

Retracing your route around Rondevlei you will reach a T junction, take the right hand turn and follow the road up the Rondevlei pass (-33.9763, 22.6953) towards Hoekwil. Watch the tall stands of exotic vegetation for Long- Crested Eagle.

Key species:
Knysna Warbler, Knysna Woodpecker, Knysna Turaco, Narina Trogon, White-starred Robin, Cape Batis, Chorister Robin-chat, Cape Siskin, Orange-Breasted Sunbird, Victorin’s Warbler

About the Birding Site

Situated at the Western end of the Garden Route National Park and named by early settlers as a perceived Garden of Eden, the Wilderness Lakes offer superb birding including 2 Ramsar sites and an IBA. Comprising  4 reed fringed lakes, Fynbos and Afro-Montane Forest as well as drier coastal scrub Forest, numerous walking trails plus 2 hides allow for easy access to the region’s birds.

Key species:
Knysna Warbler, Knysna Woodpecker, Knysna Turaco, Narina Trogon, White-starred Robin, Cape Batis, Chorister Robin-chat, Cape Siskin, Orange-Breasted Sunbird, Victorin’s Warbler

Other Related Information

Contact SANParks
Tel: +27 (0)44 877 1197

Recommended Accommodation:
Ebb and Flow rest camp

Other related information:

Local guide information:
No BirdLife South Africa recognised Birder Friendly tour operators in the area.
Tim Carr
Cell: +27 (0)71 683 4133
Email: reflectionsreserve@gmail.com

Text prepared by:
Tim Carr

Key species:

Knysna Warbler, Knysna Woodpecker, Knysna Turaco, Narina Trogon, White-starred Robin, Cape Batis, Chorister Robin-chat, Cape Siskin, Orange-Breasted Sunbird, Victorin’s Warbler

Contact details:

SANParks
Tel: +27 (0)44 877 1197

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