us to enquire about an overnight trip.
Typical Birding Sites
Hottentot's Holland Mountains, Sir Lowry's Pass, De Hoop Nature
Reserve and if time allows, De Mond Nature Reserve. Possible extension
to Grootvadersbosch forest.
It can be difficult visiting the Overberg in one day, so we usually
suggest that the area is explored over at least two days.
Across the sandy, low-lying flats that lie east of Cape Town, a
barrier of formidable mountains interrupts the landscape. These
are the Hottentots Holland Mountains, beyond which lies
the fertile Overberg (literally meaning "over the
mountains"). The gently undulating Agulhas coastal plains,
today predominantly cloaked in wheat fields, host a large number
of much-coveted species. These include Agulhas Long-billed
Lark, Blue Crane, Stanley's Bustard,
Cape Vulture and Southern Tchagra.
A day trip to this region typically kicks off in the Hottentot's
Holland Mountains, at Sir Lowry's Pass, where Cape
Rock-jumper, Victorin's Warbler and several
other mountain and fynbos specials occur. From here we continue
eastwards to De Hoop Nature Reserve, stopping to look for
Capped Wheatear, Agulhas Long-billed Lark,
Blue Crane and Stanley's Bustard
in cultivated fields en route.
The cliffs on the southern side of Potberg mountain are
renowned for hosting the Western Cape’s last breeding colony
of Cape Vulture, while the thickets and plantations
around the base of the mountain hold desirable endemics as the Southern
Tchagra and Knysna Woodpecker, both difficult
to see. De Hoop reserve headquarters are set among dense, gnarled
milkwood thickets adjacent to De Hoop Vlei. This large,
irregularly shaped lake can at times attract a huge number and an
excellent diversity of waterfowl and waders, although this varies
greatly between years and seasons. Great Crested Grebe
is regular here, and occasionally breeds in large numbers. Common
residents of the vlei-side thicket are Bar-throated Apalis,
Sombre and Cape Bulbuls and Southern
Boubou. The area around the vlei and reserve buildings
is also one of the best places in the southwestern Cape to see Pearl-breasted
Swallow, which often feeds alongside other hirundines such
as White-throated Swallow and Brown-throated
Time and season-permitting, we can visit De Mond Nature Reserve
on our return to Cape Town, to look for Damara Terns.
It is impractical to cover all great birding spots in the Overberg
in a single day. However, we would be glad to tailor a route around
your specific interests. With more time, we can plan a more relaxed
route incorporating, for example, the superb Grootvadersbosch
forest, where the Cape's very best diversity of forest species may
be seen, including Grey Cuckooshrike and Knysna
The Overberg can also be combined with a visit to the Tanqua
Karoo, but this requires a few additional days. Let us know
if you are interested in this combination, it makes for an excellent
is a specialist birding tour company customising tours for both world
listers and more relaxed holiday birders. We combine interests in mammals,
butterflies, dragonflies, botany and other natural history aspects and
will guide you to Africa's and Madagascar's most diverse birding destinations.
Our guides' knowledge of African birds
and birding areas is our greatest strength and together we have rediscovered
species, shared exciting observations with the birding community and had
a fun time exploring our home continent. We've even written two acclaimed
guide books on where to find
Southern Africa's and Madagascar's best birds. Birding is more than our
passion, it's our lifestyle, and we are dedicated to making professional,
best value trips filled with endemic species and unique wildlife experiences.
Since 1997, we've run bird watching tours
in South Africa and further into Africa for individual birders, small
birding groups and top international tour companies. We've run Conservation
Tours in association with the African Bird Club and work with and
consult for a number of other top international tour companies and the
BBC Natural History Unit.