Birding trip report western South Africa 1-17 December 2015   -   John van der Woude   - 
Photos of birds, plants and more.     All photos made by Nollie (Nollie Marissen).        Back to report.

Paarl mountain and Bains Kloof:

Orange-breasted Sunbird.

Cape Sugarbird.


Paarl mountain botanical garden.

Karoo national park:

Ostrich with young (Struisvogel).

Greater Striped Swallow in hide below the rest camp.

Southern Red Bishop from same hide.

Red-winged Starling. Very curious.

Terrace of the restaurant of the rest camp. Our favorite table!

Cape Robin-Chat.

Familiar Chat.


Ground Woodpecker.


Karoo Long-billed Lark.

Black-headed Canary. Several seen on the long drive in the park. One of the very few lifers for us on this trip.

Large turtles along the gravel road.

Weathering (verwering).

Wide views during the long drive in the park.


Peregrine/Slechtvalk. The resident race minor with a nearly all-black head.

Large-billed Lark.

White-backed Mousebird.

Pale Chanting-Goshawk.

Tablelands allover the park.

The sun nearly straight above us.

Evening view from our bungalow in the rest camp. Yes it's a lovely place, with a good restaurant too.

Fiscal Shrike (Common Fiscal).

African Pipit gathering nest material.

Pin-tailed Whydah.

Wilderness section of Garden Route national park:

Chorister Robin-Chat.

Half-collared Kingfisher

Purple Heron from the hide at Rondevlei.

Pied Kingfisher.

Levaillant's Cisticola.

View from our bungalow at South Camp.

Young African Dusky Flycatcher (seen being fed).

Greater Double-collared Sunbird.

Storm's River Mouth section of Garden Route national park:

A large group of Dolphins passed in front of our accommodation (an 'oceanette', a maisonnette with a large balcony).

View from our balcony.

Inside the dense woods on the hill slope above the rest camp.

At the top of the hill slope above the rest camp.

Amethyst Sunbird.

Swartberg Pass:

Cape Batis.

A rock hyrax.

Booted Eagle.


Cape Bunting.

At the pass itself, looking north.

Cape Rockjumper, with young.

Road K353 through the Karoo:

Martial Eagle.

Karoo Korhaan.

Rock Kestrel. Split from Common Kestrel.

This is not a toy but real. Grasshopper, ca. 10 cm long.

Good for songbirds in this semi-desert.

The endless Karoo!

The Akerendam at Calvinia.

Chemical weathering (chemische verwering).


Ludwig's Bustard near the village.


An other type of Karoo here.

Cardinal Woodpecker from the rim of the gorge.

Booted Eagle resting in the gorge.

More Ludwig's Bustard. Dozens were feeding in the grasslands at the start of the road to Loeriesfontein.

Blue Crane. Although not rare, we find this an otherworldly bird.

Lesser Kestrel (Kleine Torenvalk), four photos.

View of the Knersvlakte from the Nieuwoudtville plateau rim.

Cape Francolin/Spurfowl.

Detail of Knersvlakte.

A plant with 'salt-containing epidermis cells'. Nollie has tasted them: nice and salty.

Lambert's Bay:

Cape Gannet colony.

Greater Crested Tern (Swift Tern) and Common Tern.

Hartlaub's Gull and Common Tern.


The lifer we came for at this site: Streaky-headed Seedeater.

Bad luck on our way from Calvinia (Kransvleipoort) to West Coast NP. The flat tyre is not the problem, but the spare wheel was wrong: it was of the four bolt type instead of our five-bolt type! Sixt brought us another car, but it has cost us four hours which we would rather have spent on the salt pans of Velddrif.

West Coast national park:

White-fronted Plover.

Pofadder. Puff Adder.

Curlew Sandpiper. Krombekstrandloper.

Little Stint. Kleine Strandloper.

The Harlaub's Gull stayed at the flamingo all the time, to feed on what the flamingo disturbed.

Another plant with salt cells. Mesembryanthemum, IJskruid.

Geelbek restaurant in the centre of the park.

Yellow Canary, Red-knobbed Coot and African Marsh Harrier at the marsh hide near Duinepos.

View from the south. Geelbek just visible in the centre.

Kittlitz's Plover.

Greater Flamingo and terns.

Southern Black Korhaan.

Bokmakieries. They perform a duet song.

Tulbagh area:

Our last lodge, Villa Tarentaal. A great place.

The Tulbagh area is enclosed by mountains on three sides.