Best Bird Viewing spots in the Overberg

The Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve
This is a UNESCO-designated reserve (the first such reserve in South Africa) of around 70,000 hectares.

It’s a large area that includes private land, but also reserves like the Hottentots Holland Nature Reserve (close to Grabouw).

In fact, the Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve has three major mountain landmarks: The Kogelberg Mountains, the Houwhoek Mountains and the Groenlandberge. The mountains are covered in Fynbos, but in the basin, agricultural land also provides a habitat to numerous bird species. The Biosphere Reserve was badly affected by a wildfire at the start of 2019 – with large tracts of Fynbos burnt. But already patches in the Harold Porter Botanical Gardens and surrounds are starting to show signs of regrowth.
What can birders look out for? This is one of the few areas where all five Fynbos endemic bird species occur: the Orange-Breasted Sunbird, Cape Sugarbird, Cape Siskin, Cape Rock-Jumper and Victorin’s Warbler. If you’re lucky, you could see the Hottentot Buttonquail – although this is not a common sighting. There’s more chance you’ll run into a Grey-wing Francolin, or a Cape Grassbird.

A number of raptors are found here, like the Martial Eagle, Jackal Buzzard, Booted Eagle, African Fish Eagle, Verreaux’s Eagle, Lanner Falcon and Peregrine Falcon. Because of the pine plantations here, you’re also likely to see Forest Buzzards, which breed in the pines (as do Martial Eagles).

And in the agricultural regions, keep an eye out for the African Pipit and the Common Quail.

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