Our region provides a home to many threatened animal and bird species.
And we’re making it as easy as possible for you to see them.
Game and bird viewing in the Nuwejaars Wetlands area:
We arrange trips to view the wildlife and the birds found in the Nuwejaars Wetlands Special Management Area. While you’ll see some of our region’s wonderful game, you’ll also spot some of the very special bird species that occur here (like the threatened Blue Crane, Denham’s Bustard and Southern Black Korhaan), and of course the rich and threatened vegetation they live in.
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Looking for something a little simpler?
A drive through the Nuwejaars Wetlands area will showcase some of the fantastic bird life found here. We’re part of a Birdlife South Africa Important Bird and Biodiversity Area. And they’ve highlighted the critical habitats that occur here, and the importance of protecting these.
We work closely with Birdlife, the Agulhas Plains Birding Project and other partners to protect and monitor our bird life.
Regionally threatened species here include:
African Marsh Harrier Lanner Falcon African Grass Owl Greater Flamingo Karoo Korhaan Agulhas Long-billed Lark Striped Flufftail Greater Painted-snipe
Some interesting and unusual sightings include:
Montagu’s Harrier African Goshawk Amur Falcon Southern Pale Chanting Goshawk Wattled Starling Tambourine Dove Lemon Dove African Black Swift Amethyst Sunbird Blue-cheeked Bee-Eater European Roller European Honey Buzzard Kori Bustard (2009) White-Rumped Sandpiper Gull Billed Tern Swee Waxbill
In fact, the Agulhas Plains Birding Project has identified 235 species here – with this list growing all the time.
Help us build a bird hide
We want to open up the best birding spots in the Nuwejaars Wetlands area. To do this, we need to build bird hides on some of our vleis and lakes. But we need your help. It costs R100 for one strip of wood – and we need 400 to build a bird hide.
Get involved, so you’ll be able to see the spectacular birds of the Agulhas Plain. Find out more.
You can visit any of our NWSMA members who are open to the public (restaurants, coffee shops and accommodation), and you’ll undoubtedly see a variety of bird life.
Or take a drive through our area. Some proposed routes include:
- The R43 from Bredasdorp to Elim
- The R319 from Bredasdorp to Struisbaai
- Gravel road connecting the R43 to the R319 (past Voëlvlei and Zoetendalsvlei)
(Remember – our members live on private property, and you would need to obtain permission to enter private property).
Globally threatened bird species
we’re watching closely include:
Lesser Flamingo Blue Crane Denham’s Bustard Southern Black Korhaan Secretarybird Martial Eagle Black Harrier Hottentot Buttonquail
The Agulhas National Park, and the De Mond Nature Reserve, are both wonderful birding destinations. Look out for the Damara Tern, Pacific Golden Plover and American Golden Plover (at De Mond) and the Blue-cheeked Bee-Eater (in the Agulhas National Park).
The Jubilee Hill cottage is situated on the historical Zoetendals Vallei farm, and overlooks the Zoetendalsvlei – the largest freshwater lake in South Africa that is connected to the sea. The self-catering cottage is ideal for nature lovers, while the lake is used by kite-surfers and canoeists.
Black Oystercatcher Cottages
The Black Oystercatcher offers 4 self-catering cottages, on the road between Bredasdorp and Elim. The cottages overlook the Agulhas Plain – and from here you can eat delicious meals and taste wine at the Black Oystercatcher Restaurant, or visit local sights (for example in nearby Elim).
This house is situated on the beautiful Klipfontein Farm – a birder’s paradise (and also just down the road from Struisbaai). The house sleeps 10 – and visitors can walk, enjoy the game (including eland), cycle, or just enjoy the setting.
Strandveld is the home of the First Sighting and Strandveld wines. The winery has two cottages – both with an indoor fireplace, and kitchen facilities, en-suite bathrooms, not to mention wonderful garden views. Conveniently located close to Elim and Struisbaai.
This farm cottage is a perfect combination of old and modern. It has two bedrooms, with en-suite bathrooms. The cottage is situated on the Zoetendalsvlei – and you’ll enjoy the views from the kitchen. There’s no electricity here; this getaway is about connecting with nature, not technology.
Stay over in the culturally-rich town of Elim. There are a couple of options here for visitors. From here, visit the watermill and the old Elim Church (and see its clock that dates back to 1757).
Palm Heaven: 028 482 1600