Birding in Makgobaskloof


Birding in Makgobaskloof is focused primarily on the Woodbush Escarpment Forest. However, there are excellent grassland and bushveld birding sites close by.

Birding Big Day and Makgobaskloof

In 2023 a Bowl of Corncrakes ticked 320 birds. They were placed second in BBD and passed through Magoebaskloof. https://www.birdlasser.com/events/bbd2023/bowlofc Wat-Kyk-Jy were placed third, 312 birds, and they also passed through Magoebaskloof. https://www.birdlasser.com/events/bbd2023/watkykjy Both teams were previous winners.

In 2022 E-Birders ticked 336 birds. They ticked the highest number of birds on the day and I think the highest number of birds ever. They started north-east of Polokwane and ended up east of Letsitele. An astounding number of birds. About 42 birds were seen in the Haenertsburg/Magoebaskloof area.

In 2021 Wat-Kyk-Jy had a species list of 329 birds. The number of birds they saw tied with the 2020 Zonke iNyoni tally. Wat-Kyk-Jy also passed Magoebaskloof.

In 2020 Zonke iNyoni came second on the Birding Big Day with a total of 329 birds. Many of the birds were seen in the Makgobaskloof area. An astonishing number to be seen in 24 hours but not good enough to win the day. Amazing!

In 2019, A Bowl of Corncrakes were the top team on the Birding Big Day, they ticked 325 birds. They started on the highveld near Morebeng, passed through Makgobaskloof and ended at Gravelotte.

In 2018,  the top Birding Big Day team, Zonke Inyoni, ticked 323 birds. They started in Polokwane, passed through Makgobaskloof and ended up near Letsiteli.  This is an indication of what is possible to be seen within easy driving distance of Makgobaskloof. Check their route and species seen here

The Birding Big Day routes mentioned above are within 50km of Makgobaskloof Birders Cottage. They cover a number of different vegetative types.

Birding in the District

The Makgobaskloof birding areas referred to below, cover forests, grassland, dry thornveld and riverine habitats. Details for recommended bird guides here

  • Dragonwyck Farm falls in the 2350_3000 pentad of the Southern African Bird Atlas Project 2. The SABAP website lists 130 birds in the pentad.   Our list for the farm is 107 birds.   There are walking trails on the farm where you should lookout for Black-fronted Bush-Shrike, Olive Bush-Shrike, Narina Trogon, Yellow-streaked Greenbul, Olive Thrush, Orange Ground-Thrush, Yellow-throated Woodland-Warbler, Green Twinspot, Mountain Wagtail, Forest Buzzard, Scaly-throated Honeyguide, White-starred Robin-Chat , Chorister Robin-Chat, Blue-Mantled Crested flycatcher, Barrats Warbler and Black Saw-wing.
  • Swartbos Trail This excellent trail is situated right next to Dragonwyck farm. A 3km trail passes through mistbelt forest.    Map page.       
  • Woodbush forest, one of the premier birding spots in South Africa, is a short drive away in the adjacent valley.   Map page    
  • Haenertsburg Common   The Louis Changuion trail (10km ) passes through grassland and forest patches of the Haenertsburg Common.      Map page.   
  • Serala Drive  This drive takes you through the Haenertsburg rain shadow characterised by dry thornveld. It then climbs up into the Wolkberg mountains and offers wonderful views of the Wolkberg Wilderness area from the Serala picnic site..   Map page   Google map
  • Google Map to Bat Hawk nesting site in Agatha.
  • Wolkberg Forest Belt.  fact sheet on birds of our area from Birdlife SA here Link