There is a new hangout for twitchers and those with a keen interest in the feathered species in the Augrabies Falls National Park. The park has constructed a bird hide just south of the camping area.
Words and images by René de Klerk. Originally published in SANParks Times
The 2018 #BucketListZA Bonanza
Augrabies park manager Frans van Rooyen says this development is important for the expansion of the park’s tourism offerings. “It was important to create an area for bird lovers where they could enjoy a variety of bird species,” he says.
The vegetation in and around the rest camp is generally abuzz with activity, but the hide overlooks a small dam which attracts a large variety of birds.
Augrabies section ranger Nardus du Plessis says visitors must look out for birds such as reed cormorants, malachite and pied kingfishers, Namaqua doves, speckled pigeons, dusky sunbirds and the Orange river white-eyes, to name a few. “As time goes on, more species might start visiting the hide,” says du Plessis.
Yet, those that do spend some time in silence at this location might see more than just birds, without going on a game drive. “We frequently have eland drinking water at the dam, especially at night,” says van Rooyen.
Aside from the bird hide, Augrabies offers many other opportunities for game viewing. Go for a hike on one of the park’s many short trails or take a stroll on the boardwalk next to the waterfall. Augrabies is also very scenic, so jump in the car and explore the beautiful viewpoints. The views won’t disappoint. Along the way, you might see, amongst others, giraffes, Hartmann’s mountain zebra, klipspringers, gemsbok, eland and kudu.
The bird hide was funded by the Northern Cape Department of Economic Development and Tourism and took about three months to complete.