Limpopo Birding Routes

Capricorn Letaba Recommended Routes

Magoebaskloof – Dijon Pinard
Green Route

Day 1: Start in Polokwane, visiting the Polokwane Nature Reserve and Bird Sanctuary. This area will provide specials such as the Short-clawed Lark, Bushveld Pipit, Great Sparrow and Crimson-breasted Shrike. From Polokwane, travel eastwards towards Haenertsburg to explore the grasslands above the village for birds such as Broad-tailed Warbler, Dark-capped Yellow Warbler, Drakensberg Prinia and Cape Grassbird.

Day 2: An early morning exploration along the Woodbush Forest drive is sure to be a rewarding experience where specials such as Cape Parrot, Black-fronted Bush-Shrike and Grey Cuckooshrike may be seen. It is always worth checking for the Grey Wagtail (summer) at the Debegeni Waterfall. Look out for African Finfoot and Half-collared Kingfisher around the Magoebaskloof Dam. Then drive down to the Tzaneen Dam and bird the area below the dam wall for Grey-rumped Swallow, Yellow-throated Longclaw and White-browed Robin-Chat.

Day 3: Head out towards Letsitele, making short stops on the Taganashoek road and at The Junction. Look out for Woodland Kingfisher (summer), various Bee-eaters and Purple-crested Turaco. Now follow the road eastwards to the Eiland Resort and the Hans Merensky Nature Reserve. Spend the rest of the day birding in this reserve, looking out for Arnot´s Chat, Broad-billed Roller (summer) and White-breasted Cuckooshrike. 

Greatheads – Dijon Pinard
Blue Route

Day 1: Depart from Polokwane and travel east on the R71 towards Tzaneen. Turn left towards Turfloop at the University of Limpopo and follow this tar road for 26km through Mamabolo Mountain Bushveld. Look out for Greater Kestrel, Lanner Falcon and a host of Larks and Cisticolas in this unusual habitat. Stop at Kurisa Moya Nature Lodge to do some forest birding for specials such as Black-fronted Bush-Shrike, Blue-mantled Crested-flycatcher, White-starred Robin and Green Twinspot.

Day 2: Head down the Kudu´s River Valley and bird along this scenic dirt road, looking out for Narina Trogon; Verreaux’s, Crowned and Long-crested Eagles, Cape Rock-Thrush, Mocking Cliff-Chat, Olive Bush Shrike, Shelley´s Francolin and Lazy Cisticola. From Moeketsi, travel back towards Polokwane. All 5 Southern African Bush-Shrikes can be seen along this route.

Wailing Cisticola – Lex van Vught
Purple Route

Day 1: From Polokwane head east towards Haenertsburg on the R71, after about 45km, turn right onto a dirt road situated on a big horseshoe bend sign-posted ´Randfontein´. Follow this road to the first junction and turn left towards Haenertsburg. Look out for Pearl-breasted Swallow, African Black Swift, White-fronted Bee-eater, Jackal Buzzard, White-necked Raven and Lazy Cisticola. This road eventually leads back to Haenertsburg via the Black Forest Mountain Lodge where you can stop to look for various grassland and forest birds.

Day 2: Explore the Woodbush Granite Grasslands above the village of Haenertsburg and the forests in the area. Travel down the the George´s Valley road (R528) towards Tzaneen, stopping off at Magoebaskloof Canopy Tours to bird along the upper reaches of the Letaba River, looking out for African Finfoot and Half-collared Kingfisher. Continue towards Tzaneen, then turn right towards Agatha and look for the Agatha State Forest turn-off on the way to the Coach House Hotel. Turn onto the dirt road and look for a Bat Hawk nest in the tall trees just off the road. From here, continue towards the Letsitele Valley and link up with the sites mentioned in Day 3 of the Green Route.