Limpopo Birding Routes

Soutpansberg Limpopo Birding Hotspots

Western Soutpansberg

Crowned Eagles – Derek Engelbrecht

This beautiful area has spectacular mountain scenery; the vegetation is dominated by Arid Mountain Bushveld with patches of mistbelt forest, sour bushveld and Afromontane grassland. Many of the establishments in this area have marked trails through the mountains, which you can do independently or be guided by your hosts. The wide variety of habitat types allows for good birding and the area has a number of breeding Crowned Eagles. The mountain tops are good places to see Gurney's Sugarbird and Malachite Sunbird. It is worth looking for Red-chested Flufftail in this area. It is also home to some special wildlife, including Leopard, Samango Monkey and Red Duiker. 

Hanglip – Marianne McKenzie
Hanglip Forest

The Hanglip Forest provides easy access to mistbelt forest, there are short trails and a picnic site and short trails. The birding is excellent. Listen for the resident Scaly-throated Honeyguide in the picnic site; this is also the best place to find White-starred Robin and Yellow-streaked Greenbul. A short (20minute) circular walk starts from the picnic site: follow footprints which start from the road 10m before the boom gate at the picnic site.

Directions: In Louis Trichardt / Makhado, take Krogh Street due north towards the mountain. Krogh Street becomes Forestry Road and leads straight to the Hanglip Plantation gate. Follow the main road and signs for about 8km to the picnic site. 

Black-chested Snake Eagle – San3 de Wet
Wyllie’s Poort Tunnels

These tunnels are on the N1 about 20km north of Louis Trichardt / Makhado. There is a viewing / parking area between the two tunnels; Drakensberg Prinia and Mocking Cliff Chat can be seen in the rocky gorge below and Short-toed Rock Thrush above the tunnels. A pair of Verreaux´s Eagle may be seen soaring in the sky.

Southern Boubou – Albert Froneman
Buzzard Mountain Retreat

Buzzard Mountain Retreat is situated on the southern slopes and top of the Soutpansberg. Habitat varies from sweet mixed bushveld to mistbelt forest and Afromontane grassland. Proteas are found in the grassland and Cape Rock Thrush, Cape Grassbird, Malachite Sunbird and Gurney´s Sugarbird may be seen. The trails through the forests below the cliffs allow for sightings of Orange-winged Pytilia, Green Twinspot and Lemon Dove. Forest Buzzard and Ayres´s Hawk-Eagle can also be seen. Day visits must be booked in advance. The affordable accommodation consists of self-catering stone cottages and basic wooden cabins.