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Birding at Harold Porter National Botanical Gardens

Harold Porter Gardens

The Harold Porter Botanical Garden is situated on the lower mountain slopes of the dramatic Kogelberg range and is reached by the stunning Clarence Drive, one of the best coastal roads in South Africa. Not only is this a great place to stop for tea or lunch, but the walks are magnificent, set in a backdrop of mountain scenery and fynbos.  Enjoy a few hours ramble here for some good birding.

Birding at Harold Porter National Botanical Gardens

Cape Sugarbird

With over 96 fynbos and forest species recorded at Harold Porter, some specials include Verreaux’s Eagle, Orange-breasted Sunbird, Victorin’s Scrub-Warbler, Cape Siskin, Blue-mantled Flycatcher, Olive Woodpecker, Cape Rock-thrush, Ground Woodpecker and the rare Protea Seedeater.

In the lower cultivated gardens, look for Black Saw-wing Swallow, Cape Bulbul, Karoo Prinia, Southern Boubou, Malachite, Orange-breasted and Lesser Double-collared Sunbirds, Yellow-rumped Widow, Bully Canary and Cape Siskin. Overhead, swifts and swallows (Rock Martin and African Black and Alpine Swifts) and raptors (Black Eagle and Jackal Buzzard) are common.

Orange Breasted Sunbird Harold Porter Gardens

Orange Breasted Sunbird

Head for Disa Kloof via the bridge over the Disa Kloof stream, and continue along the forested path to a small dam and waterfall. The forest along this path provides Bar-throated Apalis, Cape Batis, Paradise (summer) and Dusky Flycatchers, and occasionally Swee Waxbill. During late summer, spectacular Red Disa orchids can be seen clinging to the dripping and slippery cliffs adjoining the waterfall.

Make your way back to the dam and cross the bridge. A gentle path then leads out of the kloof and around the buttress between Disa and Leopard Kloofs, before dropping back down into the gardens. Cape Siskin, Neddicky, Orange-breasted Sunbird, Victorin’s Warbler, Grassbird and Ground Woodpecker occur along this path.

To visit Leopard Kloof, ask for a key at the entrance to the gardens. The forest conceals a series of pleasant waterfalls and, in addition to the forest species mentioned above, also hosts Olive Woodpeckers and the Cape’s westernmost regularly occurring Blue-mantled Flycatchers, which sometimes wander down into the cultivated gardens.

Contact: 27 (0)28 272-9311

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