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Birding in the Blue Swallow Reserve, Kaapsehoop

The Blue Swallow Reserve in Kaapsehoop is named for the several nesting pairs of endangered Blue Swallow found there. The Blue Swallow is endangered throughout the world, and the fact that this little bird thrives here along with many other species of bird has put the Blue Swallow Reserve firmly on the South African birding map.

Three marked trails offer excellent birding in the stretch of 461ha sour grassland which is part of the Berlin Plantation and managed by Komatieland Ecotourism. An interesting feature of this reserve is that a protected population of wild horses roams the whole 17 000ha area of the plantation and is thought to be one of the reasons this highly endangered little bird thrives in the grasslands – its exclusive habitat.

Many endemic species that can be seen here include Knysna Turaco, Gurney’s Sugarbird, Southern Double-collared Sunbird, Swee Waxbill and Forest Canary. Other species include Red-throated Wryneck, Mountain Wagtail, Red-winged Francolin, Swainson’s Spurfowl, Black-winged Lapwing, Black-rumped Buttonquail, Blue-mantled Crested-Flycatcher, Lemon Dove, Olive Thrush, Orange Ground-Thrush, Narina Trogon, Grey Cuckooshrike, Yellow-throated Woodland-Warbler, African Goshawk and African Wood-Owl.

The above named are just a few of the many bird species that can be seen in the Reserve and on the Berlin Plantation – in the varying habitats – from sour grassland to kloofs filled with indigenous forest, streams and waterfalls and the pine plantations.

More on Birding in the Blue Swallow Reserve and Kaapsehoop

Getting there: The Blue Swallow Reserve is part of the Berlin Plantation within walking distance of the village of Kaapsehoop.

More info on the town of Kaapse Hoop More info on the Lowveld area

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