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Birding in the Barkly East Area

Municipal Dam & Birdwalk / Entlanjeni Nature Reserve.

A short distance south of Barkley East this area has a bird count in excess of 100 species. A pleasant walk round the dam & wetland could produce Black Harrier, African Marsh- Harrier, Grass owl and Grey Crowned Crane as specials.

When in Barkley East look out for Bearded Vulture & Verreaux’s Eagle overhead and Bald Ibis in the adjacent grasslands.

Otto Du Plessis Pass (2110m)

This road is a beautiful scenic drive with incredible views and can be used to link Barkly East via Clifford and Saalboom River Valley with Ida/Indwe or Elliot.

Bird Species along this road include Ground Woodpeckers in abundance, Drakensberg Rock-jumper and Black Harrier along the river. Look out for Bush Blackcap in the wattle plantation at the bottom of the pass.


Bottlenek is reached by travelling approximately 24km from Barkly East towards Elliot and 18km from Mountain Shadows Hotel and the Sterkspruit turn off. This road never fails with its spectacular bird species.

Amongst others: Drakensberg Rock-jumper, Drakensberg Siskin, Drakensberg Prinia, Sentinel and Cape Rock-Thrush, Ground Woodpecker and a number of Cisticolas and Canaries are special. Bearded Vulture and Verreaux’s  Eagle are often seen flying overhead.


Approximately 15km from Barkley East on the Lady Grey / Aliwal North Road, turn off at Kraai River Bridge on this 90km route via Clifford and then back to Barkley East. The vegetation in the Kloof differs from that of higher up, becoming more scrub and more arid. Many Karoo species have moved into this area.

Some birds that can be seen along this route are: Karoo Robin, Acacia Pied Barbet, Rufous-eared Warbler, Layard’s Warbler, Karoo Chat, Sickle-winged Chat, Dusky Flycatcher and African Olive Pigeon when the olives are in fruit.

Bastervoetpad (2 250 m)

Originally used by the Griquas as a trek path and later made into a road. This pass with exceptional scenic beauty should not be attempted without a 4x4 or vehicle with high clearance or enquire at the Mountain Shadows Hotel or at the Rhodes Info Centre ( ) about the condition of the road.

Bird species include Mountain Pipits, Drakensberg Rock Jumpers, Drakensberg Siskins, Drakensberg Prinias, Black Harriers and Ground Woodpeckers.

Allow at least three hours from Mountain Shadows Hotel to join the R56 just before Ugie.

Through the club's monthly e-newsletters and bi-annual magazine, the Bee-Eater, we aim to stimulate continued interest in birds and their habitats.