This route incorporates a number of different habitats with a variety of different species. The farmland Gamtoos Valley supports large flocks of Cape and Village Weavers, Red Bishops and a variety of Canaries and Waxbills. This farmland gives way to valley bushveld where one can see Cape Glossy Starling, Black Collared Barbet and Bokmakierie.
Bokmakierie – Godfrey Lodge
Next to the river in the Grootrivier Gorge, Goliath Heron as well as African Black Duck occur and, where the bushveld reaches forest proportions, Knysna Turaco, Olive Woodpecker and Tambourine Dove.
Cape Sugarbird and Orange-breasted Sunbird occur in the fynbos at the top of Combrink’s Pass as well as Blue Crane and Denham’s Bustard on the grassy plateau.
Plunging down Holgat’s Pass the valley bottom savannah supports Pintailed Whydah, Purple Indigo Bird, Emerald Spotted Dove and Golden Breasted Bunting.
Over Grassneck Pass and further west we enter drier country where Larks, Pipits, Rufous-eared Warbler, Karoo Chat and Mountain Wheatear occur.
Raptors along the way include Jackal and Common Buzzard, Black-winged and Yellow-billed Kite, African Fish, Crowned and Verreaux’s Eagles and Southern Pale Chanting Goshawks.
NB: There is no cellphone reception, and only high clearance vehicles will cope. Fuel is only available at Patensie & Willowmore.