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Introduction

 

The Soutpansberg Mountains and the Limpopo River Valley host over 540 bird species.  This tremendous variety of birds makes this a very rewarding birding destination!

Due to a high number of resident species, all year round there is an abundance of birds to see.  A visit to the area in winter or summer will always be productive.

The Soutpansberg-Limpopo Birding Route is situated in the northern-most part of the Limpopo Province.  This area includes the northern part of the Kruger National Park, Mapungubwe National Park, Venda and the Soutpansberg Mountain Range.


Birding

 
Bateleur

There are a number of very special birds found on the Soutpansberg-Limpopo Birding Route. 

The Soutpansberg Mountains have well-developed tracts of indigenous forests in which species such as Blue-spotted Wood-Dove, African Broadbill, Eastern Nicator, Gorgeous Bush-Shrike, Orange Ground-Thrush, Crested Guineafowl and Crowned Eagle can be found. 

To the north of the mountain in Arid Mountain Bushveld vegetation Pink-throated Twinspot and Crowned Hornbill are found.  The only known patch of Brachystegia Woodland in South Africa is found in this area and species such as Southern Hyliota have been seen here.  Baobab country to the north is home to Mottled Spinetail and the lowland river systems have Lemon-breasted Canary, Pel's Fishing Owl and White-fronted Plover on them.  The western part of the region, towards the Mogalakwena River, is dry with a Kalahari element, thus species such as Southern Pied Babbler, Kori Bustard, Swallow-tailed Bee-eater and Southern Pale Chanting Goshawk is found.

We have divided the Soutpansberg-Limpopo Birding Route into 10 different birding areas (A - J).  Each birding area has its own unique character and set of special bird species.  Within each area there is also a variety of accommodation options and birding sites to visit.  You will find detailed information on each of these areas in the 'birding areas' section of the book.


History of the Soutpansberg-Limpopo Birding Route (SLBR)

 

The SLBR was started in 2003 as a non-profit organisation.  In the first three years of its existence the organisation produced an annually revised birdwatching guide to the area, a website and hosted many birding events.  In this way, it successfully placed the Soutpansberg and Limpopo Valley on the birding map, both locally and internationally. 

As a result the SLBR has had a significant influence in the growth of tourism in the area.  It has also created an awareness of the conservation of birds and habitats among local and provincial policy makers.  Equally importantly, it has provided and an opportunity for rural economic development and empowerment among local people. 

Due to the success of the SLBR, the model has been expanded to the rest of the Limpopo Province in the formation of the Greater Limpopo Birding Routes. 


Bird Clubs

 

Birdlife Soutpansberg (Tel: 015-516 4881) based at the Schoemansdal Environmental Centre. 

Birdlife Venda (Tel:015-962 8000) based at the University of Venda.
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