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Between the Port Elizabeth suburbs of Bridgemeade and Bethelsdorp is an area of unspoilt grassy fynbos incised by steep rocky gorges on the Bethelsdorp side. Although the species list is low at 111, it supports a number of species difficult to see elsewhere in the Port Elizabeth area, including Denham's Bustard, Red-winged Francolin, Orange-breasted Sunbird, Long-billed Pipit, Plain-backed Pipit, Cape Rock-Thrush and Sentinel Rock-Thrush. Access is poor but there is a walking trail from Bethelsdorp and several paths cross the area. Expect to see 30 species during a 2-3 hour visit.



1. North of Bridgemeade are extensive fynbos flats where Common Quail, Cape Clapper Lark, Rufous-naped Lark, Cloud Cisticola, Grey-backed Cisticola and Cape Grassbird are common. Secretarybird, Black Harrier, Denham's Bustard, Red-winged Francolin, Plain-backed Pipit and Orange-breasted Sunbird may be encountered. A circular route from the electricity load station (no fixed path) should produce a reasonable selection of species (2 hrs).

2. Van der Kemp's Kloof hiking trail (8 km, 3-4hrs) starts at Bethelsdorp village. The rocky hillsides support Cape Rock-Thrush and a few Sentinel Rock-Thrush (the latter a speciality here), Cape Bunting and several raptor species. See 1. for the plateau. If short of time do the trail in reverse and use the short-cut (4 km).



Travelling west out of Port Elizabeth, Bridgemeade is signposted from the Old Cape Road just before leaving the city. Park at the end of bishop's Way. Van der Kemp's Kloof has a picnic site and is signposted from Stanford Road at Bethelsdorp, 8 km from the N2. Trail leaflets are available from Tourism outlets or the municipal Parks & Recreation Department. At Van der Kemps Kloof a guide / car guard is advised. For further information contact the Nelson Mandela Bay Tourism Tel. +27 41 581 7540 / +27 41 582 2575 Fax: +27 41 581 7544 / +27 41 582 2573 email: , Nelson Mandela Bay Tourism Website

Bird & Eco-Tours tel. +27 41 466 5698 provides a tour/guiding/free information service in the Port Elizabeth area.

Dr Paul Martin 2001.
Bird & Eco-Tours, Port Elizabeth, South Africa
, Tel: +27 41 466 5698

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