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Blouberg Nature Reserve

Modified: 2008/10/13 09:44 by admin - Categorized as: Limpopo Province
Blouberg Nature Reserve, situated in the Limpopo Province, blankets the eastern foothills of the Blouberg Mountain and has a surface area of 9360 ha. The Blouberg Mountain is an inselberg forming part of the Soutpanberg chain but separated from it by approximately 30 kilometers of relatively flat plain. The highest peak of 2151 meters is also the highest point of the entire Soutpansberg range, and protrudes 1200 meters from the surrounding plain. The Reserve has a birdlist of over 225 species, and lists of over 100 are not unusual for a day.

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Specials

Specials include Rüppell's Vulture which normally only occurs further north in Africa, Cape Vulture, Martial Eagle, Verreauxs' Eagle, Gabar Goshawk (including the rare melanistic Gabar Goshawk regularly seen in the vicinity of the Education Centre), Verreaux's Eagle-Owl, Southern Carmine Bee-eater, Temminck's Courser, Double-banded Sandgrouse and Red-billed Oxpecker. Other raptors are: Brown Snake-Eagle, Black-chested Snake-Eagle, African Hawk-Eagle, Tawny Eagle, Wahlberg's Eagle, Steppe Eagle, Lesser Spotted Eagle (seasonal), Black-shouldered Kite, Yellowbilled kite, Black Kite, Southern Pale Chanting Goshawk, Ovambo Sparrowhawk, Little Sparrowhawk, Spotted Eagle-Owl, Barn Owl, Cape Eagle-Owl, Southern White-faced Scops-Owl, African Scops-Owl, Pearl-spotted Owlet, Marsh Owl and African Wood-Owl.

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Habitats

Although primarily bushveld, sixteen different veld types have been identified on the Reserve, ranging from Sour Mixed Bushveld through Arid Sweet Bushveld to an Afro-montane "Fynbos" (similar to and allied with cape Fynbos) on top of the mountain.

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Facilities

A road network and rustic bush camp.

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Birding

1. A Vulture Breeding Colony, situated on the southern cliffs of the mountain, is one of the largest breeding colonies of the endangered Cape Vulture in southern Africa. There are two nesting sites between about 800 meters apart. The office will provide detailed directions and maps if required.

2. Around the office Groundscraper Thrush, Dark-capped Bulbul, Terrestrial Brownbul, Yellow-bellied Greenbul, Familiar Chat, Grey-backed Camaroptera and Black-headed Oriole may be seen.

3. In and around the Tambotie Camp you might just catch a glimpse of Grey-headed Bush-Shrike and Black-crowned Tchagra, Crested Francolin, Natal Spurfowl and Swainson's Spurfowl foraging around the kitchen area in the early morning and again just before sunset. The big Tamboti trees host Southern Black Tit, Yellow-breasted Apalis, Bar-throated Apalis, Grey Tit-Flycatcher, African Dusky Flycatcher and African Paradise-Flycatcher, while the Sweet Thorns and thickets around the camp provide Fork-tailed Drongo, Southern Black Flycatcher, Brown-hooded Kingfisher, Woodland Kingfisher, Striped Kingfisher, Yellow-throated Petronia, African Firefinch, Jameson's Firefinch, Red-billed Firefinch, Blue Waxbill, White-browed Scrub-Robin and Black-backed Puffback. Also seen are African Grey Hornbill, Red-billed Hornbill, Southern Yellow-billed Hornbill, Emerald-spotted Wood-Dove, Namaqua Dove, Red-eyed Dove, Cape Turtle-Dove and Laughing Dove.

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General

All drives are recommended as the diversity of flora in the Reserve ensures good birding generally. Tambotie Bush Camp is situated on the eastern side of the Reserve, and offers rustic accommodation for a maximum of eight people. The reserve runs a fully equipped Rehabilitation Centre for Vultures and Raptors, Reptile Breeding Centre and Education Centre, situated on the western side of the Reserve.

Drive north from Pietersburg on the R521, the Dendron/Vivo road and when entering Vivo at the Schiermonikoog turn-off, turn left (dirt road). Keep on driving for + 10km a side junction to Tolwe will appear on right, turn right and keep on driving for another 10km the gate of the Reserve will be on your left.

The Reserve is controlled by Limpopo Province Department of Agriculture, Land and Environment. All enquiries should be addressed to: Officer in Charge, P O Box 69 Vivo 0924. Telephone +27 15 593 0702 or Fax +27 15 593 0156. Opening hours are: 6:00 - 19:00. Entry Fees are: R20 per vehicle, R10 per adult, R5 per child.

David Pretorius 1997.



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