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Situated in the highveld region of the northern Free State, this reserve comprises mainly mixed grassland with dense acacia thickets, together with willow trees along the Renoster river. The reserve boasts a checklist of about 250 bird species, approximately 160 of which are common or regularly seen.

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Birding

1. Koppies Dam itself provides suitable habitat for a number of different waterbird species, including White-breasted Cormorant and Reed Cormorant, African Darter, various herons, Glossy Ibis, African Spoonbill, White-faced Duck, South African Shelduck, African Black Duck, Cape Teal, Cape Shoveler and Comb Duck.

2. Blue Korhaan and Secretarybird can be found in the grasslands, which should also produce various larks, pipits and cisticolas.

3. Birds frequenting the acacia thickets include Ashy Tit, African Red-eyed Bulbul, White-backed Mousebird and Red-faced Mousebird, Kalahari Scrub-Robin, Chestnut-vented Tit-Babbler, Black-chested Prinia and Bokmakierie.

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General

Camping facilities are provided, and an entry fee is payable. For further information contact the Principal Nature Conservator (Tel. 05672-2521). The town of Koppies is situated 55km north of Kroonstad, and access is from the N1. Directions to the reserve, 16km east of Koppies, are clearly sign-posted.

Rick Nuttall 2001.



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