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Mossel Bay enjoys a mild all-year-round sunny climate. The best birding areas are west of Mossel Bay, off the N2, on the Gouritz River Mouth rd and to Herbertsdale.

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Specials

Karoo birds such as Karoo Scrub-Robin, Yellow Canary, White-throated Canary, Red-capped Lark, Agulhas Long-billed Lark, Large-billed Lark occur down to the coast at Gourits River Mouth and the surrounding areas. Capped Wheatear breed in the burrows in the vicinity of Voëlvlei. Blue Crane and Denham's Bustard may be seen in the fields, and Cloud Cisticola (very spotted) in the grassland. Jacobin Cuckoo, Verreauxs' Eagle, Booted Eagle and Lanner Falcon occur.

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Habitats

Farmlands with remaining pockets of Renosterveld. Reins Nature Reserve: approximately 8km west of Gourits River Mouth - consists 3550ha of unspoiled fynbos and coastal forest. The floodplain of Voëlvlei.

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Facilities

Hotels, country lodges, chalets, Bed and Breakfast, Eight Bells Mountain Inn, hiking trails and picnic sites.

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Birding

Voëlvlei is a floodplain west of Mosselbay, and is surrounded by farmed lands with small pockets of renosterveld. The floodplain supports a large number of waterbirds, waders and other birds dependent on the system, but in years of low rainfall the water dries up and all the birds disappear. These may include in summer hundreds of Ruff, Wood Sandpiper, Curlew Sandpiper, Little Stint, Kittlitz's Plover and Common Ringed Plover, Pied Avocet feed here, Whiskered Tern, White-winged Tern, African Fish-Eagle, Booted Eagle and Lanner Falcon may be present.In years of good rain Black-necked Grebe and Whiskered Tern breed here.

On the road to Voëlvlei from the N2 look for Capped Wheatear, Agulhas Long-billed Lark, Large-billed Lark, Red-capped Lark, Agulhas Clapper Lark, White-throated Canary, Yellow Canary, Karoo Scrub-Robin, Blue Crane, White Stork, Denham's Bustard and Verreauxs' Eagle. 19 kilometres from Mosselbay turn off the N2 at the Vleesbaai/Gourits turn off. The road passes Boggomsbaai, Vleesbaai and just before the turn off to Gourits River Mouth turn right on to a sand road, which will take you to the vlei. As this is farmland there are gates to be opened and closed and care should be taken.

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General

Contact Mossel Bay Tourism - Tel: +27 44 691 2202 Fax: +27 44 690 3077

www.visitmosselbay.co.za

Rein's Nature Reserve 0287453322


Anne Brash 2007



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