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Rooi Els is one of the best places to find the Cape Rock-jumper, and hosts a number of other fynbos and Southern African endemics. Situated on the eastern corner of False Bay, Rooi Els holds a huge diversity of fynbos plant species as well as some breathtaking views of the Peninsula and coastline. An added advantage of Rooi Els is its accessibility and opportunities to see some of the coastal species.

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Specials

Cape Grassbird, Cape Sugarbird, Ground Woodpecker, Orange-breasted Sunbird, Cape Bulbul, Cape Siskin, Cape Rock-jumper, Verreauxs' Eagle, Cape Rock-Thrush, Pomarine Jaeger.

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Habitat

Rooi Els offers a variety of habitats from tidal zone through mountain fynbos to rugged cliffs above.

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Facilities

A gravel road accessible only to pedestrians.

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Birding

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The first part of the walk moves through an area, which can produce Neddicky, African Black Swift, Karoo Prinia, Southern Double-collared Sunbird and occasionally Cape Rock-jumper. As one continues along the road, one moves into thicker fynbos and one should look out for Yellow Bishop, Cape Siskin and Orange-breasted Sunbird.

The road passes through an area strewn with large boulders, which is excellent for Cape Rock-jumper, Cape Rock-Thrush, Ground Woodpecker, Familiar Chat, Orange-breasted Sunbird and Cape Siskin. Other species to look for include Fiscal Flycatcher, Cape Bulbul, Cape Robin-Chat, Grey-backed Cisticola, Red-winged Starling and Cape White-eye.

The cliffs above should be checked constantly for Peregrine Falcon, Jackal Buzzard, Verreauxs' Eagle, Rock Kestrel and White-necked Raven.

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General

The town of Rooi Els is situated between Gordon's Bay and Betty's Bay. From Gordon's Bay, take the coastal road towards Betty's Bay. Approximately 21 km from Gordon's Bay, one crosses the Rooi Els estuary. Shortly after the bridge, one enters the holiday town of Rooi Els. To get to the birding spot, take the second right turn off the main road (first left turn from the other direction) and proceed straight along this gravel road until you reach a chain across the road. Park on the right hand side of the road and walk from here. Rooi Els is approximately 1½ hours traveling time from Cape Town. The area can be explored in a couple of hours.

Andrew Hester 2001.

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