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Birding in Plettenberg Bay

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Devryn Panaino

Safari Travel Planner

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 Devryn Panaino

Author: Devryn Panaino - 23 February 2021

Last Update: 26 April 2024

Plettenberg Bay is located along the Garden Route in the Western Cape.  This is a popular stop for both international and local travellers when they visit South Africa, And rightfully so.

Visiting the area you can enjoy nature with around 9000 fynbos species, forests, mountains, watch the whales enjoy the waters and even brush up on your cultural history.

Robberg Nature Reserve Beach.
Scenic Garden Route View 

But one of the biggest attractions for the area is bird watching.

You would think that you would have to go on safari to get good bird sightings. Plettenberg Bay should indeed be considered. This is a haven for “Birding”

Let me tell you more :

About The Area

You can enjoy birding in Plettenberg Bay all year round. In the area, they have recorded an astonishing 57 of Southern Africa’s endemic and 32 of the near-endemic bird species in and around Plettenberg Bay.

And to spot these species is not a mission impossible.

Birding in Plettenberg Bay | Photo Credits: Plettenberg Bay
Birding in Plettenberg Bay | Photo Credits: Plettenberg Bay

For nature enthusiasts, you can spend five days in the Bitou Valley hiking The Plettenberg Trail.

Being in the Cape Floristic Kingdom, one of the smallest, but most prosperous flora kingdoms in the world, you are spoilt with unusual sightings. Staying at the Biomimicry Camp from where you explore, kayak out on the river or try your luck at Stand Up Paddleboards.

They also have a bird hide to get the perfect shot and enjoy sundowners.

Just a 10-minute drive from Plettenberg Bay, you would be able to enjoy the Bitouvlei Birding Route in the Wittedrift Valley.

Bird watching South Africa
Bird Watching, South Africa 

This route consists of four distinct biospheres, creating a home to a large number of both seasonal and local birds.

The biospheres include the open salt estuary, a kloof with natural Knysna forest, the Bitou river and surrounding riverine forests. Here you can enjoy the day hiking through to the kloof, walking along the river or spending time in the bird hide.

Birding Tours

If you need an extra pair of eyes while bird spotting, why not book a morning with Ian Pletzer.

Should you still be a new “twitcher” or looking at adding more knowledge about birding, this is a great activity.  Ian is a certified nature and adventure guide and an avid photographer.

Birding in Plettenberg Bay
Birding in Plettenberg Bay

Want to meet like-minded people, why not attend the Wittedrift Birding Festival held every year during October / November.

Here you would be able to enjoy guided tours, help the South African Bird Atlas Project with a bird count or enjoy talks from the leading bird expert, Dr Mark Brown.  You can also get a comprehensive map of the birding hotspots in the area to explore on your own time.

For the Little Ones

Birding can be a little challenging for kids.  Often having to be quiet and not move too much, can put a damper on their time outdoors.  But there is a great solution.  Why not take them to Birds of Eden.  This is a bird sanctuary, the largest free-flight bird sanctuary in the world, which is home to about 3,500 birds from more than 220 species.

Here they would be able to learn more about birds and see them from a little closer.  And you never know, they might just become avid twitchers.

Birding Safari in Plettenberg Bay, South Africa
Birding Safari in Plettenberg Bay, South Africa 

Bird lovers are sure not to miss a stop in Plettenberg Bay on their next visit to the Garden Route.  You might even be able to tick off some of your bucket list birds.

Why not book your next Garden Route adventure through Discover Africa.  Their knowledgeable consultants will guide you and plan the perfect itinerary for you


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