Birds of the Magaliesberg 2023

MAGALIES PARK Make a u-turn and drive back towards the mountain turning left at the T junction. The park has extensive park like gardens, and a golf course. It is situated along the banks of the Magalies river making it an exciting birding destination. See article in hot spots section to visit or stay over. GPS co-ordinates: S 250 45.109 E 027 46.929 Continue past Magalies park and stop opposite Leopard Lodge entrance, park off the road, and scan the cliffs above for the over 250 pairs of Cape Vultures nesting there. Also look out for Black Stork and Rock Kestrel who also nest in this site. Leopard lodge offer great lunches, so if you have the time pop in, it has great views of the dam and you are virtually just below the Vulture colony The lodge also has several antelope species on their property. GPS co-ordinates: S 25. 45.708 E 027.46’ 033 VAN GAALEN CHEESE FARM Passing Leopard Lodge, continue along to Van Gaalen Cheese farm on the right for excellent refreshments and homemade cheese. The farm offers picnic baskets and self guided walks.The farm is one of the top mountain biking areas in the region. Birds like Half collared Kingfishers, White- backed Night Heron and African Finfoot have been recorded along these quite waterways. Van Gaalens hosts the WESSA NAR, Rotary & Birdlife Harties Blue Crane project.The birds can be seen to the right of the restaurant. GPS co-ordinates: S 25 47’ 270 E 027.46’ 330

Magalies river entering the dam

On your way to Van Gaalens, you would have passed VERGENOEG HIKING TRAIL. This trail has recently been taken over by Van Gaalens and offers several exciting trails including to the summit. NYOKA RIDGEVULTURE RESTAURANT & HIDE Approx 5 Km from the farm in Skeerpoort is the Nyoka Ridge Vulture restaurant and monitoring project This is a project run by Nyoka Ridge Farm, Brits-Hartbeespoort Rotary, Wildlife & Environment Society of SA (WESSA) Northern areas region and Birdlife Harties in association with the National Association of Conservancies of SA. The viewpoint is an ideal spot for a morning breakfast while looking out across the valley to the feeding spot. There are ablutions, braai facilities, water, and a power point for a kettle. There is seating for about 18 people and an entry fee payable for non-members. From this point one can view over 300 Cape Vultures coming in to feed at any one time. Occasionally they are joined by White backed, Lappet-faced Vultures as well as Marabou and Abdims Storks. A hide close to the feeding spot for viewing and photographers is under construction and should be opened early in 2023.

Van Gaalens Cheese Farm

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