Birds of the Magaliesberg 2023


The Mountain Sanctuary Park is the gateway to one of the most stunning landscapes and hiking areas in the Magaliesberg. This impressive privately owned nature reserve is situated approximately 90 km from Pretoria and 110 km from Jhb in the Maanhaarand area. These magnificent ancient mountains stand proud and untouched, surrounding the most magnificent crystal-clear mountain pools, landscapes, and extraordinary rock formations, enticing like minded people into a world of peace and serenity. Birds of the area include a wide variety of raptors such as the African Hawk Eagle, Wahlberg’s Eagle, Cape Vulture, and the Cuckoo hawk may also be seen. If one looks towards the Nooitgedacht towers one will see the spiraling Cape Vultures as the air starts warming up and they pick up the rising thermals. Over 100 breeding pairs have made their home on the southern cliff faces. Mountain specials include Short-toed Rock Thrush, Cape Rock Thrush, Cape Bunting, and Cinnamon-breasted Bunting. As you stroll through the grass covered hills, the Eastern Clapper Lark “claps” above you. In the protea belt watch out for a fleeting glimpse of the magnificent Malachite Sunbird that is found there in the summer months. In the distant northern temperate forests you hear the call of the Red-chested Cuckoo, while back at camp the ever-present Grounscraper Thrush runs along the lawns in search of food. If you stand quietly you can hear the constant calls of a variety of barbets, tchagras, cuckoos, shrikes and mousebirds as they go about their daily activities. Along the access road in the vlei area adjacent to the river are resident Little Bee eaters. They are uncommon birds in the region, along with a wealth of birds normally found in these high grasslands such as Red-collared Widows, Southern Red Bishops, Stone Chat, weavers and queleas. In tall stands of reeds, you will find the finely woven nests of the Thick-billed weaver. Listen for the ever-present Rufous- naped Lark as it calls from its perch somewhere, often on a fence post, while the call of the Swainsons and Natal Spurfowl are heard in the distance. After the rains large numbers of swallows like Red-breasted, White-throated and Lesser Striped can be seen collecting mud. During summer one will often find the Common Buzzard perched high up in a blue gum tree, or on an electricity pylon as it surveys the scene for potential prey. At night one can hear the clear ringing call of the Fiery-necked Nightjar with its distinct “good lord deliver us call” as well as if lucky enough the plopping call of our largest nightjar, the Freckled Nightjar whose home is the rocky slopes of the Magaliesberg range. During a recent visit over a weekend (February 2023) we recorded 72 bird species in the park.The best times for birding and photography are from just before sunrise for about two hours after especially in summer and two hours before sunset. Klipspringers, monkeys, jackal, warthog and several more mammals can be found in and around the camp, as well as the remarkably beautiful flora, bird, and butterfly life.This makes

it an incredible experience for birders, botanists, and hikers to visit and explore. Several mammal species have been introduced including zebra, giraffe, Blue Wildebeest, Red Hartebeest, Kudu, Blesbok and Eland.This adds to the wonderful experience of this breath taking scenery and allowing one to hike amongst the wildlife. Different accommodation options are available including log cabins, chalets, Cozy camping huts and spacious camping sites. During your stay, you will have access to over 1,000 hectares of hiking, not restricted by marked paths and guides or set routes. No day visitors are allowed; however daily guided hikes can be arranged. The ablution facilities are well kept and offer guests the comfort of hot water showers, private toilets, and washing-up facilities. The stunning swimming pool, built from natural stone, overlooks the valley, with braai facilities, picnic areas and loungers for those who want to just relax around the pool. Refreshments are available at the pool area. To top it all there is an amazing restaurant, StasOmbs, situated at the top of camp, at the base of the mountain, offering splendid views over the camp area and valley beyond to Buffelspoort Dam. The restaurant specializes in excellent affordable, family style food with friendly staff and a large, centered fireplace for winter. High View Chapel is a special, spiritual place; it is non-denominational, and is perfect for either religious, or non-religious ceremonies. The chapel is a great place to host weddings, memorials, baptisms, special celebrations, renewal of vows, retreats, yoga sessions, art exhibitions and others. the location is remote with stunning views of the valley and mountains beyond and is approximately three km from camp. CONTACT INFO For chapel, restaurant, group bookings, special requests/enquiries contact Stacy 076 020 4298

For general bookings contact the office

014 534 0114 082 707 5538

For more information check out the website

GPS COORDINATES: S 25 50 09 E 027 28 33

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