Birds of the Magaliesberg 2023
AN EXPLANATION OF THE SPECIAL BIRDING HABITATS IN THE REGION
DIRECTIONS TO THE BIOSPHERE The gateway to Magaliesberg is the Hartbeespoort dam area and is about an hour and a half drive from OR Tambo International Airport. Take the R21-North to Pretoria. Shortly before Pretoria, turn onto the N1-North towards Polokwane and then later the N4-West towards Rustenburg. Pass through two toll gates and take the R511 off ramp, turning left into the R511. Proceed south easterly to Hartbeespoort going over the historical Silkaatsnek. After going over Silkaatsnek turn right into Hartbeespoort by remaining in the R511. From Hartbeespoort follow the signs to Brits going over the Hartbeespoort Dam wall and turn left at the Damdoryn Fourway stop and proceed up the Skeerpoort Valley to the Magaliesberg town. From Lanseria airport access is straight down the R-512 until you reach a T junction where one can go left via southern side of dam, Kommandonek and over the dam wall or right past Pelindaba, turn left towards the Witwatersberg and over Saartjiesnek to get to the town of Hartbeespoort. Rustenburg is a further journey of about 75 km from Hartbeespoort taking the road north over Silkaatsnek and carrying on straight towards Brits
ARTICLE AND PHOTOGRAPHS: JOHN WESSON
Towns and gardens A number of Towns occur along the length of the mountain from Pretoria in the East, Hartbeespoort/ Brits in the centre, Rustenburg in the West and Magaliesburg town to the Southwest. Many gardens are well wooded going from the sub-tropical on the Northern Side to cold frosty winters on the Southern side and across the rolling hills of the Cradle. The many fruiting \flowering trees and shrubs have drawn a lot of birds in, from Northern parts of the country e.g., African Olive Pigeons, Green Pigeons and more recently the Yellow bellied Greenbul. In winter there are magnificent displays of several Aloes spp in flower. Estates and resorts in the region are ideal drawcards for many species. The Aloe farm nursery for example has extensive aloe gardens and water features attracting sunbirds especially in winter, when the aloes are in
Gardens in the Carribean Beach estate, Kosmos, Hartbeespoort
full flower. See article in this publication in specific areas on the Aloe farm. Other extensive gardens are found in many of the estates in the area where the environment is a top priority like Xanadu Eco estate, and Magalies park (See article page) Birds like the Yellow- bellied Greenbul are resident in the suburb of Schoemansville in Hartbeespoort.
You will see the turn off to your left to get on the Platinum highway to Rustenburg. To explore the Cradle part of the Biosphere it lies South of the Witwatersberg and West of the R 511 running all the way virtually to Krugerdorp (please see map). Please avoid travelling these roads late at night.
Hotel and restaurant in Hartbeesfontein on the Magalies river
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