This very popular 795 ha reserve consists of a mix of open savannah, grassveld, dense savannah woodland as well as the Roodeplaatdam. During a morning’s birding you can expect to see a nice variety of water and terrestrial birds – we recommend the southern side.
You can drive through the reserve using a number of roads (most of them good enough for a sedan car) or you can walk the trail that runs through the reserve. The reserve has a number of well maintained and strategically well placed hides.
After entering through the gate turn left at the sign “Zeekoeigat”. After about 2km you will reach the Zeekoeigat complex. Enter here and continue till you see the “Bird Hide” sign and follow the track to the bird hide. At the bird hide a nice variety of water birds can be seen namely Grey Heron, African Sacred Ibis, White-faced Duck, Glossy Ibis, African Darter, Green-backed Heron, Little Egret and occasionally Black Heron. Lesser Swamp-Warbler and Little Rush-Warbler can usually also be heard in the reeds next to the hide. The perches are however quite far from the hide.
Return to the main road travelling to the picnic spot, and you will soon pass some office buildings on the right. It is always worth your while to stop here and scrutinize the trees and grass surrounding the offices for species such as Crimson-breasted Shrike, Fiscal Flycatcher, Speckled Pigeon and in recent years Burnt-necked Eremomela. Cape Penduline-Tit has also been recorded here – although irregularly.
Travel through the parking area next to the office buildings onto a gravel road that will take you to the second bird hide. From the offices to the hide is about 1.8km. At the hide look out for waders such as Three-banded Plover, African Jacana and Wood Sandpiper. Other species you might come across are Bearded Woodpecker, Pied Kingfisher, Brown -hooded Kingfishers, Black Heron, Spoonbills, Acacia Pied Barbet and numerous bishops and weavers. Go back to the main road and turn right. After a few hundred meters you will reach the turnoff to the picnic spot. The picnic spot is situated between large trees and as the picnic spot borders the dam a number of water birds can be seen including large numbers of Red-knobbed Coot, Little Grebe, White-breasted Cormorant, Reed Cormorant, Grey-headed Gull, White-winged Tern and Whiskered Tern. Black Cuckooshrike has been recorded in the trees next to the picnic spot. Go back to the main road and turn left. Scan the roadside and listen for the characteristic call of Coqui Francolin which sometimes feed on the edge of the road – right in the open. Continue to the T-junction and turn left at the gravel road, pass the Aqua Social club and continue on the gravel road but beware the road can sometimes be very wet and bumpy. Flycathcers, barbets, woodpeckers, nightjars and many other birds can be seen here.