Bird Watching

The Moolmanshoek conservancy hosts approximately 230 species providing a challenge for bird watching enthusiasts. A Bird hide, within walking distance of the Lodge, can be found. Bird Watching Moolmanshoek offers spectacular scenery and exceptional birding in a variety of habitats from high-altitude grassland, mountains, wetlands and forests. Although close to 214 bird species have been recorded at Moolmanshoek, including some of the Southern African endemics and near-endemics, not all species to be found in this area have been recorded. Keen birders could assist in bringing the list up to date. This area includes some of the most important areas in Southern Africa for certain endangered, restricted-range species such as the Southern Bald Ibis, Rudd’s Lark, Sabota Lark and Yellow-breasted Pipit, found in high- altitude grasslands. Pristine upland wetlands are host to small numbers of Wattled Crane, as well as White-winged Flufftail. The African Rock Pipit, Buff-streaked Chat and Mountain Wheatear are found in rocky valleys.


The high peaks of the Drakensberg and Maluti mountains tower above the striking sandstone cliffs and buttresses of the eastern Free State, providing refuge for Bearded- and Cape Vultures. Clumps of flowering proteas and woodland in sheltered valleys host the endemic Gurney’s Sugarbird and various sunbirds, while the Ground Woodpecker is common on boulder-strewn hillsides. Extensive, gently undulating grassy plains could host the Orange River Francolin, Blue Korhaan, White-quilled Bustard various larks, pipits and cisticolas; a number of these species are endemic. Areas of open grassland are punctuated by rivers, often feeding large dams. The various habitats associated with these systems include open water, exposed shorelines, dense riparian bush and thickets, each with a great variety of birds to enjoy. Our topography includes sparsely vegetated grassy plains and hills / koppies with rock-strewn slopes, where calling African Rock Pipits are frequently heard, especially in summer. This is real ‘big-sky’ country, with bright night skies, a treat to experience.