UNIQUE BIRDING AND NATURE EXPERIENCE
A UNIQUE BIRDING AND NATURE EXPERIENCE IN THE WATERBERG!
03 – 06 March 2016
The Waterberg is at its best in the late summer and Eden Routes Specialised Eco-Tours in conjunction with Shondoro Mountain Retreat have put together this unique experience and birding event from 3 – 6 March. Imagine sundowners, bonfires, stunning mountains, abundant birds and animals!
Ecologist Joe Grosel will lead this self-drive tour which will not only concentrate on the Waterberg’s interesting birdlife but will also feature this region’s mammals, plant life, geology and fascinating history.
With a maximum of 10 participants, an intimate and very exclusive event is guaranteed. Our base for the four days is the lovely Shondoro Mountain Retreat located in a ‘kloof’ at the foot of the Southern Waterberg www.shondoro.com. (See programme below)
The event tariff is R3950 per person sharing. This includes three night’s accommodation in en-suite chalets, one light and two full meals per day, guide and entrance fees. Fuel, personal drinks and gratuities are not included. High-clearance vehicles are advised for the day-trip to Marakele. If you don’t have such a vehicle there will be enough free seats in any of the others.
Please contact Joe or Lisa Grosel at firstname.lastname@example.org on 0824155250 for more information or book directly through Shondoro Mountain Retreat. Rory and Yvette Muldoon can be contacted on 0828092228 or 0606613757 or e-mail email@example.com. Deposit and banking details will be forwarded on confirmation.
Thursday 03 March
Guests can start checking in at Shondoro Mountain Retreat from 14h00. After settling in and enjoying a welcome cup of tea there will be a late afternoon birding walk along one of the trails on the property. Sundowners will be served at the main lodge compliments of our sponsors and before and during dinner Joe will entertain participants with an informative and colourful presentation about the Waterberg. After dinner there will be time for a chat and star gazing before hitting the sack.
Friday 04 March
The day starts with the traditional coffee and rusks before we depart in convoy for the Marakele National Park. The route there takes us via the Alma Valley and the impressive Rankin’s and Bakker’s passes. After entering the park we will take a slow drive through the dry Acacia woodland and head towards the mountainous eastern region were a paved track takes one to one of the highest points in the Limpopo Province. From this vantage point it is possible to see many cliff-soaring raptors at close range including Cape Vultures, Verreaux’s Eagle, Jackal Buzzard and Peregrine and Lanner Falcons. At the top of the Waterberg Massif with its attractive Alpine vegetation, dramatic views and crisp air some very special bird species can be seen including Gurney’s Sugarbird, Short-toed Rock-thrush, Malachite Sunbird, Buff-streaked Chat and Denham’s Bustard. A picnic brunch will be served at the lookout point before we descend the mountain and make our way back to Shondoro via the town of Vaalwater. The late afternoon will be enjoyed relaxing around the camp before our hosts treat us to another delightful Waterberg dinner and bonfire under the Bushveld stars.
Saturday 05 March
After an early breakfast we set off for an exciting morning exploring the central Waterberg along some of the lesser known routes. Apart from the birding we will also take in some attractive historical sites such as the Church of St John the Baptist which was designed by Sir Herbert Baker in the late 1890’s. We should be back at camp by late morning where we will be conducting a bird ringing session in the lodge grounds and adjacent habitats. Target birds to be ringed include several cuckoo species, Green-capped Eremomela, Black Cuckooshrike, Mocking Cliff-Chat, Striped Pipit, Woodland Kingfisher and Lazy Cisticola. The bird ringing will be largely interactive with guests participating in this fascinating activity. A late afternoon walk and sundowners at a spot overlooking the plains to the east of Shondoro will be a perfect way to wind down the day. Another special dinner will be served at the main lodge. As a treat there will be a quiz around the campfire and some fantastic prizes on offer!
Sunday 06 March
Our last morning will be spent enjoying the marshland birds in the large vlei just outside Shondoro. Derek will have his nets up in this area and will be hoping to ring some warblers, swallows, widows and kingfishers. Brunch will be served at the lodge before we do our final bird list. Guests may linger a while longer before we depart at about midday.