ALEXANDRIA FARM ROUTE:
This full day route is an ideal summer route starting at sunrise.
The route starts in Alexandria and proceeds west on the R72 for a few hundred metres out of Alexandria on the Port Elizabeth side before you turn left in a southerly direction through farm lands on the way to the Woody Cape section of the Addo Elephant National Park.
Specials on the farm route:
Squacco herons have been seen on some small farm dams near the road, but are not common in the area. Amur falcons, Steppe Buzzards and White Storks are seen in summer. Black headed orioles, Denham’s bustard, Spurwinged geese, Jackal buzzards are seen all year round.
WOODY CAPE SECTION OF ADDO ELEPHANT NATIONAL PARK:
After paying at reception you are free to walk through the forest and find many forest specials. There are several different hiking trails but we have found that just walking to the Langebos huts about 1 km into the forest yields plenty of forest species. Thereafter a drive through the forest south towards the dairy farms yields other forest specials.
Specials on the forest walk:
White-starred robin, Yellow-breasted apalis, Knysna Turaco, Blue-mantled Crested flycatcher, Terrestrial Brownbuls, Southern Double-collared sunbird, Grey sunbird, Narina Trogon, Yellow-throated woodland warbler, Lemon dove, Scaly-throated honeyguide, Cape Batis, Chorister robin, Olive bush-shrike, Dark-backed weaver, Forest canary, Collared sunbird and Trumpeter hornbills. African Wood-owls can be heard at night in summer.
On the fringe of the forest you can see Black-bellied starling, Southern Black tit, Southern Black flycatcher, Black-headed oriole, Barn swallow, Lesser-striped swallow, Black saw-wing, Yellow-fronted canary, Black-collared barbet and many sunbirds on the Erythrina trees, especially when in flower.
After driving south through the forest, you get to a grove of Coral trees (Erythrina) where Knysna woodpeckers, Grey cuckooshrikes, Grey-headed bush-shrike and many species of sunbird can be seen when the Coral trees are in flower. Forest buzzards have been seen on the fringes of the forest. The route then proceeds through dairy farms and pastures to Boknes village.
Specials on the coastal route:
In summer on the route you are likely to see White storks, European rollers, Amur falcons on the phone wires above the pastures. In other seasons the Denham’s bustards and Black-winged lapwings are quite common on that road.
At the lagoon many waders can be seen especially in summer.
Specials on the Boknes lagoon:
White-breasted and reed cormorant, African darter, Water thick-knee, Sandwich tern, occasional Cape cormorant, Wood sandpiper, Common sandpiper and Marsh sandpiper.
A stop at a roadside dam on the right side of the road to the Alexandria and Bushmans is well worth it. Many waders and water birds can be seen on the dam. The end of the route is at a series of pans just off the R72 on the way to Bushmans where plenty of water birds can be seen.
Specials on the roadside dams:
Maccoa duck has been recorded, although it is a rarity for the Eastern Cape and sightings are not guaranteed. African snipe, the nomadic Greater flamingo, Three-banded plovers, Cape shoveler, African Jacana, Red-knobbed Coot, African spoonbill, Malachite kingfisher, Black-winged stilt, Squacco heron and Purple heron. Greater Painted snipe and Fulvous duck are occasionally seen on these dams.