The Suikerbosrand Nature Reserve protects a large tract of high-altitude grassland, beautiful wooded valleys, acacia thornveld and aloe forest in the middle of the rapidly urbanising Gauteng province of South Africa. Long popular with local hikers, cyclist and birders it is an easily accessible site for a great selection of grassland birds.
Search for Long-tailed Widowbird, Southern Red and Yellow-crowned Bishop, Eastern Clapper and Eastern Long-billed Lark, Wing-snapping Cisticola, Pied Starling and Grey-winged Francolin amongst many others.
Mountain Wheatear prefers rocky areas, Marsh Owl can be found in wetter grassland and South African Cliff Swallow breeds under bridges in the area.
The pockets of acacia woodland provide a chance for Red-throated Wryneck, Brown-backed Honeybird and Green-winged Pytilia.
In addition to the birds there are also healthy populations of Black Wildebeest, Eland, Blesbok and other smaller mammals.
To get to the reserve from Johannesburg, take the N3 highway south towards Heidelberg. At the R550 (Kliprivier/Lenasia) off-ramp, turn right across the highway. After 13.5km turn left towards the reserve at the large silver Suikerbosrand sign.
For more information, visit www.friendsofsuikerbosrand.co.za
260+ bird species