Monday 31 March 2014

Winneba Plains, Accra, Ghana, March 2014

This trip gave me a full day off in Accra and I had enlisted the help of a guide, Kalu Afasi, to visit the west African forests in search of a White-breasted Picathartes. The picathartes are best seen in the evening when they return to their nest under a rocky overhang, so we made best use of the morning by taking a look around the Winneba Plains, an hour and a bit (approx 80kms), to the west of Ghana’s capital city.

I should have taken more pictures to help give you an impression of the coastal savannah. I could also have taken pictures of the lifer birds that skitted in and out of the grass and scrub in response to Kalu’s calls. A few common birds were seen on the journey, including Cattle Egrets, Black-shouldered Kites and Pied Crows, but the red crayon birds began as soon as we stepped from the car with an African Moustached Warbler.

Car hire in Ghana had seemed very expensive, until it became clear that the price included a driver, in our case, Yow. Yow dropped us and drove on ahead as we birded the gravel road that led south from the main road, towards the coast. Left to my own devices, I may have ignored the cisticolas (tricky warblers of grass and scrubland) but Kalu was able to separate them by call and drew them close using playback from his phone. This brought Red-faced Cisticola, Siffling Cisticola and Singing Cisticola.
An African Pygmy Kingfisher and Wattled Lapwings were flushed as we walked while Mottled Spinetails flew above. Three species of Sunbirds included Green-headed, Splendid and Copper. Blackcap Babbler was seen as a small flock flouncing through the scrub and Blue-spotted Wood-dove and Vinaceous Dove flashed across the road.
The last of 6 lifers for the morning came in the shape of a Simple Greenbul, or Simple Leaflove if you prefer.

The only birdy picture from the morning that is worth sharing was of a White-throated Bee-eater that was found down a side track along with more Bar-breasted Fire-finches and a couple of Jacobin Cuckoos.

Bird list for Winneba Plains; 34

Black-shouldered Kite 4, Black Kite 15, Wattled Lapwing 2, Red-eyed Dove 1, Vinaceous Dove 1, Laughing Dove 4, Blue-spotted Wood-Dove 5, Western Plantain-eater 2, Pied Cuckoo 2, Mottled Spinetail 3, White-rumped Swift 4, African Palm-swift 5, African Pygmy Kingfisher 2, White-throated Bee-eater 2, Common Gonolek 3, Pied Crow 25, Simple Greenbul 3, Common Bulbul 20, Moustached Warbler 2, Red-faced Cisticola 1, Singing Cisticola 1, Siffling Cisticola 4, Blackcap Babbler 3, Whinchat 2, African Thrush 2, Purple Glossy-Starling 1, Green-headed Sunbird 1, Splendid Sunbird 1, Copper Sunbird 6, Northern Grey-headed Sparrow 2, Black-necked Weaver 1, Yellow-shouldered Widowbird 5, Bar-breasted Firefinch 12, Bronze Mannikin 3.

The road carried a little traffic, but we were still able to wander freely down the middle. I felt quite comfortable as we walked and did not feel threatened at all. Kalu made no mention of any unpleasantness in the area apart from a story about being challenged by a landowner when he strayed from the road. He saved this story for when we had strayed from the road in search of a Sulphur-breasted Bush-Shrike. We passed an area of the plains which was being developed and this may draw in some itinerant workers. It may be as well to visit in company or ask your driver to stay close.

Malaria precautions are advised for all areas of Ghana. On this itinerary, we encountered very few mosquitoes, but it would be prudent to follow the advise just the same.

Yow’s driving services and his car cost US$110 for a day’s hire plus petrol. Kalu’s fee is US$50 per day. Kalu can make arrangements for driver and car hire when you enlist his services.
Contact him at;

Visit the dedicated Africa Page for more posts from Accra, including; Aburi Botanical Gardens and Labadi Beach Lagoon.

Birding, Birdwatching, Winneba Plains, Accra, Ghana.

Sunday 30 March 2014

Lots of lifers in Ghana, Accra, March 2014

If you should venture into the forests of West Africa, you might want to bring a guide. I found one through Birding Pal and he showed me how absolutely incompetent I am at this bird-spotting lark. Without him, I doubt that I would have found even a third of the birds that graced my trip list. To my eyes and ears, the forest seemed empty, but Kalu Afasi was able to pull birds, as if from a hat, name them and point them out to me.

A White-necked Picathartes (Picathartes gymnocephalus) was served on a plate and a Black Bee-eater was teed up for me. More than forty other life birds were seen on this trip to Accra, Ghana and I have to give credit to Kalu for pretty much all of them.

Picathartes are birds of legend, shy and range-restricted, but a reliable site can be reached from Ghana’s capital city in an afternoon. With a whole day off in Accra, this was too good an opportunity to miss, so I contacted Kalu who suggested we visit the Winneba Plains on our way to Bonkro Village to find this odd-looking bird. After dark, we drove down to the Cape Coast and stopped overnight before calling in at Kakum National Park and the Canopy Walkway.

I do not have the time to write up at the moment, but hope to make at least 4 posts from this visit. In the meantime, if you need a guide to lead you through the avian treasures of Ghana, I can recommend Kalu and he can be reached at;

Wednesday 26 March 2014

Once round the lagoon, Dubai, March 2014

My mission today was to test my assertion that it is possible to visit the main Dubai Hotspots and get back to the airport in time for tea. It is easily possible to do the visiting, but it seems that if you want to make it into a birdy extravaganza, you will need the wind at your back and a favourable tide.

There are 4 hotspots that make a circuit around the lagoon at Dubai, starting and finishing at the airport, but the first priority is to set your direction of travel. Clockwise, nothing else will do. By installing central reservations down all the roads, Dubai town planners saw to it that a driver will never be able to turn left, so the tour must be done with a series of right turns, thus a clockwise direction (This will make a circuit of 53kms. Anti-clockwise is tortuous and convoluted. I clocked 70kms on Google Earth, but had to miss out Ras Al Khor Mangrove Hide).

First off is Mushrif Park, just 10 minutes from the airport at Google Earth ref; 25 13 46.66N 55 27 3.24E. See this link for more details.
The gate opens at 08.00, but there is a small car park to the left of the gate and some birding can be done on the approach road. Once in the park, take the 2 km circular route that turns off to the right just after the gate. Indian Roller, Southern Grey Shrike and Grey Francolin will probably be seen; Eurasian Collared Doves, Laughing Doves and White-eared Bulbuls are almost a certainty. My lifer of the day came from here this morning in the form of a Ménétriés Warbler.

There are plenty of stopping places where you can get out and walk in the scrub, but on this occasion, I found nothing that I hadn’t already seen from the car. The circular drive ends back at the gate, but you can go round as many times as you wish.

Birds seen;
Grey Francolin 12, Shikra 1, Red-wattled Lapwing 6, Eurasian Collared-Dove 250, Laughing Dove 60, Rose-ringed Parakeet 8, Pallid Swift 6, Green Bee-eater 2, Indian Roller 3, Eurasian Hoopoe 1, Southern Grey Shrike 5, House Crow 2, Red-vented Bulbul 1, White-eared Bulbul 40, Menetries Warbler 3, Common Myna 20, Purple Sunbird 6, House Sparrow 120, Indian Silverbill 4.

 The next stop is Pivot field (at Google Earth ref; 25 9 52.50N 55 25 50.73E. Seethis link for more details. Turn right out of Mushrif Park, turn right at roundabout, cross 2 roundabouts, turn right at next roundabout, cross roundabout, turn right at next roundabout. Turn right, go back on yourself and find gate to Pivot Field at the top.) and I found that the workers take a break for lunch and close the field to birdwatchers, so time your arrival carefully. 

Pivot Field is a grass farm and features a large pivot watering system. Birders are welcome, but cars are NOT permitted to drive on the grass. The whole site is available to the walking birder and if you can find someone with an experienced eye for a pipit, he will be very useful here. 

Crested Larks have proved easy to find as are Green Bee-eaters and Red-wattled Lapwings. Bank Mynas surprised me today and I thoroughly enjoyed watching the Western Yellow Wagtails. Look out for White-tailed Lapwings as well as Social Lapwings in the winter.

Birds seen;
Grey Francolin 2, Cattle Egret 1, Red-wattled Lapwing 18, White-tailed Lapwing 2, Black-headed Gull 3, Eurasian Collared Dove 250, Laughing Dove 5, Rose-ringed Parakeet 2, Green Bee-eater 3, Eurasian Hoopoe 3, Crested Lark 10, White-eared Bulbul 8, Graceful Prinia 2, Bank Myna 60, Common Myna 25, Purple Sunbird 2, Western Yellow Wagtail 20, White Wagtail 8, Red-throated Pipit 4, House Sparrow 30,

The Mangrove Hide looks out onto the lagoon at Ra’s al-Khor (Google Earth ref; 25 11 9.19N 55 19 45.57E). See this link for more details.  There is not much of the lagoon visible, but there is plenty of water even when the tide is out, so there will be birds. Today a Common Snipe fed in the margins while Northern Pintail and Green-winged Teal rested on the dry spots. Of course the star attraction on the lagoon is the Greater Flamingo

They sometimes approach close to the hide, But are more likely to be seen further out in the company of herons and egrets. Waders can be seen at a distance and I was able to identify Black-tailed Godwits today, but the small stints were beyond me. A scope is available to borrow from the security guard positioned at the hide.

Birds seen;
Northern Pintail 4, Green-winged Teal 12, Greater Flamingo 60, Grey Heron 6, Great Egret 4, Little Egret 2, Western Reef-heron 4, Cattle Egret 3, Red-wattled Lapwing 2, Kentish Plover 4, Black-winged Stilt 30, Common Sandpiper 1, Black-tailed Godwit 11, Common Snipe 1, Gull-billed Tern 1, Eurasian Collared Dove 15, Laughing Dove 4, White-eared Bulbul 5, House Sparrow 20,

When the tide is right, or at feeding time, the best place to see the Greater Flamingos is at Flamingo Hide, just a short way further round the clockwise route (Google Earth ref; 25 11 31.81N 55 18 39.57E). See this link for more details. 

Hundreds of birds can be seen here when the tide is high or from 15.00 when they get a supplemental feed. A high tide is your best bet as shore birds get pushed up close to the hide too. I arrived at a very low tide today and found a couple of Curlew and a Kentish Plover.

 Apart from these, there was just mud. Oh, and more Eurasian Collared Doves (I returned later to find approximately 700 flamingos crowded around the end of the spit and managed to get some pictures. The hide was quite crowded by now and I had to kneel behind the front row and take pictures over someone’s shoulder). From here, follow signs to Al Maktoum Bridge and you will be back at the airport in no time.

Birds seen;
Greater Flamingo 700, Great Egret 1, Little Egret 1, Kentish Plover 1, Eurasian Curlew 8, Gull-billed Tern 4, Eurasian Collared Dove 25, Laughing Dove 6, White-eared Bulbul 6, Common Myna 4, House Sparrow 20.

If you are not especially birdy, Flamingo Hide is worth a visit anyway for hundreds of close up Greater Flamingos. Mushrif Park is great for a picnic. Pivot Field is strictly for the birder or turf-lover. This picture should please you whichever camp you fall into.

So the circuit itself is easy enough, but timing is important. Check Easytide, and select Al Maktoum Bridge to get a free tide prediction. Otherwise, supplemental feed is put out around 15.00 for the flamingos.

This route is best achieved in a private or hire car as taxis cannot easily (if at all) be found at any of the sites.
Visit the dedicated Middle East page for more posts from Dubai.

Birding, Birdwatching , Dubai, DXB

Sunday 23 March 2014

Marievale, Rondebult and Johannesberg Botanic Gardens, Johannesburg, South Africa, March 2014

If I had managed to get out of bed just 5 minutes earlier, the day would have had a completely different complexion and the South African Traffic Police would have remained, in my opinion, a group of stalwarts working for the public well-being. Ah well!
Note to self; when driving in South Africa, carry licence AND passport.
Note to self; do not follow a South African Traffic Police patrol car away from a roadblock and lose touch with an in-charge officer.
Note to self; an on the spot fine does not involve emptying your wallet to a patrolman by the side of the road.

Of course if I hadn’t been stopped, I would not be able to impart this important experience to you. So all in all, you are getting great value for money here.
Anyway, on to Marievale. The journey took three and a half hours after being stopped and having to return to the hotel to fetch my passport. I was pretty grumpy by the time I reached the wetland, but an African Rail skittered into the reeds as I pulled up at Otter Hide (Google Earth ref; 26 21 32.83S 28 30 27.15E) and put a smile back on my face. The Pied Kingfishers seemed determined to cheer me up too as they were fishing in the middle of the road. From the hide, Red-knobbed Coots, Eurasian Moorhens and a Black Crake made a nice foursome of Rallids.

A White-throated Swallow rested on the structure in front of the hide and a Squacco Heron flushed from the reeds.
Three Pied Kingfishers fished as the overflowing wetland forded the road. There is a small bridge to the side of the road which allowed me to press further on, but at the junction, I met a couple in a large 4x4 that had turned back, unable to get into the reserve.

The road was inundated just beyond the junction and that was as far as I was able to get. Still, the birds seemed as if they were sympathetic to my mood and a Black Heron posed at the water’s edge, right by the road. Truth be told, the high water was probably pushing rails and herons closer to the edge, but I was cheering up a little.

Small islands on the north side of the road appeared to be sprouting roots and Grey-hooded Gulls roosted here along with a Ruff and another wader that escaped me. There was not much area to explore here today, so I moved on. Engineers’ Road on the way in and out is always worth a look. Ironically what is usually a wet patch when all around is dry, held no water today, but the spot on the south side of the road (Google Earth ref; 26 20 37.73S 28 28 11.80E) still held some appeal for Spur-winged Goose and Glossy Ibis.

Birds seen;
Spur-winged Goose 3, Yellow-billed Duck 2, Little Grebe 3, Long-tailed Cormorant 4, Squacco Heron 1, Black-headed Heron 1, Black Heron 1, Glossy Ibis 1, African Rail 1, Eurasian Moorhen 6, Red-knobbed Coot 3, Blacksmith Plover 2, Ruff 1, Grey-hooded Gull 35, White-winged Tern, Laughing Dove 2, Pied Kingfisher 3, White-throated Swallow 8, Stonechat1, Red Bishop 4, Yellow-crowned Bishop 1,Long-tailed Widowbird 1.

I moved on to Rondebult Bird Sanctuary (Google Earth ref; 26 17 43.52S 28 12 39.48E ) and was disappointed by its sad neglect. The sentry at the gate was upset to be disturbed and reluctantly let me through. She was unhelpful in the extreme when I asked for the keys to the hides. The area near the car park has been over-run by feral geese and paths have become overgrown. The walkway out to the hide nearest to the car park, has almost completely fallen apart. What is left is mostly rotted through and unsafe. The tower hide was inaccessible.

I stayed for a short while and saw the birds below, but found myself recalling the first time that I visited here and left feeling very sad.

Birds seen;
Egyptian Goose 14, Spur-winged Goose 3, Red-billed Duck 2, Hottentot Teal 2, Little Grebe 6, Long-tailed Cormorant 1, Black Heron 1, Glossy Ibis 5, Hadada Ibis 2, Eurasian Moorhen 6, Red-knobbed Coot 12, African Palm Swift 3, Barn Swallow 4, Karoo Thrush 3, Southern Masked-weaver 5, Red Bishop 8.

So I pushed on again; this time to a new site at Johannesburg Botanic Gardens (Google Earth ref; 26 9 7.44S 28 00 09.66E). This was a much more pleasant way to spend the afternoon. By now, time had almost run out and I was only able to make a very cursory exploration of the gardens. It was Sunday afternoon and the good citizens of Emmerentia were cycling, picnicking and generally enjoying their facility.

A popular pastime amongst parents with kids was to feed the many Egyptian Geese on the dam. At the shallow end of the lake, Great Cormorant, Long-tailed Cormorant and African Darter (one of each) dried their wings on a dead branch.

In the weedy, reedy area beyond, a White-browed Coucal popped his head up to see who was pishing and a pair of Tawny-flanked Prinias came out from the long grass to shoo me away. 

The gardens, as one might expect contained lawns, plantings and formal gardens. The dam was fed by a sluggish stream that in turn flowed from a lake further on. Though I was tempted, I simply didn’t have the time to investigate “Bird Island” on the far lake. Instead, I made my way back through the upper lawns and added Grey go-away-bird, Crested Barbet and Common Fiscal to my list. The last bird of the trip was a grand Rameron Pigeon seen as I left the gardens.

Though I was not able to do justice to the gardens today, it has an eBird Hotspot list of 56 birds. I am sure that this can be improved upon with a few extra visits.

Birds seen;
Egyptian Goose 200, Great Cormorant 1, Long-tailed Cormorant 1, African Darter 1, Black-headed Heron 1, Hadada Ibis 2, Eurasian Moorhen 2, Red-knobbed Coot 2, Rameron Pigeon 2, Red-eyed Dove 1, Ring-necked Dove 8, Laughing Dove 3, Grey Go-away bird 1, White-browed Coucal 1, African Palm-swift 3, Eurasian Hoopoe 1, Crested Barbet 1, Common Fiscal 1, Pied Crow 2, Tawny-flanked Prinia 3, Karoo Thrush 2, Common Myna 15, Southern Masked-weaver 6.

There is a gate, but no entrance fee for the gardens, so I cannot say how secure it might be during the week when the area is likely to be quieter. Docents assisted with parking on a Sunday afternoon, but I cannot say if they would be present when the visitor numbers are lower.

Visit the dedicated African page for more posts from Johannesburg, including; Dullstroom Grasslands and Mount Sheba. You will also find previous posts from Marievale and Rondebult.
Birding, Birdwatching, Johannesburg, South Africa.

Saturday 22 March 2014

Pilanesberg NP, Johannesburg, South Africa, March 2014

My beautiful colleague, GJ, joined me today on a restricted trip around Pilanesberg National Park. It was restricted by damage to the roads and bridges caused by biblical rain over the last couple of days. The topography of the park funnels water down gullies in the mountain-sides and feeds streams that barely see a flow from one year to the next. Most of the roads in the park are unmade and had flooded or been washed away. We were limited to the main tarmac roads; Kubu/Kgabo that runs northeast/southwest and Tshwene that spurs from the Pilanesberg Centre to Manyane Camp in the east.

The flow had ebbed by the time we arrived at 06.30, but evidence was all around. Vegetation for many meters either side of tiny streams had been knocked down by the torrents and meadows were flattened as sheets of water washed down the slopes without the benefit of a gulley to guide them. The first turn-off from Kubu crosses a bridge, but the road had almost completely gone from the nearside of the span. The dam at Lengau, where the Baboons often spend the night on the wall, had become a waterfall.

Animals usually rely on the dams as reliable permanent water and can be predictably found in the proximity, but with so much water and green vegetation available, there was no reason for them to stay nearby and they were widely dispersed and difficult to find during the morning.

Impalas however, are always reliable and a young male was found shortly after we entered the park. He looked bedraggled and cold, but out of respect, I show him only from the neck up where he looks much better.

Brindled Wildebeest are also very common and were seen a number of times during the day.
Rufous-naped Larks appeared to top every thorn bush that projected above the grass. Their call was a constant presence through either window of the car. One called from close to the road and enhanced his performance with a wing flap at intervals.

Our first puzzle was set by a Levaillant’s Cuckoo which stubbornly refused to turn around to show its streaky throat that would distinguish it from the otherwise similar Jacobin Cuckoo. Secretary-Birds at the top of an acacia bush (possibly on the site of a nest?) were easy by comparison. 

We were close to Mankwe Dam and cheekily poked our noses down the gravel road that leads to the hide, but were immediately turned back by the flood water. A bridge the crossing a small river looked to be damaged. 
We gallantly allowed a young lady to go first from the opposite direction to see if her low-slung car would become grounded in the large pot-hole. She negotiated it successfully, so we were able to continue on to the Pilanesberg Centre.

At last we started to find a few animals as we drove along Tau Link. GJ was especially pleased to find Giraffes.

We were headed towards the eastern gate and found more Impala, Kudu and Zebra along the way.
We brunched at Golden Leopard’s Manyane Complex and compiled a list of 23 birds in just a short walk there, including the day’s only sightings of Crowned Plover, Black-collared Barbet and Groundscraper Thrush.

A Crested Barbet was very approachable as it fed from a fruiting tree near the entrance and a family of Warthogs were relaxed enough to crash out on a small lawn beside reception.

Back in the park we decided to head to Bakgatla to pad out the bird list and were stopped along the way by a large bull Elephant as he crossed the road. I am sure that the elephants of Pilanesberg should have an identification guide, but I was unable to find one on the web. This one should be very distinctive with his broken right tusk. He was leaning on his longer, left tusk and digging it into the ground. He ate some of the dirt that he had dislodged and threw the rest up onto his back.

Shortly afterwards, we came across a small group of White Rhino. I heaved a big sigh of relief at seeing some of the mega-fauna at last. My companion was very patient and seemed to be enjoying the drive, but I wanted her to see some of the big stuff.

Other animals and birds began to appear and be more cooperative. A herd of Zebra were feeding by the roadside and a young foal followed its mother out onto the tarmac causing a short-lived zebra-jam.

European Bee-eaters sat out on dead snags and hawked for insects in flight and the smallest giraffe I have ever seen passed in the wake of its huge mother.
At Bakgatla, also run by Golden Leopard, we took a stroll around the camp and added Green-backed Camaroptera, Cape Wagtail and Rufous-vented Warbler that would otherwise not have appeared on the list below.

Two Southern Red-billed Hornbills with the vacant stare of new parents everywhere were feeding their large youngster which appeared happy to sit and ingest anything that came its way.

The last pass down the main road featured mostly giraffe with a number of close sightings. The day had brightened up and the place appeared to be drying out a little and getting more productive. 

We stopped in at Pilanesberg Centre, I can’t remember why, and found a large herd of Kudu licking the ground where the salt lick used to be (it may have dissolved in the rain). A White Rhino had just come close to the centre and was still grazing just beyond the waterhole.

Finally and to GJ’s delight, we found a family of Hippo in the stream beneath Lengau Dam. The stream was much higher than normal and would not normally be able to support such big animals. No doubt they will return to the dam as the levels drop.

Birds seen; 67

Ostrich 2, White-faced Whistling Duck 2, Egyptian Goose 2, African Black Duck 2, Yellow-billed Duck 2, Helmeted Guineafowl 5, Natal Francolin 11, Little Grebe 1, Great Cormorant 3, African Darter 4, Cattle Egret 30, Sacred Ibis 30, Black-shouldered Kite 6, Brown Snake-Eagle 1, Secretary-Bird 2, Blacksmith Plover 3, Crowned Lapwing 3, Speckled Pigeon 12, Red-eyed Dove 2, Ring-necked Dove 29, Laughing Dove 17, Grey Go-away-bird 13, Levaillant’s Cuckoo 1, Dideric Cuckoo 2, White-browed Coucal 2, African Palm-swift 2, Red-faced Mousebird 15, Woodland Kingfisher 1, European Bee-eater 15, Lilac-breasted Roller 2, Southern Red-billed Hornbill 3, African Grey Hornbill 3, Crested Barbet 3, Black-collared Barbet 1, Black-backed Puffback 1, Crimson-breasted Gonolek 2, Red-backed Shrike 9, Lesser Grey Shrike 2, Fork-tailed Drongo 3, Pied Crow 4, Rufous-naped Lark 20, Sabota Lark 1, Barn Swallow 15, Pearl-breasted Swallow 1, Greater Striped-Swallow 6, Black-fronted Bulbul 16, Green-backed Camaroptera 1, Rufous-vented Warbler 1, Cape White-eye 2, Spotted Flycatcher 9, Familiar Chat 3, Groundscraper Thrush 1, Karoo Thrush 1, Common Myna 20, Cape Glossy Starling 20, Red-winged Starling 4, Red-billed Oxpecker 12, Cape Wagtail 1, Cinnamon-breasted Bunting 2, Black-throated Canary 3, House Sparrow 6, Cape Sparrow 8, Southern Grey-headed Sparrow 3, White-browed Sparrow-weaver 2, Southern Masked-weaver 30, Blue-breasted Cordonbleu 11, Pin-tailed Whydah 2.

Groundscraper Thrush
Mammals seen; 13

African Elephant 1, Black Rhinoceros 1, White Rhinoceros 4, Giraffe 22, Impala 60, Kudu 45, Brindled Wildebeest 120, Waterbuck 3, Springbok 20, Zebra 25, Vervet Monkey 2, Hippopotamus 5, Warthog 12.

Pilanesberg National Park is administrated by the Northwest Parks Board. It has a dedicated website at this link.  The website includes a phone number for the park office. If I had used this number, they may have been able to forewarn me that many of the roads were closed. Would that have mattered? Would I still have gone? Of course I would have!
The park is about 2-2.5 hours drive northwest from Johannesburg. Call it 3 if you are heading out from the airport. It is close to Sun City with which it shares the volcano.

The closest entrance is at Bakubung, the southern gate (Google Earth ref; 25 20 22.75S 27 3 48.45E)
Facilities in the park include; Restaurant and gift shop at Pilanesberg Centre and Toilets at each viewing hide. There is accommodation at each of the 4 gates, but they differ greatly in standard and budget. See the link above.

Visit the dedicated Africa Page for more posts from Johannesburg including; Walter Sisulu Botanic Gardens, Zaagkuildrift Road and Kruger National Park

 Birding Birdwatching, Safari, Pilanesberg, Johannesburg, South Africa