Settling onto the game viewer I was excited to be heading out with the guides from Buffelsdrift Game Lodge on a morning of birding. After all the rain that has fallen in the area, the veld was extremely green and full of colour from all the wildflowers and the dams on the property were all full of water.
Setting off around the dam I was quite surprised to see the size of the Red-Knobbed Coot flock. There must have been about 30 individuals. Scattered among them we also saw some Yellow-Billed Ducks, Little Grebes and a couple of Spur-Winged Geese. Looking carefully among the bushes we spotted a Water Thick-Knee as well.
Of course, you cannot ignore the gorgeous animals that also call Buffelsdrift home, so we stopped to photograph the Springbok as well and towering over him the old Giraffe, called Oupa stood watching us.
Our National Animal never fails to impress! And neither does our National Bird, which if you lucky, you can catch breeding in the veld around the reserve.
Being a Big 4 reserve, you are not allowed to wonder around, but I was lucky enough to be taken a little on foot to have a look at their erosion prevention project. Buffelsdrift Game Lodge often get volunteers in from foreign countries who come to donate their time to the conservation efforts of the lodge. One of the previous guides, Russel Raubenheimer together with the help of some of these volunteers, started this amazing project where they plant branches upright in the ground for birds to perch on so that when the birds excrete their waste, which may have grass seeds in, these will grow and eventually cover the bare ground preventing the water from eroding the soil. Of course, the grass needs to be protected a little from the antelope, so some thorn branches are scattered over the grass. I am looking forward to seeing the results in the next couple of years.
Getting back on the vehicle and moving along I got my first Nicolson’s Pipit. Although it took some debating between my bird nerd friends (Remember them? I’ve mentioned then before) and some new birding friends we finally agreed on the identity. I was super stoked because I got to add a difficult lifer to my list.
The great thing about birding in a place like Buffelsdrift is the amount of Karoo birds that you are almost guaranteed to tick off your list. Just that morning we saw the Karoo chat, Karoo Scrub-Robin, Karoo Lark and Large-Billed Lark. We didn’t see any Karoo Long-Billed Larks, Spike-Heeled Larks or Namaqua Warblers but the habitat tells me, there were around.
If Ludwig’s Bustard and Blue Crane are not on your lifer list, ask the guides to help you find them. They are amazing to see, not only because they are endangered, but the seer size of them is something to behold.
The fun thing about birding is that you drive slow which means you often see things that you would not normally see. We were treated to a true-life drama of The Tortoise and the Hare.
And then came across two Green-Grooved Dung Beetles moving their latest prize across the road.
Buffelsdrift not only has birding on offer, but several other activities that will make your stay in the Klein Karoo a truly exceptional one. From nighttime game drives, cheetah tracking and early morning meerkat tours you are bound to find something for everyone to enjoy.
Buffelsdrift Game Lodge, in the heart of the Klein Karoo offering luxury tented accommodation, with a restaurant and spa on site, a deck overlooking the dam and great hospitality, it promises a true karoo birding experience.
With dams, true karoo veld and rocky hills you are sure to find some interesting little-feathered friends. Go tick some birds off your life list. Be sure to ask for your checklist when you check-in!
Be sure to book your next birding getaway at Buffelsdrift Game Lodge https://www.thebirdinglife.com/buffelsdrift-game-lodge