The Haenertsburg village and Magoebaskloof area is located in the north-eastern escarpment section of the Drakensberg, originally made up of grasslands and mist belt forest.

The patches of forest have largely remained but the grasslands have been almost entirely planted to gum and pine trees and more recently avocado orchards.

Good birding can be found in areas in which the grassland or forest is largely intact.

You can access a number of fantastic birding routes (below), or contact a local guide to assist you.

Bird Guides

David Letsoalo

"If you're ever in Magoebaskloof in northern Limpopo province, treat yourself to a birding walk with David Letsoalo. His knowledge of birds, trees and plants is legendary, and he has such a great way of describing the wonders of nature. It was a chilly morning with dewdrops on some of the plants. The hanging ferns and the moss on trees are just other benefits of exploring the forests in Magoebaskloof. A big bonus was that we were able to get good sightings of the endangered Cape Parrot."

Paul Nkhumane

"A great but wet week end in Magoebaskloof checking out some of the areas special birds. We used a guide on the Saturday morning, Paul Nkhumane, who was a total pro and a big help at finding some of these very difficult to see, forest birds. They call everywhere throughout the forest, - loudly and clearly but despite my best efforts, they are so hard to locate and seem to just be enticing you further and further into the forest. Teasing you, playing with you. A magical game of hide and seek where just about any bird seen is a victory and something very special. Looking forward to a return visit soon.....they're calling me back. I've almost no choice."

Woodbush Forest Reserve

Birders visit Haenertsburg and Magoebaskloof primarily to explore the extensive Woodbush Forest Reserve. Woodbush is an Afromontane mist belt forest which has a high annual rainfall.

The forests are home to Cape Parrot, Black-fronted Bush-Shrike, White-starred Robin, Orange Ground-Thrush, Buff-spotted Flufftail, Grey Cuckooshrike, Chorister Robin-Chat, Blue-mantled Crested Flycatcher, Yellow-streaked Greenbul, Crowned Eagle and many more.
Access to the Woodbush Forest is by public road which is the Forest Drive.

The first section from the top is usually doable by sedan car. Find a place to park and walk along the road. If you are lucky you might come across a bird party which just might have all the birds species you are looking for in one place.

In summer, aim to get there at dawn to experience the incredible dawn chorus while you sip your coffee. In winter, birding is more difficult but many of the specials are still in the forest.

If you have a high-clearance vehicle you can continue down the Forest Drive to the Debegeni Waterfall.

Haenertsburg Grasslands

The Louis Changuion Trail winds through grassland and forest patches for 10km.
You may find Red-winged Francolin, Broad-tailed Warbler, Grass Owl, White-necked Raven, Red-winged Francolin, Yellow Bishop, Dark-capped Yellow Warbler, Drakensberg Prinia, Cape Grassbird, Croaking, Cloud, Wailing, Lazy and Wing-snapping Cisticola.

Kudu’s Valley

The Kudu’s River Valley road links Houtbosdorp to the lowveld village of Mooketsi. The road drops down steeply into the Mooketsi Valley taking you through bushveld and riverine habitats. Eventually you will be driving through agricultural fields and past irrigation dams.

Randfontein Loop

From Haenertsburg you take the Annies Fortune Road and at the first T junction turn right towards the R71. This route goes through the Haenertsburg rain shadow consisting of dry thornveld that is home to a completely different group of birds compared with the Woodbush Forest.

Haenertsburg to Serala Grasslands

 (2022 Serala Birding Route 2015 with distances)