RAEnvironmental Services
Rory Allardice
Enviromental Services
Birding on the Agulhas Plain is a remarkable experience. Around 260 species live here, including a number of special species such as the Hottentot Quail and Half-Collared Kingfisher, not to mention the occasional visits from Abdim's Stork and Marabou Stork. Tourists can spend at least a few very pleasant days birding, interspersed with good wines and food at the local wine cellars. Rory Allardice Environmental will specifically offer guiding in the Nuwejaars Wetland Special Management Area, because access to the private properties making up the protected area is restricted.

Apart from the birds, visitors to the region can also look forward to seeing their habitat. The diversity is remarkable, ranging from mountains, through wetlands, to the coastline, including the southern-most tip of Africa. The fynbos is compartmentalised into about 10 main categories with various sub-categories. These habitats make for exciting botanising and birding. Along the coast, Black Oystercatcher and Damara Tern offer great photographic opportunities along a coastline of white beaches and rugged rocky outcrops.

The wetlands range from estuaries and meandering rivers to bubbling mountain streams. The Nuwejaars wetlands include the Soetendalsvlei, the second largest natural freshwater lake connected to the sea in South Africa. There are some very interesting articles worth reading produced by
Birdlife which describe a number of other rare species recorded during a once-off survey of three wetlands in the Nuwejaars Wetland system.
Bird Guiding, Overberg, Western Cape
This area has been declared a Special Management Area, a form of protected environment. A protected environment includes active agricultural areas managed under an integrated management plan promoting biodiversity conservation and at the same time supporting food security. In this way jobs are not lost, and in fact a biodiversity economy in parallel to the agricultural economy is promoted, creating more jobs and careers over the landscape. This model gives local entrepreneurs access on an organised basis to natural resources without the risks associated with purchasing and managing the land. And this is where RAEnvironmental fits in: we are intent on becoming involved in creating jobs for and training local nature guides, and in this way contributing to creating jobs in the area.

There are also a number of accommodation facilities within the Nuwejaars Wetlands Special Management Area catering for a range of needs, contact us for more information. Camping in some spectacular spots can be arranged. This gives one the opportunity to wake up in the bird's habitat and experience activities that otherwise would have been missed.

Although the area is known for Snipe and Flufftail, it is impossible to guarantee seeing them at any given time. However, trips can be arranged to areas where they were last seen or heard, in order to try and spot them.
Macaroni penguin at Brandfontein
Greater Flamingo with juveniles with wheat in the background
African Snipe
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