The Free State Region of the SANParks Honorary Rangers cordially invites you to the
2019 Golden Gate Birding Day which will be our 13 th annual birding event held in Golden
Gate Highlands National Park. This event raises funds for various SANParks conservation
projects within Golden Gate Highlands National Park. The Golden Gate Vulture Hide,
which was partly funded by previous birding events, provides birders the opportunity to
spot the rare bearded vulture.
The 4 x 4 route will again be accessible and can be booked by interested parties at no
additional cost. You will be accompanied by a SANParks’ ranger as well as Honorary
Rangers; this takes birding in Golden Gate to the next level! Testing the capabilities of
your vehicle (or yourself) and trying to tick off as many birds at the same time! This will
also provide you with the rare opportunity to experience the area known as the “Little
Serengeti” with an abundance of animals; this part of the park is not open to the public.
After you have experienced this, you will understand where its name derives from.
Not only is the birding event a special experience, but the data gathered at the event
will also be an official census of birds in the park and make an important contribution to
the official bird list of the park and surroundings.
Some of the special species of birds that have been recorded at Golden Gate are Cape
Vulture, Bearded Vulture, Southern Bald Ibis, Gurney`s Sugarbird, Ground Woodpecker,
Bush Blackcap, White-bellied Korhaan, Verreaux`s Eagle, Black-rumped Buttonquail,
Western Yellow Wagtail, South African Shelduck, African Pipit, morphed Cape Bunting,
Olive Woodpecker, African Harrier Hawk etc.
One of the speakers for this year’s weekend is Carina Coetzer, the Ingula Project
Manager. In 2003 the Ingula Partnership was established between Eskom, BirdLife
South Africa and the Middelpunt Wetland Trust with a common conservation objective
of managing the Ingula Pumped Storage Scheme as a sustainable conservation site,
situated on the watershed between the Orange River in the eastern Free State and the
Tugela River in KwaZulu-Natal.
Wade Whitehead and Tammy Caine, CEO and Projects and Programs Coordinator
respectively, from FREEME KZN WILDLIFE REHABILITATION, will discuss the Owl Box
Project and the work that the rehabilitation centre does.
Rick Nuttall will again be responsible for verifying the bird lists and adjudicating the bird
photos! Don’t forget your cameras!
The birding weekend will begin with a function on the Friday evening. You can start
recording birds from the moment you enter the park. Saturday is available for birding at
Birding can be done in a number of ways:
1. On your own (own time, own vehicle)
2. 4 x 4 route with honorary rangers and SANParks rangers – please note that
this is time restricted and usually takes one hour to arrive at the start of the
3. Walk with ornithologists up to Echo Ravine/Boskloof or Mushroom Rock
4. Do a short gravel road trip with your own vehicle and a short walk with
honorary rangers to Holkrans or Cathedral Cave
After an exciting day of birding on Saturday you will enjoy a special dinner, where the
day’s activities will be discussed and prizes handed out to the lucky winners. Indulge in
famous Free State hospitality!!!! Enjoy good food in a calm and relaxing environment.
Interested parties are advised to complete a registration form for the event. Once your
registration form has been received, an email including the tax invoice, reference to use
when paying and bank details will be sent to you for payment.
Please note: The deadline for registration for the weekend is 25 January 2019.
For more information, including registration forms and accommodation details, please
visit www.sanparksvolunteers.org/free-state-region or contact:
Cell no: 082 820 5212
E-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Fax Number: 086 247 8402
We sincerely hope that we will see you there!