The Best Birding Getaway in the Eastern Free State
For birders this is a paradise – we have a Checklist of some 250 species. Many resident – some summer visitors – but the birding on Spitskop is a joy all year round.
For birding groups and Bird Clubs we offer a really super discount – booked directly with us.
Twenty years of dedicated REWILDING has transformed a once neglected landscape into a thriving haven for nature and humans alike.
Spitskop is certainly one of the best birding Getaways in the Eastern Free State.
January and February – both are splendid - and excellent for birding – being full summer and a great time also for seeing the arrival of Amur Falcons. March and April are some of the most beautiful months in the Eastern Highlands – early autumn and just the tips of the colour on trees and shrubs – heralding the magnificence of May /June/July and full winter. Water birds are magnificent in winter in the Highlands – as is the weather – the views – in this extraordinarily beautiful place.
Some telling of the joy of the residents at this time of summer:
Robin chat - singing away in the tree morning and evening – taking a small break from feeding young somewhere in a nest near the garage – weavers are very busy making nests – males now in full plumage, chasing each other in “its summer” joy. Down at the dam the Little Grebe call – magical in the clear air – spurwing geese doing a flyover like small aeroplanes whilst making their lovely chirping sound – yellow bill ducks do a quick fly over – fast – the sound of wings echoes through the air –
The pin tail whydah – impressive in summer plumage – long tail – very busy impressing the plain little female with his beauty - the male white throat swallow brings “presents” of food for the female – red knob coot collecting nesting material – they are busy making nests on the water. – the long tailed widow in summer plumage – chatting up the small female with his impressive tail – for it is summer and love is in the air.
The martins sip water from the dam as they fly over - on the veranda the greater striped swallows are flying back and forth – much chirping and chatting – feeding of young swallows now already chirping in the nest when they arrive with beaks full of tiny insects.
One of our iconic birds - the legendary Sagittarius Serpentarius – the secretary bird – can be seen striding through the fields and valleys of the Eastern Highlands and seen frequently at Spitskop. The secretary bird is the only member of its family and roams across sub-Saharan Africa – and is found nowhere else on earth. Tragically there has been a drastic population decline – some 75% in South Africa and worse further afield – and the secretary bird has been uplifted to Endangered by the IUCN in 2020 – signifying there is a very real risk that this iconic bird could become extinct if real intention to save it is not heeded. We are therefore aware how privileged we are to see these birds regularly. We were even more privileged have managed to save - heal and release one of these magnificent birds last year.
We have also prepared a Birding Route which guides our birders to local dams, pans and wetlands where birders will have the opportunity to see additional species and enjoy the scenic Eastern Highlands views.
We have three Family Self Catering Cottages and two smaller luxury cottages that take 2 people – so we can host groups of some 18 people sharing @ Amohela ho Spitskop. All cottages are well equipped for self catering – and there are weber braais at each cottage.
With thanks to Renata Lotz for use of her superb bird pictures - thanks to Allen Jones secretary bird picture.