1. Twee Rivieren
Gravel road - 180km
This road in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park
follows the ephemeral (occasionally flowing) Nossob
River. It is generally suitable for saloon cars
except after heavy summer rainfall.
The raptors are mainly observed in the
river's magnificent camelthorn Acacia eriolaba
trees, in which they roost and breed. During summer,
with the arrival of migratory raptors and the
emergence of highly nutritious termite alates, it is
uncommon to see a raptor in almost every tree
along some sections of the riverbed. You will be
astounded by the number of Southern Pale Chanting
Goshawk, Lanner Falcon, Black-shouldered Kite, Tawny
Eagle and Bateleur. Four species of
several species of
present in the Park.
generally good places to observe large raptors,
particularly Bateleurs and Secretary Birds.
2. Vanzylsrus to Andriesvale
Gravel road - 160km
This route runs parallel with the Botswana
border and the ephemeral Molopo River. It is only
suitable for four-wheel drive vehicles.
3. Vanzylsrus to Askham
Gravel road - 180km
This route follows the Kuruman River and may be
suitable for saloon cars except after heavy summer
The Camelthorn Trees provide habitat for many
species, making it one of the prime raptor-watching
routes in the Kalahari.
4. Upington to Andriesvale
Mainly gravel road - 220km
Not the most direct route from Upington to the
Park, but highly recommended for raptor
Leaving the tarred road 36km north of Upington,
the gravel road first follows the dry Molopo River
and then the Namibian border.
5. Upington to Andriesvale
Tarred road - 180km
This route crosses the southern Kalahari in an
area characterised by parallel sand dunes, ephemeral
salt pans and an interesting diversity of plants and
6. Upington to Augrabies Falls
Mainly tarred road - 110km
route passes through the heart of the Orange River
grape-growing area, making much of it unsuitable for
The gravel road in
Augrabies Falls National Park (suitable for
saloon cars) is one of the best places in the
Northern Cape to
see Verreaux's (Black) Eagle, Booted Eagle and
7. Upington to Olifantshoek
Tarred road - 170km
road crosses typical southern Kalahari dune
veld. Southern Pale Chanting Goshawks,
Jackal Buzzard and Common Buzzards are often
perched on telegraph poles, while pairs of
Secretary Birds walk in the veld in search
of their reptilian prey.
8. Rooiberg circular route
Tarred and gravel road - 140km
This is a circular route around Rooiberg
(Asbestos Mountain) passing through
Griekwastad, Niekerkshoop and Volop.
It provides and excellent opportunity to
see Verreaux's (Black) Eagle and many of the
smaller raptor species, such as Common and
9. Volop to Olifantshoek
Gravel road - 140km
This gravel road, with a relatively easy
crossing through the Koedoesnek Pass in the
Langberg Mountain, can be very slipper
following heavy summer rainfall.
are many Sociable Weaver nests, so look out
for Pygmy Falcon.
The route passes by Witsand Nature
Reserve which provides excellent
accommodation (self-catering chalets).
10. Olifantshoek to Kathu
Mainly gravel road - 150km
This route, via Dedeben, is one of the
most picturesque roads in the Kalahari, with
spectacular views of the Langberg and
Korannaberg Mountains and the surrounding
Goshawk and Shikra are regularly
encountered, especially during early morning
when they are most active. Martial Eagle and
Brown Snake Eagle are relatively common and
Secretary Birds are often observed foraging
in the veld.
11. Vanzylsrus to Hotazel
Gravel road - 100km
this route, which goes via Sonstraal, you
are likely to see Black-breasted Snake
Eagle, Southern Pale Chanting Goshawk,
African White-backed Vulture and
12. Hotazel to Vanzylsrus
Gravel and tarred road - 130km
highly recommended route follows the Kuruman
River via Frylinckspan. It is one of the
most likely places in the Kalahari to find
the African Hawk Eagle, and Tawny Eagles and
Martial eagles are relatively common.
Text by Mark Anderson & Abrie Maritz,
extracted from the Kalahari Raptor Route
brochure available free from the
Northern Cape Tourism Authority.