Witsand Nature Reserve

Witsand Nature Reserveis one of the Northern Cape eco-destinations. It is a scenic park, teeming with bird life, including the Namaqua sandgrouse, sociable weaver and Africa's smallest raptor - the pygmy falcon.

Enjoy the sensual, flowing white dunes - amazing twenty to sixty metres high - surrounded by copper-red Kalahari sand, Acacia woodland and the Langberg Mountain range. Under the right conditions, these dunes utter an eerie rumble when disturbed. Although the dune vegetation is generally-speaking sparse, it is complex and not easy to identify the different plant communities. On the plains surrounding the dunes, the vegetation is characteristically Kalahari Thornveld invaded by Karoo-type vegetation.

More than 170 species of Birds:

Witsand offers an interesting combination of arid region and bushveld birds to keep from the complete novice to the compulsive twitcher happy. We have a well positioned sunken bird-hide from where one can watch birds (particularly Sandgrouse) and game at their level coming to drink at a waterpoint just a few metres away. The hide has proven to be a great asset to the reserve.

The most significant birds are:

» Pygmy Falcon (Africa’s smallest raptor)
» Sociable Weavers (with their huge nests)
» Kori Bustard (biggest flying bird in Africa)
» Secretary Bird
» Crimson-Breasted Boubou or Shrike
» Lilac-Breasted Roller and three species of Sandgrouse

Gemsbok, red hartebeest, springbok, duiker and steenbok are abundant on the reserve and a small herd of kudu has established itself as well. Some particularly rare and interesting species, such as pangolin and aardvark occur on the reserve, and the visitor to Witsand can never be sure of what to see!

Many species show adaptations typical of species living in hot desert environments. This is particularly true of the many beetles and other insects found in the dunes.

Wildlife to spot in the daytime: Springbok, Common Duiker, Steenbok, Gemsbok (Oryx), Red Hartebeest, Ground Squirrels and Suricate (Meerkat)

Wildlife to spot at night: Ground Pangolin, Porcupine, Aardvark, Aardwolf, Bat-eared Fox, Cape Fox, Genet, Spring Hare and Owls