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Accommodation nature Reserve
The Seringveld Conservancy, registered in 1997, includes some of the finest stands of broad-leafed woodland in Gauteng and boasts a requisite array of specials.
The Seringveld Conservancy is mostly mixed woodland with sour veld types on sandy soils. Broadleaved tree species predominate, with some beautiful stands of tall boekenhouts and Terminalias. The many rocky ridges and koppies in the area are covered with sparser vegetation dominated by Burkea africana. The Seringveld Conservancy is well-known for its broadleaved woodland specials. Seringveld Conservancy is the only place in Gauteng where tinkling cisticola can be found reliably.
Other specials include greencapped eremomela, mousecoloured flycatcher, bushveld, striped, and buffy pipits, lizard buzzard and cuckoo hawk. Whitebacked and knobbilled ducks frequent the small pans in the area.
The Seringveld Conservancy has few facilities offering accommodation. Sandra Maria and Eden Camp offer basic group facilities.
Adams Country Arms, located on the Kwa Mhlanga road, offers excellent breakfasts and lunches.
Call (012) 735 1994 or 735 1832 for reservations.
The following route will enable birders to get the most out of birding in the area (numbers refer to the accompanying map):
1. Good spot for lazy cisticolas, striped pipits and whitethroated robins.
2. The rocky ridge is a good place to look for both Cape and shorttoed rock thrush.
3. Good broadleaved woodland makes for interesting birding. Look out for tinkling cisticola, easily located by its call, two species of eremomela, striped kingfishers, mousecoloured and black flycatchers, bushveld pipit, black cuckooshrike, and plenty of African cuckoos in summer.
4. Fawncoloured, rufousnaped, Sabota, flappet, and even melodious lark occur. Coqui francolin and buttonquail may be seen at the roadside. Also watch for rollers, pearlbreasted swallows and various bee-eaters.
5. The grassland along the De Wagendrift road offers the best chance of seeing longtailed widow and other grassland species. Secretarybirds are encountered in the area.
6. Adams Country Arms is an excellent option for lunch. Watch the roadside telephone poles for lizard buzzard, and keep an eye on the cellphone tower for the regular brown snake eagle.
7. A walk around the back of Kloof Shop is sure to turn up mocking chat. Green pigeon, Klaas's cuckoo, striped pipit, barchested apalis and lazy cisticola also occur.
8. and 9. Lovely bushveld pans, with a good chance of whitebacked and knobbilled duck, jacana, African rail and redchested flufftail if water conditions are right. There is a colony of cliff swallows at Boekenhoutskloof. Call Pete Irons (808 1764) to arrange access.
One reaches the southeastern corner of the Seringveld Conservancy by continuing on the KwaMhlanga road from Roodeplaat to the first turnoff to the right after the dam wall, signposted simply "Skoolpad". At the other end of this road one rejoins the tar, turning right at the T junction. From here there are various options to explore the area, which lies on the left of this road.
The conservancy is reached by taking the Zambezi Drive offramp off the N1, turning right towards Cullinan (R513), and then left at the Kameelfontein turning. This brings you to the eastern reaches of Roodeplaat Dam, which is worth a stop to scan around for waterbirds. The Seringveld proper begins some 6 or 7km further on, at the “Bynespoort” turnoff.
Pete Irons can be contacted for more information:
Tel. (012) 808 1764.
Tel. (h) 012 808 5432
Tel. (w) 012 529 8019
Cell: 072 290 6355
Be prepared for poorly maintained dirt roads.
Please remember that all of the land in the conservancy is privately owned, and that the goodwill of landowners is an important part of good birding.