Wakkerstroom Hot

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One of the top birding destinations in South Africa, Wakkerstroom lies in the grasslands region of South Africa and boasts a high species diversity. This is a bird photography paradise.

Wetlands scattered through the area attract large numbers of aquatic birds including the Grey Crowned Crane, while the grasslands provide habitat for several species of larks, pipits, Bald Ibis and Blue Korhaan. Birding can be carried out throughout the area along the network of farm roads.

Photography

Best Time to Photograph
Summer and spring months are the best times to photograph as this is when maximum bird numbers including migrating species occur. Many birds are also breeding at this time. Early morning at first light is best for bird watching as this is when most species are very active.
Type of Photography
Birding
Best Time of Year
  • Summer
  • Spring
Photographic Tips
The bridge over the Wakkerstroom wetland is a good locality to search for water bird species while slowly driving the farm roads at dawn is the most productive for the lark, pipits and Korhaans.
Recommended Gear
Telephoto lenses are a must and it is best to drive with a window mount or bean bag in place for quick response while driving.

Highlights

Site Highlights
The bridge over the Wakkerstroom wetland
The roads leading to Amersfort, Piet Rietief and Utrecht

Footnotes

Season and Weather
Wakkerstroom falls within the summer rainfall area with hot to very hot summers and mild winters. The highveld areas can become very cold in winter
Other Activities
Bird Watching

Location

Closest Town
Getting There
From Johannesburg, follow the R17 until the T-Junction that leads to Standerton. At Standerton follow the signs to Newcastle and Volksrust. Just as you enter Volksrust, turn left to Wakkerstroom.
Address
Wakkerstroom

Map

Swap Start/End

User comments

Comments
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Hello,

I have just come back from a weekend in Wakkerstroom. What a pleasant little town. It was bitterly cold and frosty but the people were warm and friendly. I did not get much in the way of birds but loved the landscape / mist and eerie feel to it all early in the mornings. I was up and out by 5:45 driving out on the farm roads. Frost and mist everywhere. Especially in the valleys of which there are many in the area. Seeing the cattle, sheep and horses facing the freezing cold out in the grasslands. It got to -5 degrees which is not so bad according to the locals, as it can get to -14 degrees. But hey, it still felt a bit chilly to me. I got to see some otters in the freezing water lots of water birds and some nice raptors. Had a lekker few beers at the old Wakkerstroom station while watching the ruggers. And my accommodation was top class. Warm fireplace. Well maintained and furnished rooms with very friendly hosts. I would highly recommend the Wetlands Country Inn & Sheds. I shall definitely be back to see whats its like in summer but its still beautiful in winter and I tried to make the dull winter look good. I hope some of my pics did this. Thanks to African Conservation Photodestination and Peter Chadwick for bringing Wakkerstroom to my attention. Where to next... ?
Commented by Mark June 27, 2016

Wakkerstroom trip

Hello,

I have just come back from a weekend in Wakkerstroom. What a pleasant little town. It was bitterly cold and frosty but the people were warm and friendly. I did not get much in the way of birds but loved the landscape / mist and eerie feel to it all early in the mornings. I was up and out by 5:45 driving out on the farm roads. Frost and mist everywhere. Especially in the valleys of which there are many in the area. Seeing the cattle, sheep and horses facing the freezing cold out in the grasslands. It got to -5 degrees which is not so bad according to the locals, as it can get to -14 degrees. But hey, it still felt a bit chilly to me. I got to see some otters in the freezing water lots of water birds and some nice raptors. Had a lekker few beers at the old Wakkerstroom station while watching the ruggers. And my accommodation was top class. Warm fireplace. Well maintained and furnished rooms with very friendly hosts. I would highly recommend the Wetlands Country Inn & Sheds. I shall definitely be back to see whats its like in summer but its still beautiful in winter and I tried to make the dull winter look good. I hope some of my pics did this. Thanks to African Conservation Photodestination and Peter Chadwick for bringing Wakkerstroom to my attention. Where to next... ?

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Peter Chadwick
Author: Peter ChadwickWebsite: http://www.peterchadwick.co.zaEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
About
As a dedicated conservationist, Peter Chadwick has 30 years strategic and operational conservation experience in terrestrial and marine protected area management. He has worked within all of the major biomes in southern Africa as well as having provided expert conservation advice at a global level. His conservation and wildlife photography is a natural extension to his conservation work where he has numerous opportunities to capture photographs that showcase the beauty and complexity of the outdoors. Peter’s photography is internationally recognized, with this work appearing globally in a wide range of print and electronic media.