The first-ever Wittedrift Birding Festival will take place in Plett on South Africa’s picturesque Garden Route in October.
Wittedrift is an area of outstanding natural beauty and is home to 180 species of birdlife, including the blue crane, fish eagle, jackal buzzard, Denham’s bustard, Cape batis, Knysna turaco, and brown-hooded, pied, giant and malachite kingfishers.
The quiet village lies at the centre of one of South Africa’s best ecotourism regions and is just a few kilometres from the famous beaches and tourist attractions of Plettenberg Bay in the Western Cape. The Birding Festival came into being through a grant from the Table Mountain Fund, and will be supported by the Nature’s Valley Trust and BirdLife Plett.
Led by qualified guides, visitors can enjoy nine different bird-watching trails, by car, on foot and even on horseback. Activities include a bird-ringing demonstration by the Nature’s Valley Trust and evening dinner lectures by leading bird-watching authorities, including renowned experts Dr Mark Brown of the Nature’s Valley Trust and Mike Bridgeford of BirdLife Plett.
“The Wittedrift Birding Festival offers an exciting opportunity for birdwatchers to see an abundance of birdlife in an unspoilt and tranquil environment,” said Peter Rae, the event organiser. “The Wittedrift community is confident of delivering a memorable experience for overseas and local bird-watchers in a beautiful area. Our lecturers and guides will add an extra dimension to the festival, and we expect visitors to take advantage of all the local attractions at off-season rates.
“Wittedrift is one of the best-kept secrets on the Garden Route and the area offers a mild climate as well as a wide range of accommodation. In addition to bird-watching, visitors can hike, follow running and horse-riding trails through the bush and forest, take a game drive, try canoeing and paddle-boarding, enjoy a family picnic or enjoy the local beaches and restaurants.”
About the Table Mountain Foundation
Launched by Sir Edmund Hillary, The Table Mountain Fund is a capital Conservation Trust Fund that develops and funds projects to protect and restore the world-famous natural heritage of the Cape, known as the Fynbos. To date, The Table Mountain Fund has invested more than R70 million in over 300 projects. These projects range from purchasing important conservation land and engaging landowners in sustainable land management, to funding applied research, and supporting civil society to carry out innovative conservation projects in high value conservation areas.
About the Nature’s Valley Trust
Launched in December 2000 as a community initiative, the Nature’s Valley Trust aims to maintain the long term environmental integrity of Nature’s Valley and surrounds by becoming proactively involved in issues that impact on the future of the area. Among its objectives are to promote the principles that underpin applicable environmental policy and legislation, develop an outreach programme with neighbouring communities, develop conservation and research projects and promote an active, mobilised and aware community.