Pofadder and the Koa Dunes Hot

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The arid north of South Africa is often overlooked as a top birding area and in most cases the town of Poffadder and its surroundings are quickly driven through en-route to the better known locations within the Kalahari. However, most of the Bushmanland birding specials may be found in this vicinity.

Turning south off the tar road at Agenhuys and following the gravel road through to Namies and onto Poffadder provides excellent birding opportunities with Sociable Weaver nests and their occasional attendant Pygmy Falcons being regular sightings along the route. A detour to the Koa Dune field is probably the best location in South Africa to view the endemic Red Lark. Karoo-Long Billed Lark, Sabota Lark, Starks Lark and Sclaters Lark can also be found along this route. Check the farm reservoirs for drinking Larklike Buntings, Grey-Backed Finch Larks, Black-Headed Canaries and Namaqua Sandgrouse. The Namies Mountains host Klipspringer, Rock Hyrax and Cinnamon-Breasted Warbler, while in the skies above, search for Bradfield’s Swift.



Best Time to Photograph
Given that this is a very hot area, dawn and dusk is when most birds are active and this is when the various lark species will make use of the farm fence posts to call and display.
Type of Photography
Best Time of Year
Throughout the year
Photographic Tips
Mid-morning and late afternoon is best spent waiting at an overflowing farm reservoir, as this is when large flocks of birds will come down to drink. At the Koa Dune field, drive slowly and repeatedly through the area as the Red Lark may not be initially visible. Dawn is best to find the various lark species displaying.
Recommended Gear
Birds are generally shy in this area and a large telephoto lens with tele-convertor is a must. Make use of a window mount or bean bag.


Season and Weather
Summer months can be extremely hot and afternoon thundershowers can be expected. Winter weather is more pleasant with cooler more stable temperatures.
Other Activities


Closest Town
Getting There
Pofadder is situated on the main route from Upington to Springbok and 60km from the Onseepkans border post to Namibia. The Koa Dunefield can be reached via the small towns of either Aggenhys or Namies along a gravel road.


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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.
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.