Looking for a Drakensberg vulture hide? There are a number of vulture hides that have been erected at suitable vulture restaurants in the Drakensberg Mountains. These vulture hides have been built to enable researchers, volunteers, photographers and the general public to get close to these treasured birds without disturbing them.
These vulture hides add significant eco-tourism value to the protected areas of the Drakensberg region.
These vulture hides and feeding sites enable volunteers to get actively involved by visiting hides, carrying out monitoring and reporting work, and thereby contributing to the conservation of the species. They also provide ideal facilities for ongoing monitoring for research projects.
For more information on visiting a hide contact the following: Note that booking is essential.
Drakensberg vulture hide directory
- The Giant’s Castle Lammergeier hide has produced some of the best images of these birds anywhere in the world, including the Swiss Alps and Spain. The situation is magnificent, with the broken ridges of the Drakensberg providing the backdrop. Reservations of the hide with Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife Central Reservations 033 845 1000
- Golden Gate vulture hide – The hide is located on the Oribi Loop which starts 26km’s into the drive from Clarens. The path to the Vulture’s Restaurant will await you after 3km’s. Be on the lookout for a path leading over the mountain and parking space on your left hand side. The short 5min walk along the path will lead you straight to the lookout point. The very neat and functional bird hide will provide hours of entertainment – given that there is fresh carcasses of course. If you are lucky, the Cape Vulture and the endangered Bearded Vulture can be seen scavenging; a sight that will leave you breathless. Reservations of the hide are made at Glen Reenen Camp 058 255 0909
Vultures in the Drakensberg
- The Bearded Vulture is an integral component of the environment, performing an essential ecological role as a scavenger. They are an economical way of disposing of carcasses and in doing so they limit the spread of disease. The Bearded Vulture is a spectacular sight in its own right and plays a role in generating tourism revenue. Apart from its aesthetic value, the Bearded Vulture also has spiritual and cultural values in that they have played a role in many cultures over the centuries, for example ancient Egyptians, Buddhists. Bearded Vultures are an important part of the natural ecosystem and national heritage that need to be protected for future generations. The bearded vulture or Lammergeier is most famous for its method of dropping bones from a height and once broken these vultures eat the marrow inside. The bearded vulture is one of the shyest of vultures, and lives a mostly solitary existence, on remote mountains and cliff faces.
- The Cape Vulture is southern Africa’s only endemic vulture species, and has recently been uplisted to ‘endangered’. The species breeds in South Africa, Lesotho, Botswana and Mozambique. Cape Vultures formerly bred in Swaziland, Zimbabwe and Namibia, but it is now extinct in Swaziland, with only small, non-breeding populations remaining in Zimbabwe and Namibia. The southern African population is listed at 2900 breeding pairs, of which approximately 1450 reside in the Maloti-Drakensberg mountains- about 20% of the population. Cape vultures live in colonies of up to 1000 breeding pairs, and despite large extended families they are loyal to one partner. They have a potential lifespan of over 30 years.