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The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa

Bontebok National Park

Afrikaans name: Bontebok Nasionale Park

A Bontebok with a youngster

Bontebok National Park

Photo © Duncan Noakes -

Western Cape

In 1931 the number of Bontebok left was perilously low and it looked like this beautiful antelope may face extinction. The initial population of the reserve, which was located in a different area, was just 17.

During the 1960's the population had increased but they started declining because of worms and mineral deficiencies. A new location was found for the park was found and it was populated with 61 animals. Today the worldwide population is close to 3,000. Only 200 of these are kept in the Bontebok National Park.

Other mammals to be seen in the park include Grey Rhebok, Cape Grysbok, Cape Mountain Zebra and Red Hartebeest. The bird checklist is over 200 species. Here is a bird checklist.

Accommodation options are chalets at Lang Elsie's Kraal Rest Camp and caravan and camping sites near the Breede River. One can also stay in the town of Swellendam which is only 6 km away.

Checklist of some of the birds to be seen at Bontebok National Park

Helmeted Guineafowl

Egyptian Goose

Spur-winged Goose

African Black Duck

Yellow-billed Duck

Lesser Honeyguide

Cardinal Woodpecker

African Hoopoe

Malachite Kingfisher

Brown-hooded Kingfisher

Pied Kingfisher

European Bee-eater

Speckled Mousebird

Red-faced Mousebird

Diderick Cuckoo

Burchell's Coucal

Spotted Eagle-Owl

Speckled Pigeon

Laughing Dove

Cape Turtle-Dove

Red-eyed Dove

Tambourine Dove

Southern Black Korhaan

Blue Crane

Namaqua Sandgrouse

Spotted Thick-knee

Three-banded Plover

Blacksmith Lapwing

Crowned Lapwing

Black-shouldered Kite

African Fish-Eagle

African Marsh-Harrier

African Goshawk

Black Sparrowhawk

Steppe Buzzard

Jackal Buzzard

Martial Eagle


Lanner Falcon

Reed Cormorant

Grey Heron

Black-headed Heron

Purple Heron

Cattle Egret


Hadeda Ibis

White Stork

Fork-tailed Drongo

Southern Boubou


Pied Crow

White-necked Raven

Common Fiscal

Brown-throated Martin

Barn Swallow

White-throated Swallow

Sombre Greenbul

Long-billed Crombec

Cape White-eye

Levaillant's Cisticola

Fiscal Flycatcher

Spotted Flycatcher

African Stonechat

Red-winged Starling

Pied Starling

Southern Masked-Weaver

Southern Red Bishop

Common Waxbill

Pin-tailed Whydah

House Sparrow

Cape Sparrow

Cape Wagtail

Cape Longclaw

African Pipit

Mammals of Bontebok National Park

Please note that this is only a guide and, while we have made every effort to be accurate, we can't be held responsible for any errors.


Antbear / Aardvark

Bat-eared Fox

Black-footed Cat


Cape Clawless Otter

Cape Fox

Cape Grysbok

Cape Hare

Cape Mountain Zebra


Chacma Baboon

Common Duiker

Grey Rhebuck

Large-spotted Genet

Mountain Reedbuck

Rock Hyrax

Scrub Hare



Striped Polecat

Tree Squirrel


References and further reading

A - Z of South African National Parks - Author: South African National Parks - Year Published: - Page: 14

Atlas of National Parks and Reserves of South Africa - Author: Marielle Renssen - Year Published: 2006 - Page: 38

Chris and Tilde Stuart's Guide to Southern African Game and Nature Reserves - Author: Chris and Tilde Stuart - Year Published: 1989 - Page: 216

Conolly's Guide to Southern Africa - Author: Denis Conolly - Year Published: 1982 - Page: 94

Country Life - Issue 177 - Author: - Year Published: 2011 - Page: 58

Country Life - Issue 228 - Author: - Year Published: 2015 - Page: 67

Country Life - Issue 246 - Author: - Year Published: 2017 - Page: 6

Essential Birding: Western South Africa - Author: Callan Cohen and Claire Spottiswoode - Year Published: 2000 - Page: 68

go! - Issue 135 - Author: - Year Published: 2017 - Page: 39

On Route - A region by region guide to South Africa - Author: B.P.J. Erasmus - Year Published: 1995 - Page: 59

Places to Visit in Southern Africa - Author: AA RSA - Year Published: 1995 - Page: 214

Reader's Digest Illustrated Guide to the Game Parks and Nature Reserves of Southern Africa - 2nd edi - Author: Editor - Alan Duggan - Year Published: 1991 - Page: 206

Reader's Digest Illustrated Guide to the Game Parks and Nature Reserves of Southern Africa - 2nd edi - Author: Editor - Alan Duggan - Year Published: 1991 - Page: 208

Southern Africa from the Highway - Author: AA RSA - Year Published: 1991 - Page: 319

The National Parks of South Africa - 2nd Edition - Author: Rene Gordon and Anthony Bannister - Year Published: 1987 - Page: 91

Top Birding Spots in Southern Africa - Author: Hugh Chittenden - Year Published: 1992 - Page: 383

Where to Watch Birds in Southern Africa - Author: A. Berruti and J.C. Sinclair - Year Published: 1983 - Page: 78

Wild Issue 20 - Author: - Year Published: 2012 - Page: 22

Wild Issue 29 - Author: - Year Published: 2014 - Page: 6

Wild Issue 32 - Author: - Year Published: 2015 - Page: 75

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