South Africa
beauty, you'll never forget

The Blue Crane Route, along the R63, will take you through three beautiful Karoo towns in the Eastern Cape, Pearston, Somerset East and Cookhouse. The route is named after the South African national bird, the Blue Crane and runs a length of approx 73 kilometres.

This is bird watching country, literally, as it comes as no surprise that about 350 species of birds occur in the Blue Crane Route area.  This makes it one of the richest areas for birding in the Eastern Cape, and possibly the most diverse in the country. The area boasts all three mouse-birds, all three yellow-vented bulbuls and all three bustards and the mountain plateaus harbour special birds such as the Verreaux's Eagle, Cape Eagle-owl and the Wing-snapping Cisticola. The Blue Crane Tourism Office has a check list available for tourist visiting the area.

Somerset East is the heart of this route, not only because of its’ geographical location, but also because it has the most attractions and activities to offer. Somerset East can offer its visitors some noteworthy historic sites and buildings. The whole route offers its travellers history museums, art museums, ghost stories as well as fishing, hiking, mountain biking and quaint coffee shops and cafés with friendly locals.

Things to do and see

  • Bosberg Nature Reserve
  • Bird Watching
  • Hiking & Walking Trails
  • MTB & 4X4 Trails
  • Somerset East Museum
  • Slachter’s Nek Monument
  • Walter Battiss Art Museum
  • Bruitjieshoogte Pass
  • Glen Avon Waterfall
  • Fishing Spots
  • Cookhouse Wind Farm

Admission

Free Self Drive Route

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