Morukuru Ocean House and Morukuru Beach Lodge offer guests a unique opportunity to see the rare Cape Vulture in its natural habitat. The chance to hike the Potberg trail, which is in the Eastern part of the nature reserve, and view Cape Vultures in their only remaining breeding colony is not for the fainthearted. You will need adequate walking shoes and moderate fitness to be able to achieve the summit and record your sighting of this endangered species. Cape Vultures are massive birds and they have a wingspan close to two and a half metres. If you are lucky enough to get close enough you can actually hear the wind rushing under their wings as they fly above. It is a brilliant activity and involves a scenic 50-minute drive from the lodge (which is split in 25 minutes from the lodge to Opstal and then another 25 minutes from Opstal to Potberg Mountains). The excursion starts from the Opstal reception.
The 45 minute hike is undertaken with the supervision of a professional guide who explains more about rare fynbos species, wildlife and of course the vultures. From the trail, you can enjoy unparalleled views over the ocean and dune fields of De Hoop.
Once you reach the vulture deck you can see vultures circling in the sky. The steep Potberg Mountains provide the perfect habitat for the Cape Vultures who have taken sanctuary in a deep gorge where they roost. The mountains are also home to the Peregrine Falcon, Verreaux’s Eagle, the Jackal Buzzard and the Rock Kestrel. You might spot a Black Harrier in the nearby fynbos or a Martial Eagle above.
The Cape Vulture had been nearly wiped out due to the destruction of their natural habitat, an increase in farming, as well as poisoning. Conservation efforts over the past ten years mean this colony has grown from 100 vultures to about 200. The Morukuru Goodwill Foundation is firmly committed to conservation and is involved with a number of ongoing projects. This chance to witness the endangered Cape Vulture is one way in which we can share our environmental philosophy and our appreciation of nature.