South Africa is one of the best countries in the world for bird watching. It has many excellent and varied birding spots where almost a 1000 species call home. Typically, the birds are easy to find, and more than 600 species can be seen during a 3-week trip. South Africa’s thick forests, scrubby bushveld, rugged mountains, deep valleys, unceasing savannahs, and lengthy coastlines share one common trait; they all provide prime habitats for an inordinate variety of eye catching birds. These birds are varied, diverse and promise exquisite displays and captivating antics as they enjoy the unspoilt loveliness of South Africa.
The extensive coastline and scenic lagoons of South Africa allow you to spot numerous marine birds. Along the West coast one finds flocks of flamingo, pelican, the southernmost colony of endangered Cape gannet and rare African penguin.
The Drakensberg, a world heritage site, is the highest mountain range in Southern Africa, here look out for the jackal buzzard, Cape eagle-owl, bearded vulture, fish eagle and martial eagle. ,
On the east coast of Kwa Zulu Natal we have Ndumo Game Reserve, best known for the highest bird count in Africa. Close by is Tembe Elephant Park and iSimangaliso Wetland Park, all 3 are home to 590 species, including the rare Pel’s fishing owl. These parks are utterly paradisical and deserve a visit.
For hard core twitchers that prefer an authentic bush experience, there are plenty ideal bird watching spots in South Africa. Many reserves offer bird watching trips into the bushveld, savannah and wetlands. September to April is when the bird population in the Kruger National Park multiples by 220 migrant species that fly south from Africa, Europe and Eurasia.
The pretty town of Hogsback in the Eastern Cape is a perfect setting for bird watching. Birding here takes place mostly in the indigenous forests, you can get really close to such exquisite birds like the forest canary, Knysna lourie and rare Cape parrot, the only parrot species found in South Africa.
South Africa isn’t short of places to bird watch, they include comfortable bird hides on watering holes, the largest free flight aviary in the world, indigenous forests, coastal regions, vast expanses of grassland, savanna, deserts, arid regions, rivers and estuaries. South Africa ranks in the top 5 world-class bird watching destinations, set against breath-taking scenery.
The art of seeing the “lifer” or finding that elusive bird is knowing its’ surroundings.
We work with the most dedicated ornithologists in South Africa.
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Please contact me if you would like more information about the Kruger National Park Southern African.
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