Now that you’re planning a trip to South Africa, you should know you’re about to enter a country that’s home to an impressive collection of colorful birds. You could go to several national parks to try your hand at spotting the birds, but we recommend consulting birding professionals who will show you the top hangouts for these exotic, feathering friends. Whether you’re looking for predatory birds or delicate songbirds, South Africa has it everything to fulfill your birding adventure. It’s time to dust off the binoculars, here are 5 fantastic birding tours to take in South Africa.
Go big or go home. At Tropical Birding, visitors will get some serious birding time since they’ll join a two-week long tour that departs from Cape Town, travels all throughout the country before making a final stop in Drakensberg. Guides say to expect to find up to 400 species of birds on this tour. The package includes nightly stays at hotesl and visits to multiple nature areas like De Hoop Nature Reserve, Swartberg Mountains, Karoo National Park, Kruger National Park and more. During the birding expedition, guests will also view large mammals like lions, zebras, antelopes, crocodiles, hippos and many more.
Join a skilled birding guide through Birding Africa that offers various packages and themed walks. The tours last anywhere from four to 17 days (depending on your package) and each trip is a different itinerary such as Kruger, Lesotho, Drakensberg and Zululand. Guesthouses and lodges are reserved and carefully selected by the guides for guests to comfortably stay overnight during their few day long adventure. For those who wish to have their own private guided tour instead of tagging along in a group, consult with Birding Africa and arrange your own private itinerary for the family.
Get the total package that lasts for a week or two through Field Guides, where birders will have their own nighttime accommodations reserved for them as well as having all their meals provided for by the tour company. Each itinerary is carefully planned out in advance and has a limited space available for guests (meaning you’ll have to book your spot as soon as possible). The tours are planned around the seasons and the areas the birds are frequently seen in. Experts will lead the tour through various hot spots for birding and give lessons on each species of birds, wildlife and plants, as well as answer any questions regarding the birds.
WINGS Birding Tours
Another fantastic company to reserve your space is through WINGS Birding Tour, where there are several scheduled itineraries months in advance in various locations. Among the places the tour frequents include the Kalahari Desert, Cape of Good Hope, Orange River, Cederberg Mountains and more. Birders will not need to burden themselves with finding a place to stay overnight, the touring company will take care of that for them. Each group has a limit of no more than 12 people, so it’s suggested to reserve for your family as fast as you can to secure your place.
Brian’s Birding Tour
Not everyone has the time to commit to a two-week long birding tour and that’s where Brian’s Birding Tour comes in handy. Tour guide Brian Vanderwalt offers day trips in the Cape Peninsula where he’ll take you to locations to scout for yellow canary, cape clapper lark, black and marsh harrier, cape penduline tit, sickle-winged chat and dozens of others. Brian has been birding for more than 45 years and is not only an expert in birding, but also local rock art, bushmen culture, plants and insects which he will gladly narrate on the tour. However, for those who wish to still use Brian’s expertise and commit to a longer time frame, you can opt to camp overnight for up to five days in various locations.