Southern Africa Birding Tours & Safaris

Carmine Bee-Eaters

Southern Africa offers arguably some of the world's most exciting birding destinations. From the awe-inspiring Okavango Delta to the vast open spaces of the Namib and Kalahari deserts; from the wetlands and grasslands of Zambia to the bushveld of South Africa, there are nearly 950 species of which 150 are endemic or near-endemic. Birders from around the world come to see a great variety of African birds, as well as the many migrant species - annual visitors from other African countries, Arctic, Antarctica, Central Asia, China and Europe. Coupled with dramatic scenery and Big 5 game viewing, Southern African birding tours are truly a bird lover's paradise.

Birding Seasons and Destinations

South Africa:
The winter months (June - September) tend to be dry throughout most of the country, although wet around the Cape. Excellent birding can be had in the dry bushveld and lowveld areas of the northeast, and pelagic trips from Cape Town offer opportunities to see large numbers of shearwaters, petrels and albatrosses.

Breeding migrants arrive in the spring, and non-breeding migrants reach our shores by early summer. Birding reaches its peak during the summer months (November - March).

Excellent birding routes and facilities exist.

The Cape Birding Route offers pelagic trips as well as superb waders and endemics attracted to the fynbos. The route includes Table Mountain National Park, the West Coast National Park, De Hoop Nature Reserve, Wilderness National Park and Tsitsikamma National Park.

The Zululand Birding Route is centered at Eshowe. The diverse habitats of forests, marshes, acacia woodlands, tidal estuaries and freshwater lagoons supports a vast array of species, including the palmnut vulture, the Green barbet (Woodward's), the African broadbill, Eastern Bronze-naped pigeon (Delegorgue's), Rudd's apalis and the southern banded snake eagle.

Many birding tours of South Africa also visit Wakkerstroom, in the central grasslands, close to the state borders of Mpumalanga, the Free State and KwaZulu-Natal. The area supports a large number of grassland and wetland species including Stanley's bustard, blue, grey, crowned and wattled cranes, Rudd's and Botha's larks and the southern bald ibis.

The "Green Season" months of November - May offer superb birding opportunities throughout the country. Migratory birds include storks, Angola pita and cuckoos. Peak breeding months are January - March, when trees are heavy with the nests of the weavers, herons and storks.

Superb birding destinations include South Luangwa National Park, Lochinvar National Park (more than 400 species, particularly waders) and Lower Zambezi National Park.

Fish Eagle Safaris organizes custom-made birding tours and safaris for small groups of between 2 -14 people. Our birding safaris may be guided, or you may prefer a self-drive option. Clients enjoying privately guided tours, will be accompanied by one of our experienced ornithological guides - specially selected according to the region in which your tour is to take place. Self drive tours and safaris are becoming increasingly popular as they allow you to experience the beauty and wildlife of Southern Africa independently and at your own pace. For your specialized birding safari we can recommend specific birding locations, and put you in contact with local guides at these destinations, to enhance your birding experience.

For your specialized Southern African birding tour or safari we can recommend specific birding locations, and put you in contact with local guides at these destinations, to enhance your birding experience.


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