BIRDING TOURS IN SOUTHERN AFRICA

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BIRDING TOURS IN SOUTHERN AFRICA:

BIRDING TOURS IN SOUTHERN AFRICA Birding in South Africa and the sub-region (especially Namibia, Botswana and Zambia) in perspective: this embraces an area of some 3,5 million square kilometers south of the Kunene and Zambezi river systems. It is home to over 950 species of which 103 are breeding endemics and 62 near endemics. Given the concentrated spectrum of no less than 9 distinct habitat types ranging from moist tropical conditions in the east to arid desert conditions in the west the wide diversity of species on offer is hardly surprising. As a composite destination South Africa, with its first world infrastructure of accommodation options and transport facilities, constitutes a jewel box of birding opportunity for visiting birders as each biome is systematically explored in the quest for new listings. Given the right time of year coupled to careful planning a three week guided trip could yield a return of over 500 species. This includes a South Atlantic pelagic trip for shearwaters, petrels and albatrosses that unquestionably ranks as one of the finest seabird viewing experiences in the world.

HABITAT MIX:

Listed from north east to south west the principal habitats with representative species highlighted are:

Lowland Forest

A narrow belt of forest in low-lying coastal regions along the east and southern coasts. Species include Rudd's Apalis, Woodward's Batis, Red-capped Robin-Chat, Lemon Dove, Grey Sunbird, Green Malkoha, Livingstone's Turaco, Trumpeter Hornbill, Green Twinspot and Lesser Cuckoo.

BIRDING TOURS IN SOUTHERN AFRICA
Green Twinspot

Moist Savanna

A composition of broad-leaved species occurring east of the Great Escarpment in areas of higher than average rainfall for the country. Species include White-throated Robin, Yellow-bellied Bulbul, White-browed Scrub Robin, Yellow-spotted Nicator, Gorgeous Bush Shrike, Purple-crested Turaco, Pel's Fishing Owl and Cape Robin Chat.

BIRDING TOURS IN SOUTHERN AFRICA
Cape Robin Chat

Arid Savanna

A mix of deciduous and typical thornveld with Acacia species dominating the mix within this semi-arid 'parkland' environment. Species include Rattling Cisticola, Grey-backed Camaroptera, Kalahari Scrub Robin, Pearl-spotted Owl, Lilac-breasted Roller, Grey Turaco, Crested Francolin, Southern Yellow-billed Hornbill, Verreaux's Eagle Owl, Brown Snake Eagle, Secretary Bird and Crimson-breasted Shrike.

BIRDING TOURS IN SOUTHERN AFRICA
Secretary Bird

Montane Forests

A scattered mix of relic forest patches of evergreen species found mainly at higher altitudes in protected valleys and ravines along the eastern escarpment. Species include Yellow-throated Woodland Warbler, Blue-mantled Crested Flycatcher, Olive Woodpecker, Black-fronted Bush Shrike, Orange Thrush, Narina Trogon, Grey-headed Parrot, Crowned Eagle, Lesser Double-collared Sunbird and Bar-throated Apalis.

BIRDING TOURS IN SOUTHERN AFRICA
Lesser Double-collared Sunbird

Grassland

A treeless region in the high-lying central interior known as the 'high-veld' that encompasses open plains and alpine grasslands. Typical species include Cloud Cisticola, Rudd's Lark, Ant-eating Chat, Orange-throated Longclaw, Sentinel Rock Thrush, Yellow-breasted Pipit, Greywing Francolin, Crowned Lapwing, Blue Korhaan, Denham's Bustard, Blue Crane, Bald Ibis and Ground Woodpecker.

BIRDING TOURS IN SOUTHERN AFRICA
Ground Woodpecker

'Fynbos'

A floristically rich biome that extends along the southern and western part of the sub-region. Characteristic species include Restio, Erica and Protea. Compositions in turn form shrublands that include mountain fynbos, coastal fynbos, renosterveld and strandveld. Species include Victorin's Warbler, Neddicky, Grassbird, Orange-bellied Sunbird, Cape Sugarbird, Protea Canary, Cape Siskin and Cape Rockjumper.

BIRDING TOURS IN SOUTHERN AFRICA
Cape Sugarbird

Karoo

A mix of succulent plant species in low rainfall areas lying within the rain shadow of the Southern Cape mountains as well as semi-desert plant species adapted over time to the environmental hardships of the arid interior. Species include Namaqua Prinia, Karoo Eremomela, Cinnamon-breasted Warbler, Karoo Chat, Chestnut-vented Tit Babbler, Karoo Lark, Double-banded Courser, Namaqua Sandgrouse, Karoo Korhaan and Pale Chanting Goshawk.

BIRDING TOURS IN SOUTHERN AFRICA
Pale Chanting Goshawk

Namib Desert

A north-south strip of desert along the Namibian coast characterized by extremely low rainfall and open alluvial gravel plains and sand dunes. Species include Trac Trac Chat, Gray's Lark, Herero Chat, Dune Lark, Sociable Weaver, Red-necked Falcon, Ruppell's Korhaan, Ludwig's Bustard, Lappet-faced Vulture, Pygmy Falcon and Burchell's Courser.

BIRDING TOURS IN SOUTHERN AFRICA
Pygmy Falcon

Wetlands and Oceans

A broad mix of wetlands exist throughout the country ranging from natural lakes, artificial water bodies, marshlands, floodplains, rivers, estuaries and the plankton rich Atlantic Ocean off Cape Town. Species include a wide range of waterfowl and shorebirds as well as an astounding mix in both variety and number of pelagic seabirds.

BIRDING TOURS IN SOUTHERN AFRICA
African Penguin
 

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