Birding tours from Cape Town to Cameroon and Madagascar, with the only African Birding Specialist

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Rosy Bee-eater on a Birding Africa tour © John CaddickAfrican River Martins on a Birding Africa tour © Callan Cohen

Gabon Birding Tours

Gabon offers some of the most exciting lowland forest birding on the continent, with extensive tracts of intact forest and healthy mammals populations remaining. However, the coastal savannas offer the top birding spectacle, with tens of thousands of African River Martins and Rosy Bee-eaters congregating there to breed; out tour is timed to coincide with this spectacular event.

We have seen Black Guineafowl, Plumed Guineafowl, Latham's Forest Francolin, Congo Serpent Eagle, Long-tailed Hawk, Gabon Helmetshrike, Black-headed Bee-eater, Rosy Bee-eater, Yellow-throated Cuckoo and African River Martin all on a single tour! Have a look at our trip reports for more details.

Our tour offers you the chance to bird in lowlands forests, moist savannas, miombo woodlands, plateau and coastal grasslands, and coastal lakes. While we focus on birds we also have a chance to see some spectacular mammals, including forest elephant, red river hog and forest buffalo, and there are even chances to see western gorilla, chimpanzee and mandrill.

During our tour we focus on four key sites:

(i) Lopè National Park, which offers a forest/savannah mosaic holding specials such as Bates's Nightjar, Bates's Swift, Dja River Warbler, Violet-tailed Sunbird and Lyre-tailed Honeyguide.

(ii) Ipassa Strict Nature Reserve in the Ivindo National Park, which offers superb forest birding. Highlights could include Black Guineafowl, African Piculet, Gabon Batis and Rachel's Malimbe.

(iii) Lèkoni grasslands on the Bateke Plateau, with a wealth of grassland and miombo woodland birds: Black-headed Bee-eater, Congo Moor Chat, Finsch's Francolin and Black-chinned Weaver.

(iv) the exciting Gamba Protected Areas Complex, where coastline meets grassland, forest, rivers and lakes. Specials include Loango Weaver, Rosy Bee-eater, African River Martin and more.

Click here for practical tour information.

Featured Leader: Michael Mills

Michael Mills grew up "in the bush" in the Kalahari and Kruger National Parks where his parents were carnivore researchers. His incredible focus, dedication and ability to locate and show people Africa's toughest birds is probably unequalled on the continent.

Michael has led dozens of tours in Southern, East, Central, West and North Africa and his experience in locating birds on just the softest of calls or briefest of views impresses those who have travelled with him.


There is seldom a tour where Michael doesn't make an interesting discovery such as finding a new species for a country or record an undescribed bird call (and he has published these in the scientific literature).

Not only is Michael one of our principal leaders, but he also helps extensively with scouting and planning our most challenging itineraries.

Copper Sunbird on a Birding Africa tour © AP Leventis.
Copper Sunbird on a Birding Africa tour © AP Leventis.

2021 Tours

Tour name Dates in country Days Details Tour report
Gabon: Main Tour (BA2021) 19 September - 1 October 13 Leaflet (USD) enquire
Gabon: Coastal Extension (BA2021)
1 - 6 October  6 Leaflet (USD) enquire


Black-headed Bee-eater on a Birding Africa tour © AP Leventis Black-headed Bee-eater, Birding Africa tour © AP Leventis.

Congo Moor Chat on a Birding Africa tour © AP Leventis. Congo Moor Chat on a Birding Africa tour © AP Leventis.

African River Martins on a Birding Africa tour © Callan Cohen
African River Martins on a Birding Africa tour © Callan Cohen

Rosy Bee-eater on a Birding Africa tour © AP Leventis. Rosy Bee-eaters on a Birding Africa tour © AP Leventis.


Practical tour information

Focus For keen birders and mammal enthusiasts. Designed to see as many as possible endemic birds and lemurs, but while on the walks we spend a lot of time looking for other aspects of wildlife such as the mammals, primates and interesting plants.
Photography Many participants on our trips are amateur wildlife photographers. And when we get excellent views of a bird or mammal, some time is usually spent watching and photographing it. However, this is not a photographic tour and once the majority of the people have felt that they have absorbed the animal or bird to their satisfaction, then we move on in search of the next encounter. Thus, while the photographic opportunities are very good, the group will only occasionally wait for somebody who wants to spend even longer getting better photos.
Fitness A moderate level of fitness is required. The walks are generally in relatively flat areas with occasional inclines. Primate trekking may involve walking off the pathways on non-level terrain.
Timing

Birding is generally best during the long dry season in July and August.

Climate June, July, August is the long dry season: little rain with pleasant temperatures of 22 to 25 °C. Skies are usually clouded and light is less good for photography.
Comfort Fairly comfortable accommodation in guest houses, lodges and small hotels.
Transport We travel mainly by minibus and four wheel drive vehicles. Also by train and plane.
Group Size Depending on the tour. Please enquire.
Top birds

Rare lowland forest species, such as Congo Serpent Eagle and Plumed Guineafowl; Rosy and Black-headed Bee-eater, African River Martin, Congo Moor Chat, Long-tailed Hawk and Rufous-sided Broadbill

Top mammals African forest elephant, African forest buffalo, Sitatunga, Gorilla, Chimpanzee
Booking Your booking can be secured with a booking form and deposit. You will receive confirmation and our tour information pack with practical information on what to expect and how to prepare for the tour. The balance is due 150 days before the tour. Contact us to enquire about availability.

About Birding Africa

Birding Africa is a specialist birding tour company customising tours for both world listers and more relaxed holiday birders. We combine interests in mammals, butterflies, dragonflies, botany and other natural history aspects and will guide you to Africa's and Madagascar's most diverse birding destinations. Our guides' knowledge of African birds and birding areas is our greatest strength and together we have rediscovered species, shared exciting observations with the birding community and had a fun time exploring our home continent. We've even written two acclaimed guide books on where to find Southern Africa's and Madagascar's best birds. Birding is more than our passion, it's our lifestyle, and we are dedicated to making professional, best value trips filled with endemic species and unique wildlife experiences. Since 1997, we've run bird watching tours in South Africa and further into Africa for individual birders, small birding groups and top international tour companies. We've run Conservation Tours in association with the African Bird Club and work with and consult for a number of other top international tour companies and the BBC Natural History Unit.

For feedback from our guests, please see our Client Comments. Please also browse our Latest News and Trip Reports.


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Black Harrier photograph courtesy of Keith Offord.
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[African Tailorbirding CC (CK2003/020710/23) trading as Birding Africa]
P.O. Box 22727, Scarborough, 7975, South Africa.


 

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