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 is key to the dedicated birder: it offers Africa's best, accessible, lowland forest and harbours Congo Basin forest species difficult to see elsewhere.

We have seen Black and Plumed Guineafowl, Forest Francolin, Congo Serpent Eagle, Long-tailed Hawk, Gabon Helmet-shrike, Black-headed and Rosy Bee-eaters, Yellow-throated Cuckoo and African River Martin all on a single tour! Have a look at our trip reports.

We bird in forests, savannas, woodlands, grasslands and coastal lakes. And at the same time, we stand a chance to see forest elephant, red river hog, forest buffalo or even gorilla, chimpanzee or mandrill. We focus on three key sites:

(i) central: Lopè Faunal Reserve offers a forest/savannah mosaic with specials such as Bates's Nightjar, Bates's Swift, Red-headed Picathartes, Violet-tailed Sunbird and Lyre-tailed Honeyguide.

(ii) north east: the Ipassa Strict Nature Reserve in the Ivindo National Park offers superb forest birding and West-Africa's most spectacular waterfalls. Highlights include African Piculet, Gabon Batis and Rachel's Malimbe.

(iii) south east: Lèconi 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.

Our 14 day trip can follow our 9 day birding tour to
Sao Tomè and Prìncipe, two islands that hold more than 25 endemics including the critically endangered São Tomé Grosbeak and the unusual Dohrn’s Thrush Babbler.

Click here for the tour's practical information.

Featured Leader: Michael Mills

Michael recommends: This tour is well suited to world listers who are after a long list of central African specialties, and keen birders who like an adventurous tour in pristine habitats.

Michael grew up in the Kalahari Gemsbok and Kruger National Parks and has travelled extensively in Africa, Asia, South America and Antarctica. He obtained a Masters degree in Conservation Biology and continues conducting bird research, particularly in Angola.

Besides birds, he has a strong interest in mammals, particularly in small carnivores and African primates.

Michael leads tours for Birding Africa to Uganda, Rwanda, Ghana, Gabon, São Tomé and Príncipe, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Malawi, Mali, South Africa, Zambia, Namibia, Madagascar and Angola. Many of these tours are also led by Callan.

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

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]
4 Crassula Way, Pinelands 7405, Cape Town, South Africa.

 

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