A 7am start ensured we were at Rooi Els nice and early,
and we were rewarded with great views of a 5-strong family group of Cape
Rockjumpers, a single Ground Woodpecker, and interestingly a pair of Long-billed
Pipits. The resident Black Eagle pair were actively adding to their eyrie,
and Southern double-collared, Orange-breasted and Malachite Sunbirds were
particularly active. We also had fleeting glimpses of a male Cape Sugarbird.
Stony Point was particularly good with the usual regiment
of African Penguins putting on a fine display, while both Bank and Crowned
Cormorants were actively building nests. It was interesting watching the
Bank Cormorants, with their white breeding rump patches, disappearing
on regular sorties to the ocean floor in search of fresh seaweed, an integral
nest component that is bound with guano. A surprise was a lone immature
African March Harrier (with distinctive breast band) that put in brief
Harold Porter Botanical Gardens produced the usual array
of garden birds and the highlight was extended views of a bird party mobbing
a Boomslang (Tree Snake) in Disa Kloof. Numerous Cape White-eyes, Orange-breasted
and Southern Double-collared, Cape Batis, Swee Waxbill, Paradise Flycatcher
and Cape Bulbul put in an appearance.
After a quick lunch at “De Nice Deli” in
Betty’s Bay we made our way back towards Cape Town for an afternoon
of waterbirds at Strandfontein Sewage Works. All the usual suspects were
present as well as 6 Hottentot Teal, which was a nice surprise. Before
heading home we made a quick stop at Blouvlei Nature Reserve and were
very pleased to find a magnificent female Painted Snipe, an apt ending
to an excellent days birding!
Practical tour information
For keen birders and mammal enthusiasts. Designed
to see as many as possible endemic birds, but while on the walks
we spend a lot of time looking for other aspects of wildlife
such as mammals, chameleons, geckos, butterflies and interesting
plants, such as Welwitschia and Hudia. We can also customise
any itinerary to suit to the keen birder, the wildlife enthusiast
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.
Please enquire as this depends on the exact tour.
The best timing varies per region; please enquire.
Cool in the Cape and highlands Drakensberg hot in the lowlands.
A good standard of accommodation in guest houses,
lodges and small hotels.
We travel by minibus or four wheel drive vehicle.
This depends on the specific tour. Please enquire.
Birding Africa is a specialist birding tour
company customising tours for both world listers and more relaxed
holiday birders, and combining interests in mammals, butterflies,
dragonflies, plants and other natural history. Our guides
know the continents birds like few others; we've written two acclaimed
guide books on where
to find Southern Africa's and Madagascar's best birds and will
guide you to Africa's and Madagascar's most diverse birding destinations.
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.