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










    Cape Town Pelagics
    Cape Birding Route
    350 Photo Challenge


Cape Birding Day Trip: The Cape Peninsula - African Penguin Tour

Top birds

•  African Penguin

•  Bank Cormorant

•  African Oystercatcher

•  Knysna Warbler

•  Cape Siskin

•  Orange-breasted Sunbird

•  Southern Double-collared Sunbird

•  Cape Sugarbird

Please contact us to enquire about our scheduled day trips, or if you would like us to arrange a private guided tour.

Typical Birding Sites

Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens, Kommetjie, Cape Point, Simon's Town - Boulders Beach African Penguin Colony, Strandfontein Wastewater Works and if time allows, Cape of Good Hope.

Detailed itinerary

Often considered to be one of the most scenic stretches of landscape in the world, the Cape Peninsula is among Africa's premier tourism destinations. A narrow, 75-km long strip land rises abruptly from the ocean, separating the nutrient-rich Benguela current of the cold Atlantic ocean from the warmer waters of False Bay. The botanically-rich Peninsula landscape is dominated by a rugged mountain chain, culminating at its northern end in the famously geometrical massif of Table Mountain.

For birders, the Cape Peninsula provides easy access to a good selection of coastal and fynbos specials, with most day-trips recording upward of 90 species. Highlights of this day-tour usually include Cape Sugarbird, Orange-breasted Sunbird, African Penguin and Bank Cormorant. There is also the opportunity to see localized, endemic forest birds such as Knysna Warbler.

We start early at the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens, widely recognized as one of the world’s finest botanical gardens. The well-maintained gardens and adjacent fynbos and indigenous forest support an attractive diversity of bird species. Here, it is possible to approach a number of fynbos endemics at close quarters, including such desirable species as Cape Sugarbird, Orange-breasted Sunbird and Cape Francolin. The sheltered forested gorges host several forest species, including Cape Batis, Forest Canary and the skulking, enigmatic and highly localised Knysna Warbler which we may look for in a nearby forest patch.

From here, we work southwards along the peninsula, visiting a number of coastal localities, in search of Benguela Current endemics, all of which, except for Damara Tern, are distinct possibilities. Cape and Hartlaub's Gull are widespread around the Cape Peninsula, and may be seen en route to our first stop, Kommetjie. Here, a full sweep of marine cormorants can usually be seen, including Cape, Bank and Crowned Cormorant. Cape Gannet hunts off-shore, while African Black Oystercatcher forage on the shoreline. We make our way southwards to Cape Point, crossing over to Simonstown, famous for being the most accessible site for African Penguin. Approximately 1100 pairs breed here. We wrap up with a visit to Strandfontein Waste Water Treatment Works, with a vast array of waterbirds. Highlights may include Black-necked Grebe, Maccoa Duck, Southern Pochard, Cape Teal, Cape Shoveller, South African Shelduck, Levaillant’s Cisticola, White Pelican, Greater Flamingo and Cape Bulbul.

If time allows we can include a visit to the scenic Cape of Good Hope. Here, coastal thicket adjacent to the parking area supports Fiscal Flycatcher, Cape Bulbul, Southern Boubou and Speckled Mousebird. Ostrich, and Bontebok (Damaliscus dorcas dorcas) - a once critically endangered antelope endemic to the Cape - graze in the open near the parking area. Flowering patches here and elsewhere in the reserve attract large numbers of nectarivorous species, such as Cape Sugarbird, Orange-breasted Sunbird, Malachite Sunbird and Southern Double-collared Sunbird. Rocky places in the reserve are worth searching for the likes of Ground Woodpecker, Jackal Buzzard, Cape Rock Thrush, Cape Siskin and Familiar Chat.

See Cape Sugarbird on a
Birding Africa Trip © Callan Cohen
See Knysna Warbler on a Birding Africa Trip © Mike Buckham
African Penguin on a Birding Africa Trip © Deirdre Vrancken
African Penguin on a Birding Africa Trip © Deirdre Vrancken

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.

This website is maintained by Birding Africa.
Copyright © 1997-2016 Birding Africa

Please do not use any text, images or content from this site without permission.
Black Harrier photograph courtesy of Keith Offord.
© Birding Africa 1997-2016

[African Tailorbirding CC (CK2003/020710/23) trading as Birding Africa]
P.O. Box 22727, Scarborough, 7975, South Africa.


Home and News - Tour Calendar - Trip Reports - Client Comments - Conservation - About Us - Contact Us