Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens, Kommetjie, Cape Point,
Simonstwon Boulders Beach African Penguin Colony, Strandfontein
Waste Water Treatment Works and if time allows, Cape of Good Hope.
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
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
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.
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.