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Cape Birding Tour: Garden Route - Knysna Turaco Tour

Top birds

•  Forest Buzzard
•  Crowned Eagle
•  Knysna Turaco
•  Emerald Cuckoo
•  Half-collared Kingfisher
•  Narina Trogon
•  Knysna Woodpecker
•  Chorister Robin
•  Cape Rockjumper
•  Knysna Warbler 
•  Olive Bush-Shrike
•  Southern Tchagra

Tour description

It is impractical to cover all great birding spots along the Garden Route in a few days, so we usually suggest that the area is explored over at least four or five days.

Our Garden Route tours usually begin in Cape Town and as we travel eastwards you will notice that the coast becomes progressively more wooded and subtropical. At one of our first stops we will visit the Wilderness National Park where we will search for Knysna Turaco, Chorister Robin, Green-backed Bleating Warbler, Olive Bush Shrike, Black-headed Oriole, Narina Trogon, Black-bellied Starling and many other forest specials.

Nestled on the edge of the Touw River, Ebb & Flow Rest Camp is the start to four trails, all named after local kingfishers. We will explore these trails looking for Bar-throated Apalis, Green-backed Bleating Warbler, Terrestrial Bulbul and Chorister Robin. Cape Batis, Dusky Flycatcher, Sombre Bulbul, Yellow-throated Warbler, Blue-mantled Flycatcher, Olive Woodpecker are also some of the commoner species that can be found here.

Forest Buzzard occurs in forests and plantations throughout the Garden Route, and we will keep an eye out for them on roadside telephone poles along the N2 as we travel from Wilderness through Knysna to one of our next destinations, Nature’s Valley.

Nature’s Valley, offering arguably the best birding along the Garden Route, is where we will search for the elusive African Finfoot. Half-collared Kingfisher is also occasionally seen in the area. We will search for all of the usual forest species that frequent the Garden Route, but Nature’s Valley offers the added bonus of also harbouring Crowned Eagle, Little Sparrowhawk, Emerald Cuckoo (summer), Scaly-throated Honeyguide, Knysna Woodpecker and Starred Robin. At night, we will listen out for Wood Owl and Buff-spotted Flufftail, although the latter is notoriously difficult to see.

The Overberg region marks the beginning of the Garden Route, so it makes sense to combine these two regions. Let us know if this combination interests you, and we will arrange a suitable itinerary!

See Cape Rockjumper on a Garden Route Tour © Mike Buckham

See Knysna Turaco on a Garden Route Tour © Callan Cohen
See Knysna Warbler on a Garden Route Tour © Mike Buckham

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.

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Black Harrier photograph courtesy of Keith Offord.
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