Birding Africa












Trip Report

6 April 2006


Participant: Sandra Eadie
Guide: David Winter

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 appearance.

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

Focus 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 or both.
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 Please enquire as this depends on the exact tour.
Timing The best timing varies per region; please enquire.
Climate Cool in the Cape and highlands Drakensberg hot in the lowlands.
Comfort A good standard of accommodation in guest houses, lodges and small hotels.
Transport We travel by minibus or four wheel drive vehicle.
Group Size This depends on the specific tour. Please enquire.
Top birds Several near-endemics in a spectacular setting
Top mammals African elephant, lion, cheetah, Sable, Roan, Bontebok, Cape zebra, Meerkat
Booking Please email us if you wish to book. You will receive the booking form and conditions and a tour information pack.

About Birding Africa

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.

For feedback from our guests, please see our tour information pages. For trip reports, please see our Trip Reports page.

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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]
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