Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Birding South Africa - Countdown!

South Africa is beginning to occupy my thoughts now that my tour is fast approaching! I really can’t believe how quickly time has flown by and leaves me with such a short time to prepare for my journey. My employers took no time at all to achieve a fully subscribed tour, with many people disappointed we had no further places available. Never mind, there is always another year for friends to join me. I am due to leave home on 20th November and won’t get back until the 17th December! So another long while spent away, though reading below you might not have too much sympathy with me…

“We go to the Kruger National Park, where we also hope to see the Big Five, but also the Big Six birds: the lappet-faced vulture, martial eagle, saddle-billed stork, kori bustard, ground hornbill and Pel's fishing-owl. And watch the oxpeckers busily hoovering up ticks and insects from the hides of antelope, buffalo and giraffe”. So guess who is VERY excited??

South Africa is a great destination for birding and the presence of big and small mammals, which can be easily found visiting one of the many National Parks or Game reserves, makes this country one of the most pleasant countries to visit. Our group will find a variety of habitats during our tour; almost treeless grassland, “bushveld” often referred to in South Africa as Savannah and the East Coast Littoral - a moist tropical to sub-tropical mosaic of forest, coastal thicket and grassland, and being as the whole group has signed up for the extension the Pelagic - open sea up to 200km off-shore. Of course each of these habitats has its own particular birds.

We have included several days to spend in the Kruger National Park, which is not only a paradise for those who are interested to see the African mammals, but also one of the finest birding destinations in South Africa.

Of the 900 or so species that have been recorded in South Africa, about 725, or c.85%, are resident or annual visitors, and about 50 of these are endemic or near- endemic to South Africa, and can only be seen in this country.

We have planned an extension to Cape Town. This extension includes a pelagic trip out of Cape Town. This trip offers the chance to see large numbers of Albatrosses, Shearwaters, Petrels and Storm-petrels. We will also visit the West Coast National Park and Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens.

The outstanding infrastructure, great accommodation, excellent food and spectacular and varied scenery make South Africa a very attractive destination for my employers – Worldwide Birding Tours - to visit. The country is synonymous with wildlife and nature. Here, you can not only find the Big Five, but so much more – a superb range of species amid dramatic, unspoilt landscapes.

For the birder it is a truly inspiring and wonderful destination with over 900 species, ranging from the familiar – Swallows, Robins and Thrushes – to the lesser known, such as Turacos, Penguins and Sunbirds. It could take a lifetime to spot all South Africa’s birds! But even on our relatively short birding visit, we’ll still be able to tick off plenty while bird-watching.

Our habitats include wetlands, desert, riverine bush and woodland – and then of course there’s the sea, take a look at our 6 day optional extension for an unforgettable pelagic opportunity and experience, see the link here. Although fully booked this year, why not think about joining me in 2015?

Birding in South Africa is amazing – whether you're on safari, cruising round the Cape Winelands, hiking in the Drakensberg or sunning yourself by the sea, you will never be far away from bird-watching opportunities. There are many great birding routes all over South Africa; some take just a few hours, others a day or more. Coming on tour with us means you are in good hands with local information on the best routes and times to visit. Although fully subscribed this year (2014), why not join us me on this marvellous adventure due to begin once more during November 2015?

To view my full itinerary and perhaps get an idea of what to expect for 2015, see the link to Worldwide Birding Tours - South Africa HERE

For many other wonderful destinations and nature tours click on the WBT Logo text below!


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