Birding (and Wildlife) in Eastern South Africa
"143 endemics, near endemics and African specialities make a great trip for the world bird watcher and wildlife lover."
The provinces of KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga on South Africa’s eastern seaboard boast some of the country’s finest birding and exceptional mammal viewing. An impressive 750 plus species of birds occur in the region, reflecting the wonderful natural diversity of the area. South Africa's modern infrastructure supports productive birding throughout the region. This trip then covers the classic African savanna of the world-renowned Kruger National Park, the teeming Zululand game reserves, the endemic-rich mist-belt forests of the Natal Midlands and the lofty peaks of the magnificent Drakensberg. This tour of Eastern South Africa offers the very best of African bird watching and wildlife viewing.
In addition, the trip can be expanded to include the Western Cape. Those who decide to do the Western Cape Extension will be treated to a feast of endemics and the remarkable beauty of the South Western Cape. Cape Town, widely considered one of the world’s most beautiful cities, will be our base for the first three nights of the extension. From here we will range out to explore the varied ecosystems conveniently accessible from our comfortable accommodations.
We will then make our way up the West Coast where we will explore the dry country riches of the Tanqua Karoo to round off this unbeatable South African adventure.
Day 1: Arrival to Johannesburg and then to Rust-De-Winter area, including birding the bushveld of Zaagkuildrift Road and the wetlands nearby the Kgomo-Kgomo Village
Day 2: Rust-De-Winter birding in AM; then key birding sites on way to Kruger National Park
Day 3 and 4: Kruger National Park for birding and wildlife watching (Big 5 African wildlife and more)
Day 5: AM birding near camp at Kruger National Park, then a short drive to grasslands and Wakkerstroom Marshes
Day 6: Wakkerstroom Grasslands and More: Birding (Blue Crane and more) and wildlife watching (Meerkats and more) in various habitats
Day 7: Wakkerstroom to Mkuze area
Day 8: Mkuze: Birding (and wildlife watching) in various habitats including savanna, forest, and wetlands
Day 9: Mkuze area to Saint Lucia
Day 10: Saint Lucia in early AM; then a nearly full day of birding and wildlife watching at the Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Game Reserve
Day 11: Dlinza Forest birding
Day 12: Birdwatching Various Key Spots in Transit from Hilton to Underberg: Including Karkloof Forest and Mountain Range; then Richmond, Hilton to Underberg, Umkomaas River Valley, and mist belt forest
Day 13: Day trip to Sani Pass, Lesotho
Day 14: Onward Flights Home or to Cape Town for Extension
Extension to Consider: Western Cape:
Day 1: (same date as Day 14 above): Arrival in Cape Town and bird and explore the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens.
Day 2: Spectacular Pelagic Birding Trip. May switch with another day if the weather does not hold.
Day 3: The Cape Peninsula and Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve
Day 4: Birding West Coast National Park and various birding stops to Ceres
Day 5: Ceres and the Tanqua Karoo
Day 6: Ceres to Cape Town and flights home.
More details about this Trip: