|Safari Name||12-Day Birding Adventure|
Day 1. Arrival in Cape Town
This is the day you need to arrive in Cape Town – any time during the day. You will be met at Cape Town International Airport and transferred to our B&B. Time-permitting, we may already start some birding today – we can bird one of the Cape Peninsula’s fine wetlands (Intaka Island, Rietvlei or Rondevlei). Here we will look for Great White Pelican, Greater Flamingo, a host of shorebirds, Cape Teal and Maccoa Duck among many other waterfowl, Little Bittern, and many other herons, three grebe species, Greater Painted-snipe, African Snipe, four species of reed-associated Warblers, and other waterbirds. While looking for waterbirds (or even while driving to our B&B) we should also find good numbers of terrestrial endemics, including Karoo Prinia, Cape Bulbul, and Jackal Buzzard. Overnight: at the lovely “birder-friendly” Avian Leisure B&B, Simonstown, South Peninsula
Day 2. Pelagic Trip (or Cape Peninsula and False Bay Birding)
After an early breakfast, we embark on a pelagic trip (weather-permitting, otherwise Cape Peninsula and False Bay birding), departing from Simonstown, where we will find African Penguin, and from here we’ll be going 30-50 km out to sea. En route, we pass the magnificent Cape Point – really spectacular when seen from the sea. Our first pelagic species are usually Sooty Shearwater and White-chinned Petrel (with the occasional Spectacled Petrel), followed soon by sometimes both species of Giant Petrel, Northern and Southern. Further out, a minimum of four Albatross species, Pintado and other Petrels, severalStorm Petrels (two species are usually common), shearwaters, and many others are observed. We almost always find at least one trawler, and it is around these fishing boats that huge congregations of albatrosses and other seabirds create an amazing spectacle. We also often encounter marine mammals, such as Bryde’s whale, on these pelagics. Overnight: Avian Leisure B&B, Simonstown, South Peninsula
Day 3. Birding the Cape Peninsula and False Bay (or Pelagic Trip)
Today, we plan to visit excellent sites such as the Strandfontein Bird Sanctuary, one of the best waterbird sites, and Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, one of the most beautiful places anywhere and full of birds. At Kirstenbosch, it is quite easy to find some important fynbos endemics such as Orange-breasted Sunbird and Cape Sugarbird, while Cape Spurfowl, Southern Boubou, Cape Canary, Brimstone Canary, Cape Robin-Chat, Swee Waxbill (with luck), and a whole host of other quality birds entertain us. Many raptors are possible here and at other sites we will visit – including Verreaux’s (Black) Eagle, several exciting accipiters, Jackal Buzzard (endemic), Forest Buzzard (endemic), Peregrine Falcon, Rock Kestrel, and others. After birding these beautiful gardens, we depart for Rooiels (although sometimes we reverse the order and bird Rooiels first). To get to this village, we have to traverse one of the most scenic drives in South Africa along the False Bay coast. First we drive parallel to an extremely long white beach bordering the “Cape Flats” that separate the mountainous Cape Peninsula from the inland Cape Fold mountain ranges. Then we reach an area where impressive mountains meet the sea, to begin a truly stunning marine drive. The main target bird at Rooiels is the charismatic and localized Cape Rockjumper. But we should also find Cape Siskin, Cape Rock Thrush, and many more. On our return to the Cape Peninsula, time-permitting (else later in the itinerary), we can bird the superb Strandfontein Bird Sanctuary for a plethora of herons, reed-associated warblers, waterfowl, shorebirds, African Black Oystercatcher, Purple Swamphen, Great White Pelican, Greater Flamingo, African Marsh Harrier, and (as usual) many others. Overnight: Avian Leisure B&B, Simonstown, South Peninsula
Day 4. West Coast Birding
Today we begin an exciting birding journey northwards from Cape Town. We hope to find Black Harrier, Chestnut-banded Plover, Cape Penduline Tit, Cape Clapper Lark, Cape Long-billed Lark, Grey-winged Francolin, Southern Black Korhaan, and other specials in addition to a tremendous shorebird spectacle. Langebaan Lagoon is one of Africa’s most important shorebird stopover sites, and there are good hides (blinds) from which to observe the spectacle. We may also find Osprey, African Fish Eagle, and many others. Overnight: Le Mahi Guest House, Langebaan
Day 5. Transfer to the Karoo
Today we head inland past some spectacular mountains. On the way we may stop to try for Protea Canary and many other species. But we have to get to the eastern (rain-shadow) side of the mountains to get to the famed (amongst birders) Karoo. Here, almost every species encountered is endemic, so it makes for spectacularly exciting birding for any serious birder who has never visited this particular semi-desert. Overnight: Village B&B, Ceres, or Tanqua B&B, Route 355
Day 6. Birding the Karoo
A full day of Karoo birding. The pickings here include the likes of Cinnamon-breasted Warbler (a truly bizarre rock crevice skulker), Namaqua Warbler, the lovely Rufous-eared Warbler, Black-headed Canary, White-throated Canary, Fairy Flycatcher, Southern Grey Tit, Karoo Chat, Sickle-winged Chat, Tractrac Chat, Karoo Lark, Karoo Long-billed Lark, Spike-heeled Lark, Large-billed Lark, Karoo Eremomela, Pririt Batis, Burchell’s Courser, Double-banded Courser, Ludwig’s Bustard, Karoo Korhaan, Pale Chanting Goshawk, Namaqua Sandgrouse, Namaqua Dove, and many others. Overnight: Village B&B, Ceres
Day 7. Transfer to Cape Town
We will drive back to Cape Town, birding at Paarl en route for fynbos species and those waterbirds we are still missing. A night back on the Cape Peninsula will give us time to find some of the Cape’s more difficult species. Overnight: Avian Leisure B&B, Simonstown, South Peninsula
Day 8. Birding the Overberg and the Agulhas Plains
Today, we drive eastwards to Africa’s southernmost point, where we begin birding the superb Agulhas Plains and the Overberg. Here, flat plains and gently rolling hills separate the southernmost tip of the African continent, where two oceans meet, from the Cape Fold Mountains further inland. These plains are one of the few areas where Secretarybird and Denham’s Bustard are still common. They are also the most important stronghold for South Africa’s magnificent national bird, the Blue Crane. White Stork is common in late summer. Extremely localized endemics such as Agulhas Clapper Lark, Agulhas Long-billed Lark, and others lurk here. We will also visit the De Hoop Nature Reserve, which protects a large tract of highly threatened lowland (as opposed to mountain) fynbos. Here we will see lots of waterbirds and Southern Tchagra, plus we may encounter Cape mountain zebra, bontebok, and other mammal specials of the Cape. Time permitting, we can visit the De Mond Nature Reserve, an excellent site for the rare, localized, diminutive Damara Tern. Overnight: Pride of Africa B&B, Agulhas
Day 9. Birding the Agulhas Plains and the fringes of the Langeberg Mountains
We will spend the morning birding the Agulhas Plains. In the afternoon, we will head to our B&B adjacent to a lovely temperate forest at the base of the Langeberg Mountains. This forest is inhabited by such sought-after birds as Knysna Woodpecker, Olive Woodpecker, Olive Bushshrike, Narina Trogon, Blue-mantled Crested Flycatcher, Yellow-throated Woodland Warbler, and of course many more. The forest fringes host the localized Victorin’s Warbler (it is great fun trying to outsmart this vocal but skulking species), Forest Canary, Cape Siskin, Swee Waxbill, and more. A night trip to the edge of the forest usually yields African Wood Owl and Fiery-necked Nightjar. Overnight: Honeywood Farm, Heidelberg
Day 10. Birding the Garden Route
We drive eastwards for three hours to the beautiful Garden Route, where a large diversity of birds can be found in idyllic surroundings. We’ll start looking for some birds that are quite widespread through large tracts of Africa, but which are nevertheless sought-after because they are so elusive – things like African Finfoot and Red-chested Flufftail (we often get great views of this skulker around here). Other star birds we look for in the Garden Route include Knysna Turaco (endemic), Scaly-throated Honeyguide, Chorister Robin-Chat (endemic), White-starred Robin-Chat, and a host of others. And the Garden Route is the only place in South Africa where certain species – such as the endemic Forest Buzzard and Half-collared Kingfisher – are common. Overnight: Wilderness Ebb & Flow Rest Camp, GardenRouteNational Park
Day 11. Birding the Garden Route
A full day looking for the rich diversity of species the Garden Route has to offer. Overnight: Wilderness Ebb & Flow Rest Camp, Garden Route National Park
Day 12. Transfer to George and flight to Durban, or departure
We drive to George (half an hour’s drive) to catch our 2-hour flight to Durban to begin the Subtropical leg of the tour, or for those ending their trip here, you fly (or drive) back to Cape Town.
Activities/services included in the cost:
• Arrival and departure airport transfer. • Accommodation as per the itinerary.
• Accommodation in the National Parks is based on Full Board
• Road transportation in custom made safari vehicles.
• Exclusive private vehicle and driver-guide throughout the safari
• Game dives as per the itinerary
• Park and game reserve entrance fees
• English Driver guides available for the safari
• Our 24hours support throughout the safari
Activities/services excluded in the cost:
• All International Flights/local Flights + Taxes
• Visa fees, Travel & Personal accident insurance
• Excursions, services and activities not mentioned in this program
• Flying option available for certain safaris at an extra cost
• Personal expenses e.g. laundry, telephone calls, Drinks, Tips etc
To get costs for this tour, contact our Sales Office Team on firstname.lastname@example.org
Just give us the Safari Tour Code and name of the safari you want to book and we shall revert back with costs and availability.
As one of the most diverse and enchanting countries in the world, South Africa competes with the best of them when it comes to Mother Nature’s beauty pageant. She scores top marks for her diverse offering of beautiful beaches, dramatic mountains and cliff-faces, famed Table Mountain with its cloudy tablecloth, the luscious Garden Route stretching from the Eastern to Western Cape, lush forest belts, intriguing semi-desertscapes, and unforgettable sunsets over the African veld. The country is rich in natural beauty and wildlife, with unspoiled beaches, dramatic mountains, protected wilderness areas, national parks and game reserves. Exotic combinations of landscapes, people, history and culture offers travelers a unique and inspiring experience.
Besides the common Big 5 in most African safari, South Africa has Big 7: add the Great White Shark and Southern Right Whale to the list of the Big 5. And don’t forget all the other South African favourites – cheetah, giraffe, zebra, hippo, hyena, warthog and the famed dung beetle may not be the bigger 7, but they certainly like to claim their moment in the spotlight. South Africa boasts no less than 20 national parks, with literally hundreds of other private parks and game lodges to ensure you get a generous slice of the ‘African experience.’
Accommodations vary from deluxe safari camps and hotels to self-service bungalows. On Safari, you may view game by closed vehicle in national parks and by open vehicle and walking tours in private game reserves and wilderness areas to view the Big 5. Touring around the Cape and on the Garden Route is very popular.
South Africa is located on the southern tip of the African continent, bordered by northern neighbours Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Mozambique. It encompasses the independent mountain kingdoms of Lesotho and Swaziland and is flanked by the Atlantic Ocean on the west and the warm Indian Ocean on the east – giving the country its spectacular range of biodiversity.
South Africa’s Tourist Attractions
As one of the most diverse and enchanting countries in the world, South Africa competes with the best of them when it comes to Mother Nature’s beauty pageant. She offers beautiful beaches, dramatic mountains and cliff-faces, famed Table Mountain with its cloudy tablecloth, the luscious Garden Route stretching from the Eastern to Western Cape, lush forest belts, intriguing semi-desertscapes, and unforgettable sunsets over the African veld. Besides the common Big 5 in most African safari, South Africa has Big 7: add the Great White Shark and Southern Right Whale to the list of the Big 5. Exotic combinations of landscapes, people, history and culture offers travelers a unique and inspiring experience.