Guided by Josh Engel.This was a custom tour, with a very similar itinerary to our set departure tour.
South Africa is without question one of the world’s great birding and natural history destinations. With its long list of endemic birds, animal-filled national parks, and world class infrastructure, it’s a must-do for traveling birders. This itinerary followed a sort of “highlights” route, hitting some of the top birding spots, most scenic landscapes, and best national park the country has to offer.
We started in the Cape, the most endemic-rich part of the country, and we found most of them. This included great looks at Cape Rockjumper, Protea Canary, and Black Harrier. We started in Cape Town itself, before heading east to the lush Garden Route and arid Karoo. From there we flew across to the east, where we birded the beautiful high-altitude grasslands of Wakkerstroom and ended the trip with three days in Kruger National Park, with its unparalleled density of large animals. In Wakkerstroom we had incredible looks at the endangered endemics that it is famous for: Rudd’s and Botha’s Lark, Blue Korhaan, and Yellow-breasted Pipit. Kruger was better than I’ve ever seen it, and for the first time on a trip I guided we found the “super seven”: Elephant, Rhino, Lion, Leopard, Buffalo, Cheetah, and Wild Dog. The birding is outstanding there as well, and we found many of the key Kruger birds, species like Brown-headed Parrot, Southern Ground-Hornbill, all of the vultures, Saddle-billed Stork, and more. All this while staying in wonderful hotels, eating delicious food, and generally having a great experience.