Trip report: Northern Cape of South Africa: Rare Mammals & Birds (Oct 2019) by Tropical Birding

Guided by Charley Hesse. This was a custom tour; we intend to offer this itinerary as a set-departure tour in the future.

Anybody that has been on a night drive in Africa will know that from the long and mouth-watering list of nocturnal mammals, you tend to see very few. Veterans from dozens of night drives would still probably be missing many of the rarer species. In the Northern Cape of South Africa, many of these species are not only present but common and readily seen. Indeed, mammals like Black-footed Cat, Aardvark & Aardwolf are seen on most night drives. In addition to the nocturnal mammals, many diurnal mammals add appeal to this area, such as Meercat, Karoo Rock Sengi, Black & White Rhinos, Black Wildebeest, Tsesebbe, Roan and Sable. This area marks the southern extent of the Kalahari and many of the bird species seen here are similar to those one would expect to see in Namibia or Botswana. Some of our avian highlights included, White-quilled, Red-crested & Ludwig’s Bustards, Double-banded Courser, Greater Kestrel, Pygmy Falcon, Crimson-breasted Gonolek and Orange River White-eye. This spread of amazing wildlife in easily accessible parks, with decent accommodation and home-cooked traditional food make this a very attractive alternative to the more regularly visited South African parks.

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