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Incredible Eastern Cape Birding Tour



The drive from Cape Town will give you the opportunity to experience a wide variety of bird-life. We will be crossing fynbos, mountain, coastal, Karoo and forest landscapes. The traveling should be easy and the roads good. There are ample places to stop or stay. There are over ‘450’ species of birds to be seen on this route. The Knysna forest region in a personal favourite of mine.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 1 Cape Town - Bontebok National Park

We will collect you from you guest house/hotel in Cape Town at 1000. Once you have been briefed and loaded we will head out on the N2 highway. We will make a brief stop for tea at the Helderberg Nature reserve and take in the view on top of Sir Lowry’s Pass before heading towards our overnight destination.

  • Accommodation  –  Bungalows @ Bontebok National Park
  • Distance – 220km
  • Type of Road – Tar except in park
  • Topography – Mountain and rolling farmland
  • Specials along the way – Cape Rockjumper, Ground Woodpecker, Southern Double Collared Sunbird.

Day 2 Bontebok National Park - Surrounds

We will spend today exploring the park in the morning and then in the afternoon head up to Groot Vaders Bosch and its natural forest. The forest also sports California Redwood Sequoia trees and a host of forest birds. There are two good hides where you can observe the birds in their natural habitat.

  • Accommodation – Bungalows @ Bontebok National Park
  • Distance – 60km
  • Type of Road – Tar except in park
  • Topography – Mountain, riverine and natural forest
  • Specials along the way – Forest Buzzard, Olive Woodpecker, African Stonechat

Day 3 Bontebok - Tsitsikama National Park

This morning we will head east again towards Wilderness, Knysna and Plettenberg Bay. The land will become greener and you will start seeing hanging forests. Our destination is being the incomparable Natures Valley. This is South Africa’s garden route and a jewel in our holiday destination crown. Natures Valley is just that, a secluded bit of heaven.

  • Accommodation – Bungalows @  Tsitsikama National Park
  • Distance – 335km
  • Type of Road – Tar except in park
  • Topography – Mountain, forest and riverine
  • Specials along the way – Knysna Turaco, Chorister Robin, Sombre Greenbul

Day 4 Tsitsikama National Park - Surrounds

Today we will spend scouring the forest for skulkers and take a hike to the Sout Rivier. Conversely we can spend the day visiting the many animal sanctuaries in the area. There is the largest free flight aviary in the southern hemisphere called ‘Birds of Eden’ which is well worth a visit. It is host to many species including plenty of exotics.

  • Accommodation –  Bungalows @  Tsitsikama National Park
  • Distance – 80km
  • Type of Road – Tar except in park
  • Topography – Forest
  • Specials along the way – Half Collared Kingfisher, African Fish Eagle, Terrestial Brownbul.

Day 4 Tsitsikama National Park - Surrounds

Today we will spend scouring the forest for skulkers and take a hike to the Sout Rivier. Conversely we can spend the day visiting the many animal sanctuaries in the area. There is the largest free flight aviary in the southern hemisphere called ‘Birds of Eden’ which is well worth a visit. It is host to many species including plenty of exotics.

  • Accommodation –  Bungalows @  Tsitsikama National Park
  • Distance – 80km
  • Type of Road – Tar except in park
  • Topography – Forest
  • Specials along the way – Half Collared Kingfisher, African Fish Eagle, Terrestial Brownbul.

Day 5 Tsitsikama - Addo National Park

Today we travel to the Addo National Park which has within its borders 7 different biomes and a myriad of birds and animals including the ‘Big 7’. The park itself consists of different sections with something for everyone. The main camp has a well stocked shop and curio store.

  • Accommodation –  Bungalows @ Addo National Park.
  • Distance – 235km
  • Type of Road – Tar except in park
  • Topography – Rambling farmland, hills and indigenous forest
  • Specials along the way – Cape Parrot, Green Wood Hoopoe, Chorister Robin-Chat

Day 6 Addo National Park and Surrounds

We will spend the day within the confines of this reserve searching out the myriad of indigenous animals and birds. This park saved the eastern Cape elephant which was decimated down to a mere 11 animals. It is also host to one of the largest herds to Tuberculosis free Cape Buffalo in southern Africa.

  • Accommodation –  Bungalows @ Addo National Park
  • Distance – 60km
  • Type of Road – Good gravel roads in the park
  • Topography – Rolling hills covered by indigenous bush characterised by the Spekboom and various Aloes.
  • Specials along the way – Bokmakierie, Amethyst Sunbird, Black Coloured Barbet.

Day 7 Addo National Park - Surrounds

Today we will venture to other sections of the Addo National Park. As discussed this park compromises of many parts covering various biomes.

  • Accommodation –  Bungalows @ Addo National Park
  • Distance – 150km
  • Type of Road – Good gravel roads in the park and tar.
  • Topography – Semi-Arid Karoo,Zuurberg mountain and Sundays River valley.
  • Specials along the way – Crowned Hornbill, Long Billed Crombec, Southern Boubou.

Day 8 Addo - Mountain Zebra National Park

This morning we head off to the Mountain Zebra National Park. This a small pearl of a national park that was primarily established to save the rare Cape Mountain Zebra. It has one main camp complete with restaurant, curio shop and pool. Bird and animal life is prolific in the park. There are good drives in the park including one along the mountain top. This park also sports a second swimming pool deep in the bush, lions, cheetah, brown hyena and TB free buffalo.

  • Accommodation –  Bungalows @ Mountain Zebra National Park
  • Distance – 211km
  • Type of Road – Tar road except in park.
  • Topography – Rolling hills covered by indigenous bush characterized by the Spekboom and various Aloes.
  • Specials along the way – Barrow’s Khorhaan, Double Banded Courser, Verreaux’s Eagle.

Day 9 Mountain Zebra National Park - Surrounds

We will take time to look for skulker’s around the park and enjoy the other splendours it has to offer. This park has a resident flock White Browed Sparrow Weavers in camp and an uncommon amount of raptors.

  • Accommodation –  Bungalows @ Mountain Zebra National Park
  • Distance – 60km
  • Type of Road – Good gravel roads in the park
  • Topography – Mountains and plateau
  • Specials along the way – Cape Longclaw, Brown-Hooded Kingfisher, Eastern Clapper Lark.

Day 10 Mountain Zebra - Camdeboo National Park

Today we will head off to the Camdeboo National Park outside the sleepy town of Graaff-Reinett. The park is small but has the world renowned Valley of Desolation. We will overnight here and take in the vistas and wildlife.

  • Accommodation –  Bungalows @ Camdeboo NationalPark
  • Distance – 137km
  • Type of Road – Good tar roads.
  • Topography – Open farmland.
  • Specials along the way – Yellow Throated Longclaw, Lanner Falcon, Southern Black Flycatcher

Day 11 Camdeboo - Karoo National Park

Today we move onto the Great Karoo which is a dry area. The landscape changes as do the species of birds encountered. Life in this area is harsh with hot summers and cold winters. We will overnight at the Karoo National Park which is a welcome pit stop along the road. The park boasts a restaurant, curio shop, game drives, fossil trail and a variety of interesting species of birds.

  • Accommodation –  Bungalows @ Karoo National Park
  • Distance – 214km
  • Type of Road – Good tar roads
  • Topography – Koppies, plateau and stunted shrubs.
  • Specials along the way – Southern Pale Chanting Goshawk, Fiery Necked Nightjar, Jackal Buzzard

Day 12 Karoo National Park - Cape Town

After a leisurely breakfast we head back towards Cape Town. This will be the final day of the trip and we will stop for lunch along the way. Only when we near Cape Town will we see the land change again. Mountains will spring up and vineyards and wheat fields will replace the harsh Karoo bushes. You will be delivered to your respective hotels or guest house.

  • Accommodation –  your hotel or guest house.
  • Distance – 462km
  • Type of Road – National road tarred all the way.
  • Topography – Mountains and farmland.
  • Specials along the way – Ludwigs Bustard, Rufous Eared Warbler, Chestnut Vented  Tit-Babbler.

Cost - 12 day Tour : €2,460/ $3,322/ £1,750 per person sharing (minimum two guests/maximum of eight guests)

Bokmakierie  Telophorus zeylonus 



Gallery
Eastern Cape Birding Safari

Birding at its very best amongst the wilds of Addo National Park, Mountain Zebra National Park and Baviaanskloof.


African Hoopoe  (Upupa africana)
Ant-eating Chat  (Myrmecocichla formicivora)
Bar-throated Apalis  (Apalis thoracica)
Black-collared Barbet  (Lybius torquatus)
Cape Weaver  (Ploceus capensis)
Chestnut-vented Tit-Babbler  (Sylvia subcaerulea)
Crowned Lapwing  (Vanellus coronatus)
Dark-capped Bulbul  (Pycnonotus tricolor)
Diderick Cuckoo  (Chrysococcyx caprius)
Fiscal Flycatcher  (Sigelus silens)
Fork-tailed Drongo  (Dicrurus adsimilis)
Grey Crowned Crane  (Balearica regulorum)
Red-necked Spurfowl  (Pternistis afer)
Secretarybird  (Sagittarius serpentarius)
Rock Martin  (Ptyonoprogne fuligula)
White-browed Sparrow-Weaver  (Plocepasser mahali)
Southern Boubou  (Laniarius ferrugineus)
Sombre Greenbul  (Andropadus importunus)
Scaly-feathered Weaver  (Sporopipes squamifrons)
Karoo Scrub Robin  (Erythropygia coryphaeus)
Southern Tchagra (Tchagra tchagra)

Southern Tchagra (Tchagra tchagra)
Cardinal Woodpecker (Dendropicos fuscescens)
White-throated Canary (Crithagra albogularis) 
Bar-throated Apalis  (Apalis thoracica)
Cape White-eye (Zosterops virens)
Black Cuckooshrike (Campephaga flava)
Little Sparrowhawk (Accipiter minullus)
Red-billed Firefinch (Lagonosticta senegala)
Greater Double-collared Sunbird (Cinnyris afra)
Tawny-flanked Prinia (Prinia subflava)