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Southern African Tours/Safaris | Absolute Birding - Birding Safaris South Africa




Day 1       Durbanville Guest House - Simonstown (Pelagic)

You will be collected from your guest house and we will head off to Simonstown where your will board your pelagic boat or else if the weather is unsuitable head to other Cape Town venues.

  • Accommodation - Guesthouse 
  • Breakfast, light lunch and dinner
  • Distance – 60 km
  • Duration – 1 hrs
  • Conditions – Tar via M5
  • Specials along the way – Speckled Pigeon, Olive Thrush, Red Wing Starling

Day 2        Cape Town - Betty's Bay

Today we will head off along the coast of False Bay which is one of the most beautiful routes in the Western Cape. Our destination is Rooiels which is home to the Cape Rockjumper and Ground Woodpecker. We will get there just before the side of the mountain is kissed by the sun. There will be time to visit the Stony Point penguin colony where we should get a view of the four different cormorant species.

  • Accommodation - Guesthouse 
  • Breakfast, light lunch and dinner
  • Distance – 93 km
  • Duration – 1,5 hrs
  • Conditions – Tar via N2 and R44
  • Specials along the way – Cape Rockjumper, Ground Woodpecker, Sentinel Thrush

 

Day 3        Betty's Bay - Grootvadersbos (Swellendam)

We will visit the Harold Porter Botanical Gardens which is a real piece of heaven. The garden and its associated paths winds its way up into a kloof where there is a perennial waterfall and a bridge over the river leading up into the mountain.

  • Accommodation - Guesthouse 
  • Breakfast, light lunch and dinner
  • Distance – 206 km
  • Duration – 2,5 hrs
  • Conditions – Tar via N2
  • Specials along the way – Cape Robin-Chat, Swee Waxbills, Cape Batis, Neddicky

Day 4-5     Grootvadersbos (Swellendam) - Natures Valley

This is one of those well hidden gems where we can take walks in forests close to Redwood Sequoias trees and find secluded bird hides. There are Cape Leopard in the area which are rarely seem but bushbuck frequent the camp site.

  • Bungalow
  • Breakfast and dinner
  • Distance - 250km
  • Duration - 3 hrs
  • Conditions - Tar via N2
  • Specials along the way - Olive Woodpecker, Black headed Oriole, Greater Double-collared Sunbird

Day 6-8     Natures Valley - Addo Elephant (Port Elizabeth)

We drive through the picturesque town of Knysna, the on to Plettenberg Bay before dropping down to Nature's Valley which is simply stunning. It lies on a river, has a stunning beach and is the end of the legendary Otter Trail. If you are feeling strong we can walk along the beach to the mouth of the Sout River

  • Bungalow
  • Breakfast and dinner
  • Distance - 244 km
  • Duration - 3 hrs
  • Conditions - Tar via N2
  • Specials along the way - Giant Kingfisher, Bar-Throated Apalis, Forest Buzzard

Day 9-10   Addo Elephant (Port Elizabeth) - Mountain Zebra (Cradock)

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. There are lions, zebra, hartebeest, eland, kudu, rhino and plenty of warthog.

  • Accommodation –  Bungalows @ Addo National Park
  • Distance – 182km
  • Type of Road – Tar via N10
  • Duration - 3 hrs
  • 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 11       Mountain Zebra (Cradock) - Camdeboo (Graaff Reinet)

The Mountain Zebra National Park is a little gem in the heart of the Eastern Cape Karoo. It was establish to save the Mountain Zebra from the brink of extinction. It has a wonderful rest camp, great drives including a mountain top drive. It boasts a huge variety of mammals and birds for such a small reserve including lions, cheetahs, rhino, oryx and buffalo. The camp is well appointed with great bungalows, swimming pool (including one out in the bush), restaurant and picnic areas.

  • Accommodation - Bungalow
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • Distance – 157 km
  • Duration – 2 hrs
  • Conditions – Tar on the R61
  • Specials along the way – Lesser Kestrels, Karoo Lark, Karoo Eremomela

Day 12-14  Camdeboo (Graaff Reinet) - Karoo National Park (Beaufort West)

This park surrounds the town of Graaff-Reinet and includes the Valley of desolation and Nqweba Dam. Over 250 species of birds are to be found here as well as many species of mammals and reptiles. The town is the fourth oldest in South Africa and was named after the Dutch VOC governor of the Cape Colony, Cornelias Jacob van de Graaff (his wife was Reinet).

  • Accommodation - Bungalow
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • Distance – 213 km
  • Duration – 2,5 hrs
  • Conditions – Tar on the R61
  • Specials along the way – White-Browed Sparrow-Weavers, Secretary Birds, Eastern Clapper Lark

Day 15        Karoo National Park (Beaufort West) - Swartberg (Oudtshoorn)

 This park was created to restock the Karoo with large game that was wiped out by early settlers and also to have a game reserve relatively close to Cape Town. Farms were bought adjoining the reserve to enlarge it. Although still a small reserve by all accounts it does host lion and has an healthy number of Black eagles nesting in the mountains.                   

  • Accommodation – tented camp
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • Distance – 151 km
  • Duration – 2,5 hrs
  • Conditions – Tar on the N1
  • Specials along the way – Diederik Cuckoo, Brownhooded Kingfisher, Cardinal Woodpecker

Day 16        Swartberg Pass (Oudtshoorn) - Dassieshoek (Robertson)

This is the rubicon of gravel road passes built by the legendary Thomas Bain. In fact it was the last road that he built. It climbs to an altitude of 1,436 m above sea level. This area is rated as an IBA 2 with many species of birds to be seen along the way.

  • Accommodation – tented camp
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • Distance – 286 km
  • Duration – 4 hrs
  • Conditions – Tar on the R62
  • Specials along the way – Diederik Cuckoo, Brownhooded Kingfisher, Cardinal Woodpecker

Day 17-18  Dassieshoek (Robertson) - West Coast National Park

This small reserve offers stunning mountain scenery and a host of fynbos and forest specials. We will be staying outside the reserve and some walking will be required to see what is in offer.

  • Accommodation – tented camp
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • Distance – 224 km
  • Duration – 3,5 hrs
  • Conditions – Tar on the N1 and N7
  • Specials along the way – Diederik Cuckoo, Brownhooded Kingfisher, Cardinal Woodpecker

Day 19        West Coast National Park - Durbanville Guest House

The WCNP is home to many species of birds especially waders and shore birds that can be seen from their two hides on the lagoon. They also have a third hide on a dam which I havealways found rewarding. White Throated Swallows have actually bred in the hide.

  • Accommodation - Guesthouse 
  • Breakfast, light lunch and dinner
  • Distance – 90 km
  • Duration – 2 hrs
  • Conditions – Tar via R27 and N1
  • Specials along the way – Namaqua Doves, African Rail, Black Headed Canary

Day 20        Durbanville Guest House - Strandfontein and Rondevlei

Rondevlei is a great birding destination and if you are really lucky you will see a couple of hippos there too. It has awesome hides, watch towers and has had its paths recently repaved. Right next door to the south is the Strandfontein Bird Sanctuary that is home to a vast array of waders and ducks.

  • Accommodation - Guesthouse 
  • Breakfast, light lunch and dinner
  • Distance – 50 km
  • Duration – 1 hrs
  • Conditions – Tar via N1 and M5
  • Specials along the way – Greater Flamingoes, Great White Pelicans, Little Rush Warbler

Day 21        Durbanville Guest House - Kirstenbosch and Intaka, evening drop-off             at airport after dinner

The gardens offers restaurants, kilometers of pathways amongst stunning vegetation indigenous vegetation, tranquil streams, an overhead walkway and of course ... birds ! This is not a destination to miss. There is even a resident, breeding pair of Spotted Eagle Owls. Sunbirds and Sugarbirds are here is droves.

  • Accommodation - Guesthouse 
  • Breakfast, light lunch and dinner
  • Distance – 36 km
  • Duration – 1 hrs
  • Conditions – Tar via N1 and M3
  • Specials along the way – Olive Woodpeckers, Cape Batis, African Dusky Flycatchers

Cost - 21 day Tour : € 4,744 per person sharing (inclusive of pelagic trip, single room accommodation, guide, meals)

Terms and conditions and single client supplement do apply.

Please note: these prices are subject to foreign exchange and fuel price fluctuations.