Birding tours South Africa and birdwatching Cape Town, pelagic birdwatching, ecotours and birding breaks.

Birdwatching Cape Town
Day tours: Birding in & around Cape Town
Natural History Tours
Pelagics - we run our Cape Pelagics through our sister company

Western Cape, South Africa, Birding Adventures
For an 8- or 12-day set date or bespoke Cape birdwatching tour, kindly visit our sister company - These and a range of other South African tours can be viewed here

Birdwatching Johannesburg and Pretoria
Day tours: Birding in & around Johannesburg and Pretoria

Birding Tours South Africa
South Africa in 17 Days
Birding South Africa's Dry West
Birding Kwazulu/Natal
Birding the Eastern Cape

For a range of other birdwatching tours to the Kruger National Park and all over South Africa, kindly visit our sister company - we can run bespoke versions if you can't join the specific dates indicated

Other African Destinations - Special Mention!!
Self-drive options for birding trips in South Africa
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Price and other details of our Day tours are the same as our sister company
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Please click on the logo below for a big array of tours throughout South Africa, Africa and the world:

Birding Ecotours-small group and custom-made birding adventures worldwide

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Birding Ecotours-small group and custom-made birding adventures worldwide

Johannesburg and Pretoria areas

We offer half day, full day, two-day and longer trips in the Johannesburg/Pretoria area. Please e-mail info@birdwatch.co.za for details of these and longer trips - for example, birdwatching trips into Kruger.

Day Tours

GP1 Tough birds of Gauteng
GP2 Borakalalo Nature Reserve and Vaalkop Dam
GP3 Pilanesberg National Park
GP4 Ezemvelo Nature Reserve and Bronkhorstspruit Dam
GP5 Gauteng, Mountains and Wetlands Routes

For all tours, the price is inclusive of Hotel/Guest House pick up/drop off (for details, please see our Prices page). In respect of all overnight tours the price is inclusive of entrance fees, meals and accommodation.

The tours listed are an indication of options. They can be customised to meet your specific needs. Tours are run at a pace to suit you.

Day Tours - Johanessburg and Pretoria
GP1 - Tough birds of Gauteng

African Grass Owl, Barrow’s Korhaan, Orange River Francolin, Red-chested Flufftail and others

We take birders to sites for some of these birds that can be found on the doorstep of Johannesburg and Pretoria, IF you know EXACTLY where to go. Most Johannesburg birders have not seen these star birds, and yet they can be seen given less than a full day’s birding.

Please note: this tour includes 1-day trips on weekends.


GP2 - Borakalalo Nature Reserve and Vaalkop Dam

Photograph Craig Symes
Photograph Craig Symes

Although both these localities can be visited in one day, it is far more productive to do them on separate days. Both these localities have so much to offer and one can easily spend many more days in this area. Borakalalo is a large game reserve close to Gauteng and has a wide variety of bushveld, woodland and waterbirds. Over 300 species have been recorded and a day trip in summer can easily produce 120 species. The large Klipvoor dam is a prominent feature of the reserve and it is on the Moreleta River below the dam, that we will be looking for African Finfoot and the occasional White-backed Night Heron. Other specials include Redbilled Oxpecker, Short-toed Rock Trush (Winter), Grey-hooded Kingfisher, Meyer’s Parrot, Purple Roller, Doublebanded Sandgrouse, Bronzewinged Courser and Pied Babbler.

The Vaalkop dam is a large impoundment on the Elands River and has an incredibly rich selection of birds, with a good representation of raptors which include Osprey (summer), African Fish Eagle, Black, Wahlbergs (summer) and African Hawk Eagle. Some of the larger waterbirds present include Goliath, Great White and Purple Heron, Yellowbilled Stork and Spoonbill. In the bushveld we will look for Violet-eared and Blackcheeked Waxbill, Cape Penduline Tit, Crimsonbreasted Shrike and Barred Warbler. Some other specials include Icterine Warbler, Bluecheeked Bee-eater, Woodland and Pygmy Kingfisher.


GP3 -Pilanesberg National Park

Photograph Adrian Binns
Photograph Adrian Binns
This large game park is home to some 350 odd species of birds and is particularly well known for its big game. A good array of bushveld birds occur here and 150 species on a good summer day is quite feasible. Although we do many day trips to this area, a longer stay comes highly recommended. A lot of our birding will be done at selected spots where we are allowed out of the vehicle and can stroll around at leisure.

There are several small dams and watering holes, with the latter being quite productive at times, as well as the larger Mankwe Dam where we will look for some waterbirds. Raptors are well represented and a regular scan of the skies usually produces some of the larger eagles as well as vultures. Specials to look out for include Secretarybird, Pale Chanting Goshawk, Kori Bustard, African Cuckoo, Shafttailed Whydah, Black Eagle, Rock Kestrel, Jackal Buzzard, Blackbreasted Snake Eagle, African Hawk Eagle, Martial Eagle, Pearlspotted Owl and Lappetfaced Vulture.


GP4 - Ezemvelo Nature Reserve and Bronkhorstspruit Dam

Photograph Craig Symes
Photograph Craig Symes
A very early start to the day will see us at Bronkhorstspruit dam, which is a haven for waterfowl as well as a number of interesting grassland endemics. Over 200 species have been recorded and we should pick up 70 odd species here. Specials to look out for include, Redchested Flufftail (more often heard than seen), Whitebacked Duck, Great Crested Grebe, Caspian Tern, Fantailed, Cloud and Ayres' Cisticola, Blue Korhaan, Orange River Francolin as well as the occasional Osprey. From here we head for the 10000+ Ha

Ezemvelo Nature Reserve offering excellent grassland habitat, as well as riverine bush and small areas of acaciaveld. This reserve boasts an impressive bird list which can be found in the downloads section of their web page at www.ezemvelo.co.za . We should find birds such as White-bellied Korhaan, Greater Honeyguide, Banded Martin, Redbreasted Swallow, Striped, Buffy and Plainbacked Pipits with relative ease.


GP5 -Gauteng, Mountains and Wetlands Routes
Photograph Martin Benadie
Photograph Martin Benadie
Route 1
We make an early start and head for Marievale bird sanctuary which is a modified high-altitude wetland, it forms part of the larger Blesbokspruit IBA which was designated a Ramsar wetland of international importance in 1986. At least 286 species have been recorded here, we will be looking for specials such as Slaty Egret, Grass Owl, Bailons Crake and many other water loving species. From here we will head for the 13 337 ha Suikerbosrand Nature Reserve, which boasts a huge diversity of habitats. The reserve holds some 273 bird species, here we will be looking for some highveld grassland specials rarely recorded elsewhere in Gauteng. Specials include Sentinel Rock Trush (winter), Black Harrier (winter), Ground Woodpecker, Black Eagle, Grey-winged and Red-winged Francolins, Striped Pipit and many more. Of course there is the added advantage of a good sprinkling of game species to view. We will enjoy a packed picnic lunch at the Holhoek picnic site.

Route 2
We will start at the 95 ha Rondebult Bird Sanctuary where we will concentrate mainly on running up a quick list of waterbirds. The sanctuary consists of a number of large ponds originally created as settlement pans for a nearby sewage treatment plant. From here we head to Kloofendal Nature Reserve where we will find some woodland birds including the likes of Black Cuckooshrike, Malachite Sunbird, Klaas’s Cuckoo, Lesser and Greater Honeyguides and many more. A short distance from here we find the Walter Sisulu Botanical Gardens which is an outstanding birding locality with a bird list of approx. 230 species. On arrival we will enjoy a packed picnic lunch before heading for the nesting Black Eagles near the waterfall. There is some pleasant and well laid out walks, along which we will look for Greater Double-collared Sunbird, Mocking Cliff-chat, Rock Kestrel, African Black Duck and Half-collared Kingfisher to name a few.


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