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

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

South African Birding Tour
A comprehensive 17 day birding tour of Southern Africa taking in the Western Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, Lesotho, Mpumalanga, Gauteng and Limpopo Province. Experience a staggering variety of habitat including the unique Cape Fynbos, the succulent Karoo, the Drakensberg wilderness and a wonderful diversity of lagoon, estuary, marsh, grassland, pan and bushveld - plus a pelagic off Cape Town. Target over 500 birds including 135 Southern African endemics.

BirdWatch Cape acts as agent only for this tour and not as principal operator. The optimum time for this trip is October/November. Any time September – February is suitable.

Price available on request

The price is inclusive of all entrance fees, meals and accommodation with the exception of the evening meal when on your own in Cape Town or Simonstown at the start of the trip.

The tour can be can be customised to meet your specific needs. We have included a number of cultural breaks and these may be substituted with additional birding. We can also, within limitations, shorten or lengthen the trip. Please contact us for further details.

Cape Gannet

Photograph Ria Grant
Day 1
Arrive Cape Town International Airport and transfer to your Simonstown accommodation. We spend the rest of the day on the southern peninsula - Kommetjie for all the marine cormorants; Cape Point Nature Reserve and Lighthouse and the African Penguin breeding colony at Boulders Beach. Overnight Central Hotel, Simonstown.

Top Birds - Bank, Cape and Crowned Cormorant, Cape Gannet, African Penguin, African Black Oystercatcher

Day 2
Pelagic day. Our pelagic trip to the continental shelf approximately 25 nautical miles south of Cape Point should yield 20 + species. We depart Simonstown at 07H00 and return about 15H30. Overnight Simonstown.

Top Birds – dependant upon the time of year but count on a variety of Albatross, Petrel, Shearwater, Skua and Gull

Day 3
Today we focus on some of the Cape Mountain Fynbos endemics including the much sought after Cape Rock-jumper. We spend time at Sir Lowry's Pass and Rooi Els. Our afternoon is spent at Strandfontein Treatment Works - one of the most important wetlands in South Africa. Overnight Breakwater Lodge or Waterfront City Lodge.
Cape Rock-jumper

Photograph courtesy Nicol Mutch, Scotland

Top Birds - Cape Rock-jumper, Cape Sugarbird, Orange-breasted Sunbird, Victorin's Warbler, Cape Siskin, Cape Rock Thrush, Cape Grassbird

Day 4
An early morning visit to the Constantia Greenbelt and then a few hours at Kirstenbosch Botanical gardens - one of the world’s leading indigenous gardens on the eastern slopes of Table Mountain. Later in the day, and weather permitting, we enjoy a cable car ascent of Table Mountain. In the afternoon we visit Robben Island in Table Bay - former prison home of Nelson Mandela. Overnight Breakwater Lodge or Waterfront City Lodge.

Top Birds - Knysna Warbler, Southern Boubou, Cape Batis

Day 5
A day at the West Coast National Park approximately 80 km north of Cape Town. This park was established for the preservation of our unique strandveld which supports some of the Karoo bird specials. The Park encircles the Langebaan Lagoon which in summer hosts the largest number of migrant waders in South Africa. Overnight Riviera Hotel on the banks of the Berg River - a simple though comfortable country hotel with en suit facilities.

Top Birds - Black Harrier, Southern Black Korhaan, Grey-winged Francolin, Fiscal Flycatcher, Grey Tit, Cape Penduline-tit, White-throated Canary, Larklike Bunting

Day 6
We leave some time today to fill the gaps in our Western Cape list before heading eastwards for the mountains shielding the Tanqua Karoo. Overnight The Village Guest House, Ceres.

Top Birds - Cape Long-billed Lark, Sickle-winged Chat, Chestnut-banded Plover

Spotted Thickknee

Photograph Ria Grant

Day 7
Today we begin our drive northward into the Tanqua Karoo - a remote area of semi desert with stark, geologically interesting landscapes. Of the species seen in the Tanqua about 35 will be Southern African endemics. Overnight The Village Guest House.

Top Birds - Karoo Korhaan, Ludwig's Bustard, Karoo Lark, Rufous-eared Warbler, Tractrac Chat, Ground Woodpecker, Black-headed Canary, Namaqua Sandgrouse

Day 8
Our final day in the Western Cape is spent in the Tanqua as we head slowly back toward Cape Town. We overnight in a Western Cape hotel - accommodation well placed for the airport.

Top Birds - Cinnamon-breasted Warbler, Fairy Flycatcher, Pririt Batis, Acacia Pied Barbet, Karoo Eremomela

Day 9
Fly to Durban. On arrival we drive to the Drakensberg foothills. Late afternoon birding around Creighton may produce Broad-tailed Warbler and Black-rumped Buttonquail. Overnight in Creighton.

Top Birds - Blue Crane, Cape Longclaw, Southern Grey-headed Sparrow, Broad-tailed Warbler and Black-rumped Buttonquail

Day 10
A 4x4 ascent of the ruggedly beautiful Sani Pass. Not only is the scenery magnificent, the birds are special as well – a nice complement to your Cape Mountain birding. Overnight in Creighton.

Top Birds - Drakensberg Siskin, Drakensberg Rock-jumper, Gurney's Sugarbird, Bush Blackcap, Sentinel Rock Thrush, Barratt's Warbler, Mountain Pipit, Cape Vulture

Day 11
Weather permitting, a pre-dawn vehicle ascent of Hlabeni Mountain arriving in time to pick up some of the highly threatened Cape Parrots as they leave on their daily foraging route to the surrounding areas. Overnight at the Eshowe B&B.

Top Birds - Cape Parrot, Forest Buzzard, Red-necked Francolin, Greater Double-collared Sunbird, Forest Canary

Day 12
We spend the earlier part of the morning birding the Dlinza Forest -rich in specials with the only canopy walkway in the country. Later we visit the coastal town of Mtunzini to look for the Palm-nut Vulture.

A visit to a large nearby wetland may give us Lesser Jacana and African Pygmy Goose. Our day’s birding ends at the town of St Lucia. We overnight at the St Lucia Wetlands B&B . Cape Batis

Photograph courtesy Cape Bird Club

Top Birds - Chorister Robin-chat, Spotted Ground Thrush, Eastern Bronze-naped Pigeon, Lesser Jacana, African Pygmy Goose, Palm-nut Vulture, Black-throated Wattle-eye

Day 13
A pre-breakfast walk along the Gwalagwala Forest Trail will provide a variety of avian delights. After breakfast, on the road to Cape Vidal, we look for the elusive Southern Banded Snake-Eagle. Our destination this evening is Bonamanzi Game Farm where we will overnight.

Top Birds – Livingstone’s Turaco, Woodward’s Batis, Brown Scrub-robin, Red-capped Robin-chat, Southern Banded Snake-eagle, Rudd's Apalis

Day 14
Today we pay a visit to Mkhuze Game Reserve - arguably South Africa’s premier birding destination that also supports a wide mammal variety. We return to Bonamanzi for a late dinner.

Top Birds - Natal Spurfowl, Southern Yellow-billed Hornbill, Neergaard's Sunbird, Pink-throated Twinspot

Lilac-breasted Roller

Photograph Ria Grant

Day 15
Dawn finds us waiting for African Broadbill to start its remarkable buzzing display activity. Later (and weather permitting) we’ll take a drive to the Hluhluwe River floodplain to look for Rosy-throated Longclaw.

After some final birding at Bonamanzi we set off on a five hour drive to our overnight stop at Wakkerstroom in the highlands of Mpumalanga. Overnight Wakkerstroom Country Inn.

Top Birds - African Broadbill, Lemon-breasted Canary, Burchell's Coucal, White-throated Robin-chat, Rosy-throated Longclaw, Gorgeous Bush-shrike, Green Malkoha

Day 16
The morning is spent birding in the moist grasslands around Wakkerstroom. Later that afternoon we bird the broad-leafed woodland north of Tshwane Metropole (Pretoria) before arriving at our last overnight stop. Overnight KwaNdaba Lodge.

Top Birds - Blue Korhaan, Rudd’s Lark, Eastern Long-billed Lark, Spike-heeled Lark, Botha’s Lark, Pale-crowned Cisticola, Yellow-breasted Pipit

Day 17
The main attraction today is the Acacia veld of the Pienaar’s River floodplain. A dawn departure gives us a good chance of finding some of the striking Acacia specials. From here, sadly, we head southwards to Johannesburg International Airport for your evening flight home.

Top Birds – Northern Black Korhaan, Ashy Tit, Southern Pied Babbler, Karoo Thrush, Kalahari Scrub-robin, Barred Wren-Warbler, Black-chested Prinia, Marico Flycatcher, Crimson-breasted Shrike, Southern White-crowned Shrike, Scaly-feathered Finch, Violet-eared Waxbill and Shaft-tailed Whydah

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