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Worldwide Birding Tours - Birding Ecotours






1.5 - 2-day Trips for Rare Owls, Flufftails, Drakensberg Endemics, and more, near Johannesburg



We often run a 24-hour trip out of Johannesburg or Pretoria, with one night in Dullstroom, targeting Cape Eagle-Owl. Often we run this trip purely as fund-raising trip to raise money for bird conservation.

Duration: 2

Conveniently, Dullstroom also has a plethora of greater Drakensberg endemics and other sought-after birds, and we typically look for these the morning after we’ve sought the owl – the pickings include  Yellow-breasted Pipit, Eastern Long-billed Lark, Gurney’s Sugarbird, all three cranes, a host of spectacular widowbirds and bishops, and so many others. Occasionally we are even able to combine this trip with a White-winged Flufftail conservation walk, also near Dullstroom.

We have a couple of relatively reliable sites for African Grass Owl only 45 minutes’ drive from Johannesburg airport, but one has to be there when it is completely dark (very early morning or quite late at night), and you can encounter a host of other species here as well, including abundant Marsh Owl, lots of waterbirds and grassland birds, and sometimes some rarer species such as Black-winged Pratincole.

Flufftails are among the world’s most elusive birds, but some of them can be found near Johannesburg. We have a reasonably reliable site for Red-chested Flufftail in Pretoria year-round (this only needs a morning trip), and 4 hours’ drive from Johannesburg we have a good site for Striped Flufftail in October to early November. Some of these trips can be combined together to form 2-4 day trips, and of course we can also arrange longer tours for you, such as our 8- and 16-day-long Cape and subtropical South Africa tours.

Usually we custom-make trips to see these rare tough species.- Please contact us for information.

The guide for day trips is allocated only after you have booked, as all of them are run as private trips. But we always use the country’s top birding guides.


Price: on request

Single Supplement: on request

Price includes:

Meals

Accommodation

Entrance fees

Guiding fees

Vehicle hire and fuel

Price excludes:

International and domestic flights

Personal insurance

Alcoholic beverages

Gratuities

Laundry service

Personal expenses such as gifts

Black Harrier - John Tinkler

West Coast Birding Tour - 1 day

Duration: 1
Price: Please see http://birdingecotours.com/birding-day-trips/.
Details: The West Coast National Park is a 1-hour drive (if traveling directly) from Cape Town, But we certainly will be birding all along the way instead of driving directly!

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Southern Double-collared Sunbird

Photo and Birding Tour South Africa: Western Cape, with extension to Kruger National Park 2018

Duration: 11 days
Limit (Group Size): 4 - 7
Date Start: September 01, 2018
Date End: September 11, 2018
Price: Main tour: R50,562 , Kruger NP extension R26,889
Details: South Africa’s Western Cape Province is scenically stunningly beautiful and hugely varied – from rocky sea cliffs and impressive mountains rising straight out of the sea to everything from moist t

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Southern Double-collared Sunbird

Photo and Birding Tour South Africa: Western Cape, with extension to Kruger National Park 2017

Duration: 11 days
Limit (Group Size): 4 - 7
Date Start: September 01, 2017
Date End: September 11, 2017
Price: Main tour: R43,588, Kruger NP extension R23,189
Details: South Africa’s Western Cape Province is scenically stunningly beautiful and hugely varied – from rocky sea cliffs and impressive mountains rising straight out of the sea to everything from moist t

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Rockrunner - Ian Merrill

Photo and Birding Tour Namibia and Botswana: 13-day Adventure 2018

Duration: 13 days
Limit (Group Size): 4 - 7
Date Start: March 09, 2018
Date End: March 21, 2018
Price: R89,797 per person sharing, based on 4 – 7 participants in a 14-seater van with some seats removed.
Details: This is a photographic birding tour that gives you time in some of Africa’s greatest (no exaggeration!) wildlife havens. We begin our Photo and Birding Tour Namibia and Botswana in Namibia with thr

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Rockrunner - Ian Merrill

Photo and Birding Tour Namibia and Botswana: 13-day Adventure 2018

Duration: 13 days
Limit (Group Size): 4 - 7
Date Start: March 09, 2018
Date End: March 21, 2018
Price: R89,797 per person sharing, based on 4 – 7 participants in a 14-seater van with some seats removed.
Details: This is a photographic birding tour that gives you time in some of Africa’s greatest (no exaggeration!) wildlife havens. We begin our Photo and Birding Tour Namibia and Botswana in Namibia with thr

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What our clients say

Bo Beolens of Fatbirder put me onto Chris Lotz of Birding Ecotours originally. What a favour he did me. Not only is Chris an excellent birder, but he goes out of his way to be really helpful. I and my partner settled on Namibia with Birding Ecotours as our next trip, and as we were in Jo`burg visiting friends a few days before the trip, I asked Chris if he could also arrange for me to see Flufftails in the gap available. The hub of Birding Ecotours couldn`t have been more delightful to deal with. Not only did he get very excited by this challenge, but took it upon himself to do our guiding. He found an equally enthusiastic birder, Kevin, to join the trip and off we set for the Dullstroom area, where there was a Striped Flufftail guide, all revved up and ready to go except it was miserable weather. Never mind, a quick re-calculation and we descended down to Nelspruit Botanic Garden and sunshine, and spent half a day revelling in Sth. African birds. Then we ascended and went lark and pipit hunting which Chris found by call. He also found us an Oribi which was stunning, we were so close. Chris and his guide worked extremely hard the next day, trying to call out a flufftail . We could hear them but the thick vegetation prevented any views of them. After doing a circuit of the whole area, Chris and the guide doing more, as they were going up and down the hill , we were losing heart. Luck returned as Chris planted us by a carefully placed mp3 playing flufftail, and a narrow trodden path into the bracken. We waited as the sound of another flufftail got closer. I could hear Kevin hyperventilating as he suddenly found himself looking at a full frontal view of a male Striped Flufftail. As I was at a slightly different angle, I couldn`t see this marvellous apparition, but found myself breathing hard in anticipation when, from behind the clump of grass I was straining to see through, a female suddenly leapt across the gap like a frog, so fast that all I got was a view of the back and tail! No wonder they are a difficult bird to get to grips with but I would recommend this sort of diversion to anyone. I wouldn`t have climbed the hill after the Cape Eagle Owl if it wasn`t for Chris`s infectious enthusiasm either, and we were sorry to see both of them go; they had been so easy to get on with, both entertaining and amusing We flew to Walvis Bay a few days later to meet Steve Braine, our leader for the Namibia trip, and the rest of the participants. We found that Steve was a born and bred Namibian and knew the country like the back of his hand. He knew exactly where everything was, and if he didn’t, he had a hot-line to somebody who did. Fortunately the rest of the group were a relaxed bunch and very talkative and entertaining, and soon Steve had everyone fixated on birds. Steve and his bird knowledge is fearsome. He worked tirelessly, always on the go arranging the next highlight, repeating things if he thought anybody had missed out. He knows all the mammals, all the reptiles, loves scorpions and even dabbles with Lepidoptera. We were all beginning to think he was some kind of magician a week into the trip. There are sights on this trip you will never forget. For me, even the sight of a line of larks, all squashed together along a 1 inch wide line of shade under a notice board was spectacular. The plumage of desert birds looking like ink etchings: I could go on. Steve is an extremely good leader and I for one am grateful for his excellent birding skills and tireless driving.

Jan and John, Wales



We can run any of our tours privately any time and we can also arrange custom itineraries - send us your wish-list and we'll put the itinerary together! Please click here.

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