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Worldwide Birding Tours - Birding Ecotours





This October Birding Ecotours tour leader and guide Andy Walker led a custom Pacific Tour around New Caledonia, Fiji, and Samoa. This custom tour followed our scheduled departure Pacific Tour itinerary, and the 2017 itinerary can be viewed here. The trip report is now online and can be found here. Below, Andy summarizes the trip and provides a few photos. Please visit our tour page for many more photos.

 

We had a great tour around several Pacific Islands this October. First stop was Grande Terre, the largest island in New Caledonia and home to plenty of endemics, several of which are totally astonishing, like Kagu, Cloven-feathered Dove, Horned Parakeet, and the tool-using New Caledonia Crow. These are some of the most interesting, beautiful, and bizarre birds on our planet, and we enjoyed taking pictures and observing them all at length.

birding ecotours kagu

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kagu

Cloven-feathered Dove

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cloven-feathered Dove

We also enjoyed spending time with numerous other endemics, such as New Caledonian Whistler, Yellow-bellied Flyrobin, Crow Honeyeater, White-bellied Goshawk, New Caledonian Myzomela, and Red-throated Parrotfinch.

Our second destination was Fiji. We spent time on three islands: Viti Levu, Vanua Levu, and Kadavu. Here we experienced real Fijian culture and weather and an assortment of exciting birds. Endemic parrots were a big draw with Masked Shining Parrot, Maroon Shining Parrot, Crimson Shining Parrot, and Collared Lory all spectacular birds. However, the shining parrots were outshone by the totally outrageous fruit doves with the following all seen well: Golden Fruit Dove, Orange Fruit Dove, Whistling Fruit Dove, and Many-colored Fruit Dove.

Orange Fruit Dove

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Orange Fruit Dove

It wasn’t all about the doves and parrots, though, with loads of other endemics seen well: Azure-crested Flycatcher, Vanikoro Flycatcher, Fiji Whistler, Sulphur-breasted Myzomela, Black-throated Shrikebill, Fiji Goshawk, and of course one of the main Fijian targets – Silktail.

Our final stop was a brief one on Upolu, Samoa, where we found some very nice birds during our short stay. Flat-billed Kingfisher was a big target, and we got good views of several birds. Other highlights included the showy Crimson-crowned Fruit Dove, Cardinal Myzomela, Blue-crowned Lorikeet, Pacific Robin, Mao, Samoan Whistler, and Red-headed Parrotfinch. It was also hard not to enjoy the sight of Buff-banded Rails walking around gardens and roadside verges out in plain sight and totally abundant!

Also while on Upolu we saw the graceful White-tailed Tropicbird and White Terns displaying over forests we were birding in along with a constant stream of Brown Noddies passing overhead taking a shortcut across the island. All very spectacular!

Cardinal Myzomela

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cardinal Myzomela

This Pacific Tour gives the perfect introduction into the region. Some great food, scenery, and people also accompany the wonderful birds and make for a great experience. A final word from Andy:

There is a lot of work to do on the taxonomy of many species in the region. Recent updates from BirdLife International hint at many proposed splits; however, we used the IOC taxonomy for our tour and so will have to wait whether any of these are accepted by the IOC.

We saw several subspecies across different islands in Fiji or the wider region, and many of these may be elevated to full-species status in the near future. Examples that spring to mind include the Fiji Whistler complex – we saw at least three very different subspecies on the Fijian islands we visited (these looked and sounded very different to each other – see the photos below of two of the three subspecies we encountered, one from Vanua Levu and one from Kadavu). Similarly, the Streaked Fantail on Grande Terre (New Caledonia) looked and sounded very different to those seen on Viti Levu and Vanua Levu (Fiji)… just some food for thought.

The trip list in the Trip Report is broken down to subspecies level so that we can keep track of any potential armchair ticks that may arise in the future!

Fiji Whistler – (aurantiiventris) from Vanua Levu, Fiji

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fiji Whistler – (aurantiiventris) from Vanua Levu, Fiji

Fiji Whistler – (kandavensis) from Kadavu Island, Fiji.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fiji Whistler – (kandavensis) from Kadavu Island, Fiji.

 

 

 


South Africa Birding Tours

South Africa is one of the best value destinations on the entire continent. The outstanding infrastructure, great accommodation, excellent food, wonderful South African hospitality, spectacular and varied scenery, and the presence of Africa’s big and small mammals makes it one of the most pleasant countries in the world to bird in.

Birding Tour South Africa - Lappet-faced Vulture - John Tinkler

Birding Tour South Africa - Cape, Namaqualand and Kalahari 2017

Duration: 13 days
Limit (Group Size): 4 - 9
Date Start: August 15, 2017
Date End: August 27, 2017
Tour Start:: Cape Town
Tour End:: Kimberley
Price: R55,738
Summary: This is a birding adventure in which a large number of localized southern African endemics will be encountered. In addition, big mammals such as black-maned Kalahari lion will be an exciting distraction to...

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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
Tour Start:: Cape Town
Tour End:: George
Price: Main tour: R43,588, Kruger NP extension R23,189
Summary: 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 temper...

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Leopard - John Tinkler

Birding Tour South Africa: Kruger National Park and Escarpment October 2017

Duration: 9 days
Limit (Group Size): 4 - 8 (rarely 9)
Date Start: September 30, 2017
Date End: October 08, 2017
Tour Start:: Johannesburg
Tour End:: Johannesburg
Price: R49,026 per person sharing
Summary: This is a tour for those who want the ultimate African mammal safari experience while also seeing a huge diversity of birds, a disproportionate number of these birds being very brightly colored, charismati...

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African Oystercatcher

Birding Tour South Africa: 8-day Western Cape October 2017

Duration: 8 days
Limit (Group Size): 8 (rarely 9)
Spaces Available:: 6
Date Start: October 09, 2017
Date End: October 16, 2017
Tour Start:: Cape Town
Tour End:: Cape Town
Price: R28,727 per person sharing, (The prices assume a group of 8, but we typically guarantee the departure even with a smaller group.)
Summary: “The Fairest Cape” is an apt name for this part of the world, with the iconic Table Mountain, the picturesque Cape Peninsula, winelands in spectacular valleys between the Cape Fold Mountains, and argua...

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Quailfinch - Andrew de Klerk

Birding Tour South Africa: Subtropical South Africa October 2017

Duration: 16 days
Limit (Group Size): 8 (rarely 9)
Spaces Available:: 0
Date Start: October 16, 2017
Date End: October 31, 2017
Tour Start:: Durban
Tour End:: Johannesburg
Price: R54,817 per person sharing (The prices assume a group of 8, but we typically guarantee the departure even with a smaller group.)
Summary: This tour is now fully booked. Please consider our 2018 tour. This subtropical tour provides a representative sample of the very best that African birding can offer. Huge numbers of species will be seen (t...

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Birding Tour South Africa - Buff-spotted Flufftail - Hugh Chittenden

Birding Tour South Africa: Elusive Owls and Flufftails 2017

Duration: 3 days
Limit (Group Size): 5
Date Start: October 31, 2017
Date End: November 03, 2017
Tour Start:: Johannesburg
Tour End:: Johannesburg
Price: Between R7267 and R9770 per person sharing, based on group size and various other factors.
Summary: This short Birding Tour South Africa adventure concentrates on finding four particularly tough birds: Grass Owl, Cape Eagle-Owl, Red-chested Flufftail, and Striped Flufftail. Although there is no guarantee...

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Birding Tour South Africa: Marsh Owl by Andrew de Klerk

Birding Tour South Africa: Zimbabwe/Mozambique pre-trip 2017

Duration: 8 days
Limit (Group Size): 4 - 8
Date Start: November 14, 2017
Date End: November 21, 2017
Tour Start:: Johannesburg, South Africa
Tour End:: Harare, Zimbabwe - or Johannesburg: a transfer is arranged before crossing the border
Price: 6 - 8 participants R22,827 per person sharing, 4 - 5 participants R27,122 per person sharing
Summary: This wonderful tour through less-traveled but very bird-rich north-eastern South Africa will have us explore such renowned hot birding spots as Zaagkuilsdrift, Magoebaskloof, and Mapungubwe National Park. ...

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Knysna Turaco - John Tinkler

Birding Tour South Africa: 12-day Western Cape February 2018

Duration: 12 days
Limit (Group Size): 8, rarely 9
Spaces Available:: 6
Date Start: February 14, 2018
Date End: February 25, 2018
Tour Start:: Cape Town
Tour End:: George
Price: R44,934 per person sharing (The prices assume a group of 8, but we typically guarantee the departure even with a smaller group.)
Summary: We often get feedback that the accommodation on this ‘Birding Tour South Africa’ adventure is great! Indeed, South Africa is one of the best value destinations on the entire continent. The exce...

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Birding Tour South Africa - Quailfinch - Andrew de Klerk

Birding Tour South Africa: Subtropical South Africa March 2018

Duration: 18 days
Limit (Group Size): 8 (rarely 9)
Date Start: February 25, 2018
Date End: March 14, 2018
Tour Start:: Durban
Tour End:: Johannesburg
Price: R68,300 per person sharing (The prices assume a group of 8, but we typically guarantee the departure even with a smaller group.)
Summary: This subtropical tour provides a representative sample of the very best that African birding can offer. Huge numbers of species will be seen (the typical bird list for this adventure is in the range of 400...

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Birding Tour Kalahari - Aardvark

Mammal and Birding Tour South Africa: The Kalahari 2018

Duration: 9 days
Limit (Group Size): 4 - 8 (rarely 9)
Date Start: April 02, 2018
Date End: April 09, 2018
Tour Start:: Johannesburg
Tour End:: Johannesburg
Price: Main tour: R40,987 per person sharing. Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park pre-trip: R31,888 per person sharing. (The prices assume a group of 8, but we typically guarantee the departure even with a smaller group.)
Summary: We offer an optional 6-day Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park pre-tour extension to this tour. Welcome to our Birding Tour Kalahari expedition. The vast Kalahari area is semi-desert, where some very tough Africa...

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Birding Tour Southern Africa - African Scops Owl - Martin Benadie

Birding Tour Southern Africa: Owls of Namibia, Botswana, South Africa 2018

Duration: 15 days
Limit (Group Size): 4 - 8
Date Start: April 10, 2018
Date End: April 24, 2018
Tour Start:: Windhoek, Namibia
Tour End:: Johannesburg, South Africa
Price: R66,462 per person sharing
Summary: Owls of Africa: The southern dozen – Birding Tour Southern Africa This is a trip in which we concentrate on finding the fine suite of owls inhabiting Africa south of the mighty Zambezi River. Most of...

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South Africa

Mammal and Birding Tour South Africa: Drakensberg and Zululand 2018

Duration: 9 days
Limit (Group Size): 4 - 8 (rarely 9)
Date Start: April 10, 2018
Date End: April 18, 2018
Tour Start:: Durban
Tour End:: Durban
Price: R47,534 per person sharing.
Summary: KwaZulu-Natal is one of the richest places for mammals and birds in South Africa. On this ‘Birding Tour South Africa’ adventure we first sample the impressive Drakensberg, which has lots of bir...

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Birding Tour South Africa - Leopard - John Tinkler

Birding Tour South Africa: Kruger National Park and Escarpment June 2018

Duration: 9 days
Limit (Group Size): 4 - 8 (rarely 9)
Date Start: June 01, 2018
Date End: June 09, 2018
Tour Start:: Johannesburg
Tour End:: Johannesburg
Price: R56,870 per person sharing
Summary: This is a tour for those who want the ultimate African mammal safari experience while also seeing a huge diversity of birds, a disproportionate number of these birds being very brightly colored, charismati...

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Birding Tour South Africa - Lappet-faced Vulture - John Tinkler

Birding Tour South Africa - Cape, Namaqualand and Kalahari 2018

Duration: 13 days
Limit (Group Size): 4 - 9
Date Start: August 15, 2018
Date End: August 27, 2018
Tour Start:: Cape Town
Tour End:: Kimberley
Price: R64,656 per person sharing
Summary: This is a birding adventure in which a large number of localized southern African endemics will be encountered. In addition, big mammals such as black-maned Kalahari lion will be an exciting distraction to...

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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
Tour Start:: Cape Town
Tour End:: George
Price: Main tour: R50,562 , Kruger NP extension R26,889
Summary: 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 temper...

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Leopard - John Tinkler

Birding Tour South Africa: Kruger National Park and Escarpment October 2018

Duration: 9 days
Limit (Group Size): 4 - 8 (rarely 9)
Date Start: September 30, 2018
Date End: October 08, 2018
Tour Start:: Johannesburg
Tour End:: Johannesburg
Price: R56,870 per person sharing
Summary: This is a tour for those who want the ultimate African mammal safari experience while also seeing a huge diversity of birds, a disproportionate number of these birds being very brightly colored, charismati...

See full tour detail
African Oystercatcher

Birding Tour South Africa: 8-day Western Cape October 2018

Duration: 8 days
Limit (Group Size): 8 (rarely 9)
Date Start: October 07, 2018
Date End: October 14, 2018
Tour Start:: Cape Town
Tour End:: Cape Town
Price: R33,323 per person sharing, (The prices assume a group of 8, but we typically guarantee the departure even with a smaller group.)
Summary: “The Fairest Cape” is an apt name for this part of the world, with the iconic Table Mountain, the picturesque Cape Peninsula, winelands in spectacular valleys between the Cape Fold Mountains, and argua...

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Quailfinch - Andrew de Klerk

Birding Tour South Africa: Subtropical South Africa October 2018

Duration: 18 days
Limit (Group Size): 8 (rarely 9)
Date Start: October 14, 2018
Date End: October 31, 2018
Tour Start:: Durban
Tour End:: Johannesburg
Price: R68,300 per person sharing (The prices assume a group of 8, but we typically guarantee the departure even with a smaller group.)
Summary: This subtropical tour provides a representative sample of the very best that African birding can offer. Huge numbers of species will be seen (the typical bird list for this adventure is in the range of 400...

See full tour detail
Birding Tour South Africa - Buff-spotted Flufftail - Hugh Chittenden

Birding Tour South Africa: Elusive Owls and Flufftails 2018

Duration: 3 days
Limit (Group Size): 5
Date Start: October 31, 2018
Date End: November 03, 2018
Tour Start:: Johannesburg
Tour End:: Johannesburg
Price: Between R8430 and R11333 per person sharing, based on group size and various other factors.
Summary: This short Birding Tour South Africa adventure concentrates on finding four particularly tough birds: Grass Owl, Cape Eagle-Owl, Red-chested Flufftail, and Striped Flufftail. Although there is no guarantee...

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Birding Tour South Africa: Marsh Owl by Andrew de Klerk

Birding Tour South Africa: Zimbabwe/Mozambique pre-trip 2018

Duration: 8 days
Limit (Group Size): 4 - 8
Date Start: November 14, 2018
Date End: November 21, 2018
Tour Start:: Johannesburg, South Africa
Tour End:: Harare, Zimbabwe - or Johannesburg: a transfer is arranged before crossing the border
Price: 6 - 8 participants R26,479 per person sharing, 4 - 5 participants R31,462 per person sharing
Summary: This wonderful tour through less-traveled but very bird-rich north-eastern South Africa will have us explore such renowned hot birding spots as Zaagkuilsdrift, Magoebaskloof, and Mapungubwe National Park. ...

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Rufous-eared Warbler

Northern Cape Larks and other regional endemics – 3-5 days

Duration: 3 days
Price: On request
Summary: Southern Africa is the lark capital of the world, and larks are at times the favorite group of birds for Chris (when he is not chasing owls) and some of the other Birding Ecotours guides. And a disproporti...

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Blue Crane - Andre Stapelberg

2-day Agulhas Plains (Overberg) Birding Trip

Duration: 2 days
Tour Start:: Cape Town
Tour End:: Cape Town
Price: on request
Summary: This trip forms part of the 12-day Western Cape Birding Tour. This is a trip in which a disproportionate number of large and spectacular birds are encountered. We bird the stronghold of the world’s p...

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Ground Woodpecker - Ian Merrill

2-day Tankwa Karoo Loop

Duration: 2 days
Tour Start:: Cape Town
Tour End:: Cape Town
Price: on request
Summary: We fetch you from your hotel in the early morning and head through spectacular scenery to the beautiful town of Ceres (2.5 – 3 hours’ drive from Cape Town). Ceres is the gateway to the Karoo. T...

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Orange-breasted Sunbird - John Tinkler

Cape Peninsula Birding Tour - 1 day

Duration: 1 day
Price: R4000
Summary: Cape Town, one of the world’s most beautiful cities, is located near Table Bay on the northern extremity of the stunning Cape Peninsula. This morning we will fetch you from your Cape Town hotel and s...

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Cape Rockjumper - Andre Stapelberg

Cape Peninsula and False Bay Birding Tour - 1 day

Duration: 1 day
Price: R4000
Summary: This tour will give you a chance to see some of the Cape’s best scenery while taking in some of its best birds as well, like Orange-bellied Sunbird, Knysna Warbler, and Victorin’s Warbler. ...

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Pelagic trawler - Martin Benadie

Cape Town Pelagic Trip - 1 day

Duration: 1 day
Limit (Group Size): 8 - 10
Tour Start:: Simon's Town
Tour End:: Simon's Town
Price: R1900, with occasional discounts to R1700 (please ask). This is based on a group size of 8 - 10 participants plus the guide.
Summary: Pelagic trips off Cape Town are among the most amazing in the world, with at least four species of albatross virtually guaranteed, the splendid Cape Petrel (winter), many other petrels, storm petrels and s...

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Orange-breasted Sunbird - Gareth Robbins

1-day Garden Route

Duration: 1 day
Tour Start:: Plettenberg Bay
Tour End:: Plettenberg Bay
Price: R4000
Summary: The Garden Route – a special gem, offering spectacular and unique bird sightings, complimented with breath-taking scenery and phenomenal landscapes, all encompassed within lush forest lands, fynbos, thic...

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Black Harrier - John Tinkler

West Coast Birding Tour - 1 day

Duration: 1 day
Price: R4000
Summary: 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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Buff-spotted Flufftail - Hugh Chittenden

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

Duration: 2 days
Price: on request
Summary: 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....

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Verreaux's Eagle-Owl - Alan van Norman

Other / miscellaneous 1 - 3-day birding tours available in the Johannesburg / Pretoria area

Duration: 3 days
Price: on request
Summary: We take birders to sites for some exciting birds that can be found on the doorstep of Johannesburg and Pretoria, if you know exactly where to go, like our guides do. We can also arrange 2-3 day Wakkerstroo...

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Black-headed Oriole - John Tinkler

Johannesburg - Walter Sisulu Botanic Gardens

Duration: 1 day
Tour Start:: Johannesburg
Tour End:: Johannesburg
Price: R4000 for the full day
Summary: These beautiful botanic gardens are one of Johannesburg’s most idyllic natural sites, and here one can see Verreaux’s Eagle and other raptors soar in front of a lovely waterfall, while the beau...

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Malachite Sunbird - John Tinkler

Johannesburg - Highveld and Wetlands

Duration: 1 day
Tour Start:: Johannesburg
Tour End:: Johannesburg
Price: R4000
Summary: Our birding guide will fetch you after breakfast from your hotel anywhere in the Johannesburg/Pretoria area, and take you first to Suikerbosrand Nature Reserve in the morning, then to Marievale wetlands in...

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Purple-crested Turaco

Durban Day Tours

Duration: 2 days
Summary: We do a variety of excellent 1-day and 2-day tours around Durban, in addition to our longer, 16-day KwaZulu-Natal and Subtropical South Africa birding tours. Please contact us for further details or click ...

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The ascent up Sani Pass, one of the most famed birding routes in South Africa, provides easy access to most of the birds endemic to the Drakensberg.

Birding the Sani Pass and Lesotho

Duration: 1 day
Tour Start:: Underberg, Himeville, or in some instances Creighton, Kwa-Zulu-Natal
Tour End:: Underberg, Himeville, or in some instances Creighton, Kwa-Zulu Natal
Price: R4000
Summary: The ascent up Sani Pass, one of the most famed birding routes in South Africa, provides easy access to most of the birds endemic to the Drakensberg Escarpment and highlands, plus spectacular mountain scene...

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Cape Starling - James Reveley

Dinokeng / Zaagkuilsdrift

Duration: 1 day
Tour Start:: Johannesburg
Tour End:: Johannesburg
Price: R4000
Summary: After an early collection at your hotel in Johannesburg or Pretoria, we’ll head north into prime “bushveld” habitat north of Pretoria. A summer outing here offers over 100 species in a ...

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Secretarybird by John Tinkler - South Africa Birding Tour

1-3-day Northeastern Gauteng

Duration: 1 day
Tour Start:: Johannesburg/Pretoria
Tour End:: Johannesburg/Pretoria
Price: On request
Summary: The 1-3-day trip to the northeastern parts of ‘wider’ Gauteng offers both species richness and species diversity. A day list of 150 in the summer and 120 in the winter is not an uncommon achievement. ...

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Featured Guide - To be assigned

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What our clients say

During our tour of Costa Rica Mike was a huge advantage in our quest for the target birds. His body bristling with equipment, he used his ceaseless enthusiasm, know-how, sharp eyes and keen ears to readily uncover and identify those that mattered – from the gregarious to the rare and the secretive. And after dark he would make relevant contributions to most camp-fire topics. Great to have him on the team!

Mike and Inger Lear, Johannesburg, South Africa



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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