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Worldwide Birding Tours - Birding Ecotours
Ross's Turaco by Masa Wang - Uganda birding tour






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



“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 arguably the world’s most beautiful beaches.
It’s amid this splendid scenery that one can find a staggering number of bird endemics, many of them completely restricted to the “fynbos” or “Cape flora” (the richest place on earth for plants, even richer than the Amazon!) and the nearby Karoo semi-desert across the rain shadow formed by the mountainous barrier.

Moreover, off Cape Point and the Cape of Good Hope are the trawling grounds where some of the world’s best pelagic trips venture – we usually see at least four albatross species along with shearwaters, petrels, storm-petrels, African Penguin, Cape Gannet, and all the others.

Our 8-day tour allows adequate time to do this province justice, finding most of the important birds and hopefully exceeding 200 species.

This tour can be combined with our preceding Kruger National Park and Escarpment Birding Safari October 2018 tour and then with our following 18-day Subtropical South Africa Birding Adventure October 2018 for a 38-day South African adventure, and, following this, our Namibia, Okavango, and Victoria Falls 18-day Birding Adventure 2018 for a stunning Southern African mega tour.

Duration: 8 days

Limit (Group Size): 8 (rarely 9)

Spaces Available: 4

Date Start: October 07, 2018

Date End: October 14, 2018

Tour Start: Cape Town

Tour End: Cape Town

Important explanation about the default vehicles we use on our southern African tours: Whereas the standard birding-tour vehicle in East Africa is the popup-roof stretch Land Cruiser, in southern Africa these are extremely rare and not usually legal except within some parks. Open safari vehicles, on the other hand, are commonly seen in southern African parks but can’t be used outside the parks, and they are extremely unpleasant to be in when the weather is bad even inside the parks. The only tried-and-tested tour vehicle available in southern Africa that allows us to cover the ground we need so we can find the greatest diversity of birds (and other wildlife), and which is comfortable in all weather, is legal, has proper air conditioning, and does not make the overall tour price exorbitant, is the 13-seater Toyota Quantum when we have 6-8 (rarely 9) tour participants (or similar 7-10-seater vans when we have smaller group sizes). In areas where we are not restricted to the vehicle during the tour (such as in the Cape) we usually use unmodified standard Quantum vans – everyone gets out of the vehicle when we see a good bird or animal. In areas in which we are at times restricted to the vehicle because of the presence of dangerous megafauna including lions, elephants, and more (such as the Kruger National Park) we typically use a Quantum van with modified windows for better viewing of birds and other wildlife. In Kruger (and sometimes in Etosha) National Parks we usually do include a day or two in open safari vehicles as part of the tour price. Optional night drives (at nominal cost) in open safari vehicles are available at most southern African parks (including Kruger) for those who have less of a focused interest in birds (as these are operated by the park’s guides, who usually focus mainly on the “Big 5”). You can speak to the tour leader about joining these night drives, but in our experience some tour participants prefer not to join them, and hence we leave them as an optional extra for those willing to pay a (small/nominal) extra fee.

Even the tried-and-tested Toyota Quantum (or similar) vans we use fall far short of being ideal (small windows that are quite low, etc.), and we truly wish there were something better available without breaking the bank. But we use the best available vehicles, and we ensure that everyone has a fair turn in and near the front of the vehicle – we typically swap seating positions daily, but in the parks we can swap positions four times a day as necessary. The vehicles we use are by far the best vehicles available at a reasonable price. All the birding tour companies use the same vans unless their tours have a narrow focus just around Kruger/nearby or another park. It’s a big problem in South Africa that the East African style safari vehicles are, simply, unavailable, except for a handful of very old, shaky ones (and usually in East Africa they don’t have air conditioning anyway, are extremely slow between sites, and, in short, have a different suite of disadvantages). We use the very best vehicles we can without making our trips much more expensive than anyone else’s, but we also feel we have to be clear about what to expect before the tour, hence this note. If you are worried about the vehicle then please:

  • kindly ask further questions (before booking the tour)
  • consider a private tour which will be a lot more pricey, but since you’re not sharing with other tour participants you can always sit at a large window. If a whole group wishes to upgrade a tour and is willing to pay a large extra price, if given enough notice we are able to rent a very special vehicle – the cost is extremely high so the tour becomes a premium, rather than a standard, tour.

While we generally allow a window seat for every passenger and like to have at least a couple of free seats available for birding gear etc., it’s better to ask us about the specific tour to be sure what is the case. For photography trips the per-person price is higher because we leave more empty seats available as more tour participants have bulky camera gear!

It is our philosophy only to have one vehicle per tour as it invariably gets very frustrating when one vehicle sees a bird or animal and the other vehicle misses it! And our group sizes are small – maximum of eight (rarely nine). The tour prices would be very high and uncompetitive if we had a second vehicle and driver-guide with twice the guide’s accommodation, food, fuel and toll costs, considering the small group sizes on our tours. Again, if you request a private tour, we can take two or even three vehicles or absolutely whatever you request – a private tour is different. (It is illegal for us to have any person without a local driver’s license and professional driving permit to drive passengers who are paying to be on a tour, so we can’t even suggest that a tour participant drives a second vehicle to allow more space and window seats).

 

 

 


Price: R31,700 per person sharing, (The prices assume a group of 8, but we typically guarantee the departure even with a smaller group.)

Single Supplement: R4,900

Price includes:

Meals

Accommodation

Entrance fees

Guiding fees

All transport while on tour

Price excludes:

International flights

Domestic or international flights to join any further tour(s)

Personal insurance

Alcoholic beverages

Gratuities

Laundry service

Personal expenses such as gifts

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Price: Please see https://birdingecotours.com/birding-day-trips/.
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Limit (Group Size): 4 - 7
Date Start: September 01, 2019
Date End: September 11, 2019
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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 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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Limit (Group Size): 4 - 7
Date Start: March 09, 2020
Date End: March 21, 2020
Price: R101,830 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 2020

Duration: 13 days
Limit (Group Size): 4 - 7
Date Start: March 09, 2020
Date End: March 21, 2020
Price: R101,830 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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Featured Guide - Dominic Rollinson

Senior Birding Guide and administrative assistant for Birding Ecotours. Dom grew up in Zululand in northeastern South Africa, where his passion for birding began at a young age. Soon birding the savan ...

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What our clients say

Hi Chris, Thank you so much for arranging the tour yesterday. I would just like to say that Jason was amazing, my father and myself were blown away by his knowledge, patience and true passion, a true gentleman and a credit to your operation. I would please like to be added to your newsletter and in the future we will be looking to do a birding tour. Many thanks. Katharine

Katharine, South Africa
05/03/2014



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