After picking up Americans Joe and Susan at 07h00 from their accommodation in Cape Town centre, we headed straight for the world renowned Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens. Having lived in other parts of Africa, Joe and Susan were very keen on seeing species not found to the north, especially those mostly restricted to the Western Cape.
Upon entering the gardens, they instantly started adding lifers - Cape Bulbul, Karoo Prinia, Cape Robin-Chat, Olive Thrush and Southern Double-collared Sunbirds greeted us within the first few meters of entering the gardens. We then headed towards the protea section, particularly for Orange-breasted Sunbird and Cape Sugarbird, and were treated with excellent views of both including a couple dozen of the latter.
En-route we made a stop at the stake out tree for African Olive-Pigeon and were treated to three right above our heads. Elsewhere in the garden Southern Boubou, White-backed Mousebird, Sombre Greenbul, African Dusky Flycatcher, Red-winged Starling, Cape and Forest Canaries, Swee and Common Waxbills as well as an African Goshawk all put on a great show for us. After a quick coffee refill from the cafe, we headed off to our next destination.
Hopping over the mountain, we headed towards the oceanside community of Kommetjie in search of coastal specialties. Along the rocky coastline we added African Black Oystercatchers, White-fronted Plover, Cape, White-breasted and Crowned Cormorants, Great Crested, Sandwich and Common Terns along with several Cape Gannets flying offshore. A quick detour down to the lighthouse proved to be an excellent choice as a small fishing vessel wasn't too far offshore and had a half-dozen White-chinned Petrels circling it amongst the Kelp Gulls. Other new birds for the day include a Steppe Buzzard and two Whimbrels.
Heading to the east side of the scenic Cape Peninsula, we paid a visit to the Boulder's Beach African Penguin colony and enjoyed observing and photographing these comical birds. After a great lunch at the Seaforth Restaurant, we headed back towards Cape Town for our last stop of the day - the Strandfontein Water Works.
For the next two hours we circled the various pans - each offering a different mix of species. The entrance pans yielded plenty of Yellow-billed Ducks, Cape Teal and Cape Shovelers as well as two target species - Maccoa Duck and a pair of Southern Pochards. Elsewhere at the water works we found South African Shelduck, Little, Great Crested and Black-necked Grebes, Great White Pelican, African Marsh-Harrier, Rock Kestrel, Levaillant's and Zitting Cisticolas, hundreds of Greater and a single Lesser Flamingo and a dozen species of shorebirds including Kittlitz's, Common Ringed and Three-banded Plovers, Black-winged Stilts, Pied Avocets and Wood Sandpipers.
For a full list of species from this trip, please
Our Cape tours and day trips are aimed at keen birders and
nature enthusiasts. They have been designed to see as many endemic
birds as possible. While on the walks, we spend a lot of time
looking for other aspects of wildlife such as mammals, chameleons,
geckos, butterflies and interesting plants. We can also customise
any itinerary to suit to the keen birder, the wildlife enthusiast
Many participants on our tours and day trips are amateur wildlife
photographers. And when we get excellent views of a bird or
mammal, some time is usually spent watching and photographing
it. However, this is not a photographic tour and once the majority
of the people have felt that they have absorbed the animal or
bird to their satisfaction, then we move on in search of the
next encounter. Thus, while the photographic
opportunities are very good, the group will only occasionally
wait for somebody who wants to spend even longer getting better
Only a low level of fitness is required.
Throughout the year.
Moderate; can be warm in summer and chilly in winter.
A good standard of accommodation in guest houses, lodges and
Birding Africa is a specialist birding
tour company customising tours for both world listers and more relaxed
holiday birders. We combine interests in mammals, butterflies,
dragonflies, botany and other natural history aspects and will guide
you to Africa's and Madagascar's most diverse birding destinations.
Our guides' knowledge of African
birds and birding areas is our greatest strength and together we
have rediscovered species, shared exciting observations with the
birding community and had a fun time exploring our home continent.
We've even written two acclaimed guide
books on where to find Southern Africa's and Madagascar's best
birds. Birding is more than our passion, it's our lifestyle, and
we are dedicated to making professional, best value trips filled
with endemic species and unique wildlife experiences. Since 1997,
we've run bird watching tours
in South Africa and further into Africa for individual birders,
small birding groups and top international tour companies. We've
run Conservation Tours
in association with the African Bird Club and work with and consult
for a number of other top international tour companies and the BBC
Natural History Unit.