The dense woods, scrubby bushveld, rocky mountain ranges, plunging valleys, boundless savannahs, and extensive stretches of coastline of South Africa all have one thing in common: they all provide beautiful habitats for an abundance of colourful birds. These birds are as different as the people who spend hours watching them, and they guarantee stunning displays and seductive antics while enjoying South Africa’s unspoiled beauty.
The grasslands and marshes of South Africa are ideal places for bird watchers to spot endangered species such as the Blue Crane and the African Black Oystercatcher. While the southern interior parts of South Africa are famed for their high bird population breathtaking bird watching can be found practically anywhere in the country. The World of Birds in Hout Bay is located in Cape Town. More than 3000 birds representing 400 distinct species can be seen in over 100 manicured aviaries. Visitors are welcome to stroll through the open aviaries, listening to the birds’ distinctive calls and admiring the vibrant colours of the feathery residents. This sanctuary, located at the foot of the Twelve Apostles Mountain Range, is a must-see for birdwatchers.
Lamberts Bay is a tiny fishing village located on South Africa’s west coast. The northernmost seabird island in South Africa is around 60 meters off its coast. A special bird hide was constructed here, allowing birders to see the Cape Gannets through one-way glass. The African Penguin can also be found here, even though there are only 50 breeding pairs left. Visitors can see a variety of coastal and marine bird species thanks to the broad coastline and a few attractive lagoons like in Knysna and Langebaan. Albatrosses, gulls, shearwaters, storm petrels, and skuas are among them.
The Tembe Elephant Park is located on South Africa’s east coast in KwaZulu Natal. Don’t be fooled by the name of this game reserve; there are over 340 different species of birds to be found here. Rarely seen bird species such as the Rudd’s Apalis, Natal Nightjar, and Woodwards Batis can be seen here, which will please birding enthusiasts.
There are lots of perfect bird-watching places in South Africa for serious bird-watching aficionados who want to avoid commercial birding spots and seek a true wilderness experience. Guests can take bespoke bird-watching expeditions into the bush, meadows, and wetlands at certain reserves to see the best variety of birds possible. The Kruger National Park, Kariega Game Reserve, iSimangaliso Wetland Park, and De Hoop Nature Reserve are some of the top game reserves and parks to visit if you want to see amazing birds.
Hiking into the Drakensberg is the answer for travellers seeking complete tranquillity and amazing sights from dizzying heights. The Jackal Buzzard, Drakensburg rock-jumper, Drakensberg siskin, Cape eagle-owl, black-crowned night heron, bearded vulture, African fish eagle, and martial eagle can all be seen sweeping across the skies.
The small village of Hogsback in the Eastern Cape is a great site for some splendid bird watching for the keen birding enthusiast who isn’t quite fit enough to walk into the mountains. The Forest Canary, Cinnamon Dove, Knysna Lourie, and Forest Weaver are just a few of the lovely birds that may be found on easy routes through the forest. You might even be lucky enough to see the rare Cape Parrot flying overhead if you’re there at dawn or twilight.
South Africa is a diverse country. There is no shortage of world-class bird viewing, set against breathtaking landscapes, whether in man-made bird hides near watering holes, enormous aviaries, dense woodlands, or the wide expanses of the open African sky.