Bird tours of southern Africa

This list of companies that run bird tours around southern Africa is provided in the interests of encouraging birding in this region. These are not advertisements and the companies listed have not paid for the exposure. The information is, for the most part, derived from the websites of the tour operators, but with time we are hoping to refine the information on the basis of feedback received from both tour operators and clients.

 

Africa Unlocked

E-mail: info@africa-unlocked.com; Based in: Hoedspruit, Limpopo; Languages spoken: English, Afrikaans; Range of tours: set departures and Private Safaris to birding hotspots within Southern and East Africa. Specialist photographic safaris that includes location scouting and hide placement prior to arrival.

Africa Unlocked offers professionally guided birding Safaris within Southern and East Africa, offering optimum chances of seeing the maximum number of birds within varied and distinct habitats. In addition we also place emphasis on the behaviour of the birds and offer interpretation of their ecology throughout your safari. Specialist photographic safaris are also tailored to the needs of photographers interested in documenting birds in their natural habitat.

Zest for Birds

E-mail: bookings@zestforbirds.co.za; Based in: Cape Town; Languages spoken: English; Range of tours: mainly pelagic tours from Cape Town, also endemic land birds in the Cape

Specialise particularly in pelagic birding trips from Cape Town but also conduct birding tours for land birds in the Cape region with a particular emphasis on endemic species. There are about nine different guides, including some of South Africa's top twichers and ornithologists. Website contains lots of useful and interesting information about southern African birds.

The Safari Company

E-mail: info@thesafaricompany.co.za; Based in: Durban North, KwaZulu-Natal; Languages spoken: English; Range of tours: Botswana, Malawi, Zambia, Namibia

Six to 15 day tours, guided by well-known birders Peter Steyn and Geoff Lockwood.

Cape Eco Tours

E-mail: info@cape-ecotours.co.za; Based in: Cape Town; Languages spoken: English, Afrikaans; Range of tours: Western Cape day tours

Day tours round the Western Cape with Mariana Delport who has a broad knowledge of the natural history of this region and birds in particular.

Bird Holidays

E-mail: info@birdholidays.co.uk; Based in: UK; Languages spoken: English; Range of tours: worldwide including South Africa

A UK-based company that operates worldwide - one of their tours is to South Africa. Bird Holidays is the world's first travel company to carbon balance all the flights undertaken by its tour guides and clients. They have done this by funding the purchase and reforestation of land at Yanacocha in Ecuador. 20,000 native trees have been planted at the Reserva Bird Holidays, recreating cloud forest on land which was deforested cow pasture. The existing reserve at Yanacocha is the last know haunt of the Black-breasted Puffleg, a critically endangered hummingbird.

Birding Africa

E-mail: info@birdingafrica.com; Based in: Cape Town; Languages spoken: English; Range of tours: all over Africa and Madgascar

Led by top South African birders to exotic destinations within Africa. They also offer a range of shorter tours within easy driving range of Cape Town. Within southern Africa there is a comprehensive range tours within South Africa, Namibia and Botswana.

Shoebill Tours

E-mail: erroldb@mweb.co.za; Based in: Johannesburg; Languages spoken: English, Afrikaans; Range of tours: Shoebill Tour (Botswana, Zambia), Kalahari, Limpopo, also day tours from Johannesburg/Pretoria.

The main tour is to Zambia, where they boast a 99% probability of seeing the famous Shoebill stork thanks to a network of local informants. Main tour guide is Error de Beer.

Rockjumper birding tours

E-mail: info@rockjumper.co.za; Based in: Pietermaritzburg; Languages spoken: English, German; Range of tours: worldwide tours, numerous tours in southern Africa including Megatour that targets all 146 regional endemics

A large bird touring company based in South Africa but operating internationally with 12 full-time and 8 part-time experience guides.

Bird-watch Cape

E-mail: info@birdwatch.co.za; Based in: Cape Town; Languages spoken: English, Afrikaans?; Range of tours: birds tours of the western parts of South Africa (Cape Town to Kalahari) but also offers tours to other parts of South Africa

BirdWatch Cape acts as agent for a growing number and diversity of Southern African Bird and Natural History Tour Operators. Specialise in customised small-group tours. Linked to Birding Ecotours, which operates internationally.

Lawson's Birding and Wildlife Tours

E-mail: tours@lawsons.co.za; Based in: Nelspruit, also an office in USA; Languages spoken: English; Range of tours: birds tours of southern Africa and also Malawi and Zambia

A family owned and operated business, specialising in birding and wildlife trips to the very best Southern African destinations. About seven different tour guides.

Avian Leasure

E-mail: enquiries@avianleisure.com; Based in: Cape Town; Languages spoken: English; Range of tours: South Africa, Namibia, Botswana and Zambia

Run by Patrick & Marie-Louise Cardwell. Itineries are customized for specific interests i.e. bird-watching, wildlife, botany, general nature or photographic tours.

Indicator Birding

E-mail: info@birding.co.za; Based in: Pretoria; Languages spoken: English, Afrikaans; Range of tours: South Africa, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Namibia

Offers custom-made and scheduled birding tours - from one to 21 days. Specialise in the Eastern parts of South Africa, but also have intimate knowledge of the whole of South Africa, Mozambique and parts of Zimbabwe and Namibia. Etienne Marais is the main guide and there are also three associate guides.

Birding Ecotours

E-mail: info@birdingecotours.co.za; Based in: Cape Town; Languages spoken: English; Range of tours: worldwide including Africa

Operates both within southern Africa and internationally. Linked to Bird-watch Cape.

Safariwise Southern Africa

E-mail: see enquiry form; Based in: Worcester and Swakopmund; Languages spoken: English, Afrikaans?; Range of tours: Botswana, Lesotho, Madagascar, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia

An eco-tourism operator (with strong emphasis on birds) run by Neil MacLeod in Namibia and Johan van Tonder in South Africa.

 

Letaka Safaris

E-mail: info@letakasafaris.com; Based in: Maun, Botswana; Languages spoken: English; Range of tours: Botswana, Lesotho, Madagascar, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia

Based in Botswana but tours also include Namibia, Zambia and Mozambique. They conduct birding safaris as well as tours that have a more general natural history flavour. 

Nomtsas Safaris

E-mail: info@nomtsas.com; Based in: Namibia; Languages spoken: English, Afrikaans, German; Range of tours: Namibia

Specialise in tours round Namibia.

Birding Botswana

E-mail: rrsafaris@yahoo.fr; Based in: Botswana; Languages spoken: English; Range of tours: Botswana

Run by Richard Randall, an experienced birder who has lived in Botswana since 1986.

Birding and Eco-tours

E-mail: info@birdtours.co.za; Based in: Port Elizabeth; Languages spoken: English; Range of tours: Port Elizabeth vicinity

Full-day and half-day tours in the Port Elizabeth region (including Addo) operated by Paul Martin.

Birds of a Feather Safaris

E-mail: info@birdsofafeather.co.za; Based in: Phalaborwa; Languages spoken: English; Range of tours: Kruger National Park and vicinity

Run half-day, full day, 3-day and 7-day birding tours of the Kruger National Park and vicinity.

Brians-Birding Tours

E-mail: info@brians-birding.co.za; Based in: Cape Town; Languages spoken: English; Range of tours: Western and Northern Cape

These birding tours of the Western and Northern Cape range from day trips to more lengthy expeditions and are led by Brian Vanderwalt who not only runs this business but is also active in the local Tygerberg Bird Club and does ringing of waders.

Indwa Birding

E-mail: info@indwabirding.co.za; Based in: Cape Town; Languages spoken: English; Range of tours: Western Cape, Northern Cape, Limpopo, Kruger

Indwa Birding offers a range of tailor-made birding excursions, both in and around Cape Town, as well as farther afield to destinations such as the Northern Cape, the Limpopo Province and the world famous Kruger National Park.

Button Birding

E-mail: buttonbirding@futurenet.co.za; Based in: Creighton, KwaZulu-Natal; Languages spoken: English; Range of tours: Vicinity of Creighton, KwaZulu-Natal

So called because one the "specials" they show on their tours is the Black-rumped buttonquail. These tours are conducted in the Creighton region of KwaZulu-Natal and are run by Malcolm and Gail Gemmell who own a dairy farm with guesthouse.

Birds Africa Tours

E-mail: see enquiry form; Based in: Durban; Languages spoken: English; Range of tours: southern Africa

Customised bird and wildlife safaris throughout southern Africa, led mainly by Bob Rickards.

 

 

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