Overview

Our eastern South Africa birding and wildlife tours combine the great birds and mammals of the world-renowned Kruger National Park, the teeming Zululand game reserves, the endemic-rich mist-belt forests and grasslands of the Natal Midlands and the lofty peaks of the magnificent Drakensberg. Target species include Kori Bustard, Southern Ground Hornbill, Bateleur, Southern Bald Ibis, Bearded Vulture, Blue and Wattled Cranes, Blue Korhaan, Ground Woodpecker, Yellow-breasted Pipit, Rudd’s and Botha’s Larks, Spotted and Orange Ground Thrushes, Drakensberg Rockjumper, Gurney’s Sugarbird, the splendid Pink-throated Twinspot, Neergaard’s Sunbird, Narina Trogon, Woodward’s Batis, Gorgeous and Olive Bushshrikes, Chorister Robin-Chat, Brown and Bearded Scrub Robins, Knysna and Livingstone's Turacos, Bush Blackcap and Rudd’s Apalis. Our chances of achieving the classic ‘Big Five’ (Lion, Leopard, African Elephant, African Buffalo and both Black & White Rhinoceroses) are excellent, while less common mammals include African Wild Dog, Cheetah and the endemic Black Wildebeest.

Please note: these prices are subject to foreign exchange fluctuations.

2023 Tour price is an estimate and will change. Tour dates could be adjusted.

Tour Facts Top Birds
Blue, Wattled and Grey Crowned Cranes, Denham’s Bustard, Blue Korhaan, Southern Bald Ibis, Drakensberg Rockjumper, Gurney’s Sugarbird, Bush Blackcap, Ground, Bennett's and Olive Woodpeckers, Rudd’s and Botha’s Larks, Knysna, Purple-crested and Livingstone’s Turacos, Chorister Robin-Chat, Drakensberg and Karoo Prinias, Grey Tit, Karoo and Olive Thrushes, Fairy Flycatcher, Layard's and Chestnut-vented Warblers, Cape Parrot, Narina Trogon, Gorgeous and Olive Bushshrikes, Spotted and Orange Ground Thrushes, Cape and Sentinel Rock Thrushes, Rudd’s Apalis, Woodward’s and Cape Batises, Crimson-breasted Shrike, Southern Pied Babbler, Violet-eared, Grey and Black-faced Waxbills, Brown and Bearded Scrub Robins, Buff-streaked and Sickle-winged Chats, Pink-throated Twinspot, Neergaard’s, Scarlet-chested and Southern Double-collared Sunbirds, Green Malkoha, Half-collared and Giant Kingfishers, Little and White-fronted Bee-eaters, Southern Boubou, Cape and Forest Canaries, Cape, Spectacled and Southern Brown-throated Weavers, Yellow-breasted Pipit.
Top Mammals
The ‘Big 5’(Lion, Leopard, African Elephant, African Buffalo and both Black & White Rhinoceroses), Meerkat, African Wild Dog, Black Wildebeest, Nyala, Cheetah, Giraffe, Greater Kudu, Plains Zebra, Warthog, Common Eland and Sloggett’s Vlei Rat, Hippopotamus.
Habitats Covered
dune and mist-belt forest, acacia savanna, high elevation and coastal grasslands, mountains, wetlands
Expected Climate
subtropical with chances for occasional rain, warm to hot in Kruger and Zululand, cooler in highlands, can be cold in winter
Max Group Size
8 with 1 Rockjumper leader
Tour Pace & Walking
moderate pace with undemanding walks, some long drives
Accommodation
comfortable guesthouses and lodges
Ease of Birding
easy
Number of Species Expected
320 - 380 (400 - 450 with extension)
Other Attractions
Kruger National Park, Sani Pass and Drakensberg Mountains, dramatic scenery, Zulu culture, Indian Ocean, iSimangaliso Wetland Park
Photographic Opportunities
excellent
Tour Route Map Route Map Client Testimonials

Rainer established what each of the participants expected from the tour [Cape to Wiindhoek, South Africa] and then managed to excel expectations without seeming to try to do this. We saw all our favourite birds and animals and even plants. Yes, we even enjoyed the wildflowers too! His birding skills, including recognition of calls, were exceptional. His effortless ability to manage logistics and his energy for making it happen, made this tour easy and stress-free; something I'm exceptionally grateful for. His enthusiasm for new finds (not just birds!) was totally contagious and added to the enjoyment. His broad knowledge met all my needs for information about this new continent - and that made this tour particularly satisfying for me.

Jeremy Exelby is the perfect guide for this. The fact he didn¹t know all birds (mainly larks, cisticolas!) and had to consult a bird book, was NOT an issue with any of us. In fact, that made us discuss ID as a group, making us better birders, giving us a stake in ID - not at all a negative, especially for this tour. This was refreshing, rather than just accepting an ID by an RJ guide. We love his honesty and integrity.

There are not enough superlatives to describe Daniel Danckwerts! He is a superstar of a guide and I am glad I had the opportunity to tour with him, because he will be in great demand when the word gets out how amazing this tour was! Although he is one of your junior guides, he conducts himself with poise and confidence in excess of his years. His passion for birding, culture and history is unsurpassed and his laugh is absolutely infectious.  He knew all the hotspots for the notoriously difficult species on this tour and even when the birds weren't cooperating, he devised innovative means to ensure the group would have the best opportunity to see these very, very elusive birds. We learned a few lessons on this inaugural tour about patience and stamina.... it is certainly not for the faint-hearted because it requires a lot of hard work but the rewards certainly exceeded the effort.  Where else do you have the opportunity to see mythic flufftails and crakes all in one place? I will absolutely travel with Daniel again!

Thanks to Rynart Bezuidenhout and Daniel Danckwerts for an unforgettable tour. Their effort to give us the very best experience was sublime. Not only was our ambition to see the wanted birds, animals and nature much more than fulfilled – our competent, friendly and openminded guides also managed to give a perspective into the life and culture in South Africa of today. This we appreciate a lot.

The tour was expertly led by David Hoddinott, who was attentive to the clients and exceptionally knowledgeable. He ensured everyone had seen each species of bird encountered. The weather took a turn, but David was keen to stick out as long as it was safe to give us the best chance of maximising our species. Highly recommended.

Dates, Leaders and Pricing
2022 DEPARTURES
2023 DEPARTURES
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