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.
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.
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.
dune and mist-belt forest, acacia savanna, high elevation and coastal grasslands, mountains, wetlands
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
comfortable guesthouses and lodges
Ease of Birding
Number of Species Expected
320 - 380 (400 - 450 with extension)
Kruger National Park, Sani Pass and Drakensberg Mountains, dramatic scenery, Zulu culture, Indian Ocean, iSimangaliso Wetland Park
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.
Julian did an outstanding job leading the tour. I understand he is a new guide w/ Rockjumper, but it seemed like he had years of experience. His birding skills were superb, as expected. His knowledge of all the obscure larks and LBJs was very impressive. Importantly, he handled logistics very well, managed client expectations and personalities superbly, and was always cheerful and kept things positive. I've got to give a nod to the driver as well, he was a joy to be around. Always cheerful (regardless of tire problems in the Karoo) and willing to jimmy the vehicle around so everyone gets a good look. A definite asset to the tour. I understand these trips run smoothly because of all the support back at the office. Thanks to everyone involved. All of my communications pre-tour were handled promptly and professionally. The whole Rockjumper team were a real pleasure to work with. Can't wait to do it again!
During Oct 19 to Nov. 6, 2010, I participated in the Eastern South Africa and Western Cape Extension tour. It is the ultimate tour if you are birding for the first time in the African continent. The diversity of birds is overwhelming and unlike birding in the tropical Americas, the birds are easy to see! I personally added 419 lifers! The pace of the tour was ideal. Accommodations were top-notch and the meals wonderful. Keith Valentine is an unsurpassed tour leader. Extremely knowledgeable yet very laid back, approachable and quick to laugh. I have been on many organized bird tours but none come close to the standards set by Rockjumper on this tour. The bar has been raised!
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.
Greg handled all personalities with poise, humor and attentiveness and constantly checked to see if everyone was happy. If someone had a problem, he immediately worked on a solution. It is obvious he loves his job, and he went out of his way to find birds for us, even in the most difficult weather conditions. His knowledge of the area was superior. He took excellent care of us and made us feel very welcome!