Overview

South Africa has the highest number of endemic and near-endemic bird species of any country on the African continent. Some of these special birds such as Drakensberg Rockjumper and Blue Crane – are beautiful and charismatic; while others, including the endangered Rudd’s and Botha’s Larks, are less striking but incredibly range-restricted. To boot, South Africa is also home to two very impressive endemic families, the striking Rockjumpers and Sugarbirds.

The focus of this 22 day endemics mega-birding tour is to see as many of these South African endemic, breeding endemic and near-endemic species as possible. Every single one of the 99 birds falling into this category as well as most of the 78 species falling into the category of endemic or near-endemic to the southern African sub-region are targeted during the tour (and are listed in bold in the itinerary below.) Furthermore, we will seek out many other special and sought-after African species; and, in the course of this tour, we have the potential to rack up a very impressive bird list in terms of species numbers, rarities and great sightings. Mammals will likewise form a major focus of our attention, and we can expect to also find an incredible diversity of reptiles, amphibians and other wildlife. We invite you to join us on this exciting celebration of our endemic treasures during this ultimate South African mega-birding adventure!

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
African Penguin, Blue and Wattled Cranes, Ludwig’s and Denham’s Bustards, Blue, Southern Black and Karoo Korhaans, African Oystercatcher, Crowned, Cape and Bank Cormorants, Cape and Natal Spurfowls, Southern Bald Ibis, Cape Vulture, Black Harrier, Cape & Drakensberg Rockjumpers, Cape & Gurney’s Sugarbirds, Bush Blackcap, Ground Woodpecker, Rudd’s, Botha’s, Short-clawed, Red, Sclater’s, Cape Long-billed & Barlow’s Larks, African Rock & Yellow-breasted Pipits, Cape Longclaw, Knysna, Purple-crested & Livingstone’s Turacos, Cape Parrot, Gorgeous, Black-fronted & Olive Bushshrikes, Bokmakierie, Victorin’s, Namaqua, Cinnamon-breasted, and Layard’s Warblers, Fairy Flycatcher, Karoo Eremomela, Cape and Grey Penduline Tits, White-backed Mousebird, Spotted & Orange Ground Thrushes, Cape and Sentinel Rock Thrushes, Rudd’s Apalis, Woodward’s Batis, Karoo & Brown Scrub Robins, Karoo & Buff-streaked Chats, Pink-throated Twinspot, Neergaard’s, Orange-breasted & Southern Double-collared Sunbirds, Cape & Drakensberg Siskins, Protea, Cape, Forest & Black-headed Canaries.
Top Mammals
Black & White Rhinoceroses, Southern African Hedgehog, Meerkat, Black Wildebeest, Nyala, Cape Grysbok, Aardvark, Aardwolf, Springhare, Common Eland, Bat-eared Fox, Blesbok (Bontebok), Grey Rhebok, Klipspringer, Springbok, African Wild Dog, Cheetah
Habitats Covered
dune and mist-belt forest, acacia savanna, high elevation and coastal grasslands, mountains, semi-desert, fynbos, coastal waters, wetlands
Expected Climate
subtropical conditions with occasional rain, cooler in the highlands and the Cape
Max Group Size
8 with 1 Rockjumper leader
Tour Pace & Walking
Our Mega tours are very fast-paced birding adventures designed for the dedicated lister and serious birder. The focus of the tour is to see as many of the endemics and area specials as possible in our given time. In order to cover the necessary route to maximise the species list we tend to spend a single night at most sites and travel large distances. There is very little down time aside from that spent driving from one site to the next. These tours are not suitable for dedicated or avid photographers; inexperienced or new birders; as well as anyone with serious mobility or health challenges.
Accommodation
comfortable guesthouses and lodges
Ease of Birding
mostly easy with some difficult species
Number of Species Expected
500 - 550
Other Attractions
Cape Peninsula, Sani Pass, Lake St. Lucia, Zululand game reserves, good food & wine, remote and seldom visited areas, spectacular scenery
Photographic Opportunities
excellent
Tour Route Map Route Map Client Testimonials

Gareth is a first class guide both in his ability to hear and find birds as well as being able to handle clients in an understanding manner which at times cannot be easy. I cannot compliment him highly enough on his inter-personal skills. He is both amusing and entertaining, yet serious when the need arises. This tour, as with my previous tour with him, ran so smoothly without any problems, probably due to his foresight in planning and telephoning ahead for the next or even following days.

Both Eliza and I really enjoyed our trip with you, Wayne. Great birds, animals, landscape and people. Your dedication and sincere interest in our wishes exemplify the perfect guide. It has been such a great pleasure getting to know you and traveling with you. I hope that we can do it again.

Just a quick report that we have returned home safely following a great trip to southern Africa. Everything came off as planned and the experiences were everything that we had hoped for. We really enjoyed the bush camps since they provide a remote experience with lots of animals and few other tourists. The selection of camps provided an excellent balance of habitats and wildlife viewing. Additionally, we would like to thank Athol for his excellent leadership during the Eastern South Africa tour. He is a true gentleman and excellent guide and birder.... All around we were very pleased with the trip. And, thank you and the other staff at Rockjumper for helping to put the trip together.

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!

I would like to add my thanks to you, Crystal, and all the other people associated with Rockjumper for making this the best birding tour in which I have participated. David's leadership was superb as our trip bird count shows. I would be happy to go with Rockjumper on future trips. Thanks again for your assistance during the Mega South Africa trip.

Dates, Leaders and Pricing
2022 DEPARTURES
2023 DEPARTURES
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