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. 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.
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.
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
dune and mist-belt forest, acacia savanna, high elevation and coastal grasslands, mountains, semi-desert, fynbos, coastal waters, wetlands
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.
comfortable guesthouses and lodges
Ease of Birding
mostly easy with some difficult species
Number of Species Expected
500 - 550
Cape Peninsula, Sani Pass, Lake St. Lucia, Zululand game reserves, good food & wine, remote and seldom visited areas, spectacular scenery
good, but limited by time
Glen's pacing of the tour was particularly good - relaxed whenever possible and upping the pace when necessary. His responsiveness and attention to client requests was admirable, as was his general demeanor throughout. Nice to spend such a long trip with someone so enthusiastic and sociable.
Gareth studiously worked to meet each participant’s individual needs without sacrificing the overall experience of the group. His audio sense and grasp of song probably even exceeded his other birding skills (which were quite formidable in their own right). His sense of humour and engagement with people was excellent.
Greg was brilliant (the best guide I've ever had). He found most of the birds we were trying for, and always did his utmost to get us all onto them.
Doug McCulloch did an excellent job. I have never seen a guide work so hard to get everyone on the birds. He gets high marks for his knowledge of the birds and his people-management skills.
I would like to especially thank Julian Parsons for his outstanding guiding. Julian has just the right touch of skill and personality to make a tour like this fire on all cylinders. His ability is unique, a top-notch combination of outgoing and enthusiastic personality traits, deft handling of logistical details, fundamental knowledge of the landscapes and biota, and keeping the fire going for finding more birds. I do not give such praise lightly. I have myself have been an ecotour leader, so I well know how difficult it can be to keep satisfied the very demanding expectations of diverse participants. Julian possesses a novel blend of open-mindedness, too, which can be a scarce trait in birding guides. If Julian were the guide on an itinerary that I wished to sign up for, his presence could be a deciding criteria for my participation with a RockJumper tour. In addition to the guide, the itinerary, food, and accommodations all exceeded my personal expectations. Lodging at Hout Bay and Calvinia stand out, but frankly all of it was excellent.