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.

2022 Prices are an estimate, dates are not confirmed and may change.

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
6 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
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Tour Route Map Route Map Client Testimonials

This was a huge change for me booking a more laid back tour instead of my usual hardcore birding from morning till night. I loved the change and was able to relax more and enjoy the company of the other participants and our guide Jeremy Exelby. We were still able to get a very good number of birds interwoven with some wonderful wine tasting and excellent meals. Last but not least the last half was dedicated to Big game viewing along with birding and incredible scenery. All in all a huge success and a big thanks to a Jeremy for his enthusiasm, kindness and excellent people skills. He was a joy to be around.

This was my first tour with Rockjumper and hopefully will not be my last. The service provided was excellent and Gareth Robbins was an excellent guide. I would have no hesitation in travelling with him again.

Gareth was very considerate of all tour members and kept everything on schedule. He went out of his way to find bird species of particular interest to those on the tour and is a very enthusiastic about birding.

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!

Wow! We assume Wayne Jones trains your new guides. He is the example of what an excellent bird guide should be. Most sightings are pointed out with apparent off-hand references to the unique characteristics and differences, so they become learning experiences rather than a mere bird count. He attempts to preempt difficult and time-consuming situations by planning in advance how best to solve them. He worked hard to make the tour work - and we got the birds!

Dates, Leaders and Pricing
2022 DEPARTURES
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