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.

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
Tour Route Map Route Map Client Testimonials

First, compliments to whoever came up with the concept of this tour. It seems unusual, even unique. This was a second choice for us because COVID restrictions postponed our tour to Cape, Kruger, and the Victoria Falls extension. The inclusion of the wine tastings seemed whimsical but it was genius. It’s as if we had 2 different vacations, back-to-back, and both memorable. We suspect that logistics for this tour were especially challenging. Glen was more than up to the task, every booking was right on time and of excellent quality. Rockjumper is a class act! We had some really memorable sightings and wildlife experiences due to Glen’s knowledge and diligence. We also appreciate that besides the birds and big mammals he gave us lots of information on habitat, environmental challenges, and especially for Suna and me, knowledge of plants. We walk around our California neighbourhood and notice all the imported African plants growing in our yards! We felt the timing was good too. It was late spring in the fynbos with many flowers still showing, and we were able to see many migrant birds down from the north.

Gareth was really good value – nice bloke, very knowledgeable and expert bird guide, and handled some fairly tricky situations during the tour very well. We really enjoyed the tour and would have no hesitation recommending Rockjumper and travelling with you again.

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!

Gareth Robbins was an excellent guide. He was friendly and approachable, made all the group feel welcome and his sense of humour kept us all amused. His ability to find birds is second to none and he took great pains to ensure everyone had seen every bird. I would love to travel with him again.

Always a fantastic experience with Rockjumper from inquiry through to the end. Guides always the best of the best

Dates, Leaders and Pricing
2022 DEPARTURES
2023 DEPARTURES
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