Our South Africa - Rallid Quest is part of a never before series of tours in birding history. This unique tour is dedicated to finding mythical and ultra-difficult rallids and flufftails as well as a number of other regional endemics along the way. Included in this spectacular list of crakes, rails, quails and flufftails are such mega species as Striped Crake, White-winged and Striped Flufftails, along with a supporting cast of Red-chested and Buff-spotted Flufftails, African, Baillon’s, Spotted and Corn Crakes, African Rail, Allen’s Gallinule, Lesser Moorhen, Lesser Jacana and Black-rumped Buttonquail. As if this once-in-a-lifetime rallid quest wasn’t enough, we’ll also be on the lookout for those species restricted to the montane grasslands of South Africa such as Buff-streaked Chat, Yellow-breasted Pipit, Ground Woodpecker, Southern Bald Ibis, Denham’s Bustard, Secretarybird and Blue Korhaan.
Please note: these prices are subject to foreign exchange fluctuations.
*2024 Prices are estimated and dates may change*
White-winged, Striped, Buff-spotted & Red-chested Flufftails, Spotted, Baillon's, Corn & Black Crakes, African Rail, Harlequin Quail, Allen’s Gallinule, Lesser Moorhen, Lesser Jacana, Black-rumped & Common Buttonquails, Greater Painted-snipe, Wattled, Blue & Grey Crowned Cranes, Buff-streaked Chat, Yellow-breasted Pipit, Ground Woodpecker, Southern Bald Ibis, Sentinel Rock Thrush, Eastern Long-billed Lark, Amur Falcon, Gurney’s Sugarbird, Denham’s Bustard, Malachite Sunbird, Mountain Wheatear, Secretarybird, Blue Korhaan, South African Shelduck, Orange-breasted Waxbill, Red-headed Quelea, Short-tailed Pipit, Cuckoo-finch, Barratt’s Warbler, Bush Blackcap, Bokmakierie, Black Harrier Top Mammals
Black Wildebeest, Blesbok, Meerkat, Yellow Mongoose Habitats Covered
high altitude wetlands, marshes, montane grassland, montane forest patches, waste treatment ponds, Acacia woodland, dry scrub Expected Climate
hot and humid in some areas. Can be cool to cold and windy in the early morning around Ntsikeni 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 Ease of Birding
very tough with a number of ultra-elusive species Photographic Opportunities
Daniel Danckwerts was excellent—great hearing and eyesight and was excellent at pointing out exactly where the skulky bird was lurking. He was able to find the group many birds that various members of the group had missed on previous trips to South Africa. And more importantly, he was a store of information about the birds, animals and Kruger. Teamed up with Daniel was our most excellent Kruger driver-guide Dirk who knew where everything was and could find it. We navigated this very complicated trip (flight to Skukuza, travel in south Kruger, flight to Cape Town, testing for covid, boarding the MSC Orchestra and off on our cruise around the Cape of Good Hope only with Daniel’s help and guidance. I am hoping to return to Kruger (for the third time) to bird with Daniel and Dirk on the Kruger Challenge. More than the birds, the trip was fun.
Our guide, Doug McCulloch, was outstanding. Both professional and personable. He made sure we all got on the bird if possible. Great eyes and ears, went out of his way at times. Ie: The scope was set up too high, the only way to see the bird, so for Joanie, Doug got down on all fours and had her step up on his back to see an African Finfoot through the scope. (We have a photo of this).
Thoroughly enjoyed Gareth - sense of humour was great and he worked tirelessly to ensure everyone could see the bird.
Doug (Douglas McCulloch) is a gentleman and a scholar, and my husband and I very much appreciated his guiding. His knowledge of the birds, other animals, and plants encountered on the trip is tremendous. His ability to get us “onto the bird” was much appreciated – I can still hear him say, “just above the dot.” His communication skills are excellent, and his patience with each of us was un-ending. In addition, his knowledge of the natural history of the area was extensive and very helpful. He was also able to provide some information about the social, political and economic climate of Southern Africa without opinion or agenda. He made an effort to get to know each member of the tour and to be responsive to their particular interests with regard to the tour. His energy was unending – even including an evening walk to look for honey badgers when we had already had a long day and an excellent evening meal. Obviously, I cannot say enough good about him. We would definitely welcome an opportunity to tour with him in the future, should our economic situation provide for another Rockjumper adventure in Africa.
It was a great pleasure to meet David Hoddinott, and a privilege really to spend time with such a great birder. Mine was a focussed trip around several species not seen in South Africa, and we saw all the birds, including a wonderful view of a male Buff-spotted Flufftail. David also found a few species where I had only had single sightings previously. We had to reschedule my trip at short notice and the Tailormade team at RJ were really helpful to ensure this section of our trip went ahead. Many thanks.