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Birdwatching in South Africa

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Local Birdingpal Contacts

Local Birdwatchers

Using the Birdingpal resources you must agree to the following: If you contact a local Birdingpal and make arrangement to go birding, you should note it is common courtesy to make sure you show up for the appointment. If for any reason you are unable to do this, the least you must do is contacting the local Pal right away.
Please note that most Birdingpals are serious birdwatchers. It is a privilege to contact them, and your message should reflect it. A local Pal does not get paid, but should he/she offer to take you out birding, using their own vehicle, it would be courteous to pay for the fuel. A lunch and/or a small gift would also be appropriate, something as simple as a souvenir of your country, or a pin from your local birding club.
We want to hear about your experiences with Birdingpals.
Please contact us with any comments or suggestions you have.

Shortcuts to Local Pals:
Eastern Cape Western Cape Gauteng Kwa Zulu Natal Limpopo (Nothern Province) Mpumalanga Professional guides Birder Friendly Lodging
Initial Last Name Area Available Language
C Groenewald Cannon Rocks, Eastern Cape Anytime Afrikaans, English, limited German
We are close to Alexandria Forest for forest species, Ghio floodplain for water birds and Martindale/Kap river for coastal bush species. Our area has a birdlist of close to 350 in a 100km radius.
J Curnick East London, Eastern Cape Weekend English, Afrikaans, some German
Got a nice variety of birds in a small area.

Western Cape

P. Nurse Knysna, Western Cape Most of the time. I am retired . English
I am Chair of the local bird club and passionate about birds and birding Area:
afromontane forests

Area Birds:
knysna turacos and warblers
Nature: birdwatching, twitching, photography, butterflies, fishing, skiing, swimming, beach, surfing, snowmobiling, sky divingTravel: stroll, walking, hiking, climbing, train, bus, car, hitchhiking, biking, long walk, packpack, portage, canoe, ship, cruise, pilot, dog sled, snow mobileVisit: tourist site, museum, restaurant, club, vineyard, ski run/trail, monument, arboretum, architecture appreciation, shop, antique, fashion, techAttend: concert, horse race, ballet, dance show, theatre, live music, sports event, auction, antique, convention, political rally, protest, competition, swapParticipate: night life, party, dance, club, bar, rock, country, classical, hiphop, rap, swing, wine, beer, liquor, social games, computer games, casino


  G Bain Gordon's Bay Anytime English
  Fairly busy veterinary professional. I get out when schedule allows. Sundays usually best opportunity. Area:
The Helderberg is on the eastern edge of Cape Town. Not rich in number of species, but the home of endemic fynbos specials, some easy to see, some less so.

Paardevlei, Dick Dent NR, Strandfontein WTP, Macassar WTP, Helderberg NR, Rooi-Els, Steenbras NR, Sir Lowry's Pass, Silwerboomkloof, Harold Porter BG, Stony Point.
Area Birds:
Nature: birdwatching, photography
Travel: stroll, walking, hiking
Visit: museum, arboretum,
Attend: sports event
Participate: crossword puzzle solving and constructing, cricket

D Davis Uitenhage, Sedgefield, South Western Cape Anytime English, Afrikaans

G Andrag Cape Town, Western Cape Anytime. English and Afrikaans.
I am a member of the local bird club and am involved in surveys and counts. I have observed over 700 species in the Southern African region. Area:
Kirstenbosch, Rooi Els, Strandfontein, West Coast National Park

Area Birds:
Endemics, eg. Cape Rockjumper, Cape Sugarbird, Large-billed Lark, etc.
Nature: birdwatching, twitching.

M Maciver Cape Town, Western Cape Anytime English
Nature Reserves on the Cape Peninsula.

L Hibbin Cape Town, Western Cape Anytime English

A Grundlingh Durbanville/Cape Town, Western Cape Weekend English, Afrikaans
The birding around my home is mostly all the Cape endemics & specials. I also have a keen interest in other wildlife: specifically dragonflies, reptiles, frogs, flowers and fungi.

H Beekhoven Cape Town, Western Cape Anytime English
P Sumner Cape Town, Western Cape Weekend English, Afrikaans
Cape Town has various habitats from coastal to mountain to bush, and the birds that go with them.

K Steyn Fish Hoek near Cape Town, Western Cape Weekend English, Afrikaans
Fish Hoek is situated south of Cape Town, on the southern part of the Cape Peninsula - halfway between Table Montain and Cape Point. Most of this area fall within the Table Mountain National Park; Table Mountain being one of the Seven Natural Wonders on the World. The area has a very varied habitat with sea, sandy and rocky shores, many wetlands, mountain and some forest. The Cape Peninsula falls within the Fynbos biome (41,000 km2), also known as the Cape Floral Kingdom with an estimated 9,000 species of flowering plants, two thirds of which are not found anywhere else on earth. This is home to many endemic bird species such as the Cape Sugarbird. My wife and I are novice birders who love the outdoors and birding.
R Kadis Franschhoek, Western Cape Anytime English, Afrikaans
I am more of an allround nature lover than just birdwatching but I think this site is a great idea. I have belonged to it for a few years now and have passed info to a good few enquiries. I have also met up with a few birdwatchers/visitors when in Cape Town. I used to live in Simonstown, now living in Napier, Western Cape. About 40 km from Cape Agulhas - Most Southern Point of Africa (Not Cape Point!). The area is known as the Overberg and wellknown for the Blue Crane. Also close to DeHoop nature reserve where they have Cape Vulture program. I work offshore up from Angola, so not at home that often, but if I can help with information, I try. Napier is central in the area, to places like Hermanus, Gansbay, Arniston, Agulhas , Cape Infanta and 170 km from Cape Town itself.
M Oliver Knysna, Western Cape Anytime English
Novice bird watcher, but very keen. We are situated on the coast and surrounded by inland lagoons, rivers, mountains and indigenous forests of the Garden Route, so there are dozens of bird species to be found here, including our iconic, green Knysna Loerie. Ideal place for Twitchers to visit, with the bonus of the Addo Elephant Park that boasts the big five.
S Eksteen Napier, Western Cape Anytime English, Afrikaans, Arabic
Chairperson of the Birdlife Bird River bird club in Franschhoek. Very keen birder and love to go out looking for our feathered friends.


  B. Williams Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa Anytime English
  I have been birding for about 20 years, have a life list of around 500 birds.

I love the outdoors and birding, but am not a fanatical birder, I enjoy all the nature aspects of the areas we are able to visit in South Africa.
Marievale, Rietvlei, Roodeplaat Dam, Walter Sisulu Botanical Gardens

Area Birds:
Goliath, Black, Squacco, Purple Herons; African Spoonbill, Flamingos,

Nature: birdwatching, trees, mammals
Travel: stroll, walking, hiking, car, long walk,
Visit: tourist site, restaurant, nature trail

L Thamm Johannesburg, Gauteng Mostly Saturdays English
All areas listed can be covered in an easy morning outing from Johannesburg. In summer the outing list should be close to 100 bird species. I have been birding for 50 years Area:
Rondebult, Marievale,Krugersdorp,Highveld Botanical Garden

Area Birds:
Black crake, hottentot teal, goliath heron, verreaux's eagle, purple swamphen
Nature: birdwatching, twitching, photography, butterflies, fishing, walking, car, Visit: restaurant, arboretum, Participate: classical, wine,
W McKay Alberton, Gauteng Anytime English
I stay close to three of Joburgs well known birding sites, Rondebult BS, Marievale BS and Suikerbosrand NR. I run a blog on Rondebult as I visit at least two to three times a month.
M Meyer Benoni, Gauteng Weekend English, Afrikaans
Keen beginner birdwatcher, would like to know the potential of birdwatching in area.
B Geldenhuys Germiston, Gauteng Anytime English
Very Keen birder with good spotting and identifying skills, Often out and about in the field. Good Birds to be found one hours drive from where I am based.
A Meiring Johannesburgh, Gauteng Weekend Afrikaans, English, Dutch, Geman
F Joubert Johannesburgh, Gauteng Weekend English
C Moore Johannesburgh, Gauteng Anytime English
Keen on wildlife in general and birding in particular. RSA is very scenic with diverse geography and habitats and has superb wildlife and birds with beautiful reserves and natural areas. I bird mostly on the highveld around Johannesburg, but have travelled extensively in southern Africa.


  K Logan Johannesburgh, Gauteng Anytime English
  Retired birder and keen photographer with 880 birds on Southern African List (835 photographed). willing to show birders all the hotspots in Gauteng, Mpumalanga, Northern Cape, Limpopo and KZN and even further south if required. Advice freely given on where to go to find what you are looking for. I travel extensively (am usually overseas birding 3 times a year) so I may not be able to accommodate last minute requests (but try me anyway). Area: Marievale, Sukerbosrand, Bushveld Pilansberg

Area Birds: 0ver 400 species in Gauteng alone

Nature: Birding, Nature Photography

N Perrins Johannesburgh, Gauteng Weekend English
I am a keen birder who likes to get out of the city most weekends. Birdwatching is quite fruitful within an hour or two drive from Johannesburg, to a variety of habitats.
B Wallis Johannesburgh, Gauteng Weekend English, Afrikaans
My husband and I are keen birders. Our favourite spots are Marievale Bird Sanctuary - 1hrs drive away from where we live. We are by no means professional but enjoy time out in nature even if its roughing it in the back of our bakkie, its great to get out of town for a night and bird.
A Featherstone Johannesburgh, Gauteng Weekend English
Lived in Johannesburg for twenty years so know the area well. Johannesburg is in the highveld area of South Africa and is surrounded by lots of excellent birding spots.
P Steyn Johannesburgh, Gauteng Weekend English, Afrikaans
I am 70 years young and am a retired lawyer living in Johannesburg South Africa (am still quite fit and active). My wife and I have been active and keen members of Birdlife SA for 30 years, and also very keen amateur photographers. We have visited most good birding spots in SA and have also travelled to several countries on birding trips. Eg. Ethiopia, Nepal, Kenya, Botswana, Namibia and Zambia. WE have wild life experiences here that is still the best in the world. A few months ago we were driving in Kruger Park. People stopped and told us about lions, which had killed a big buck and zebra 3 km forward. Then people stopped and told us that a leopard had killed a buck and was eating it in a tree 7 km backwards. We got the best photos of all that day. Where we were there was a big fight between 4 francolins right next to the car. We took 100 photos there. Then we went to leopard and got 200 more photos. I will gladly assist any travellers wishing to visit SA on birding or photographic trips.
M Axelrod Johannesburgh, Gauteng Anytime English
I'm a very keen young birder and also enjoy a bit of bird photography. I know most of the good birding spots around Gauteng well and also most of the best spots in the whole Northern part of South Africa.
M Henderson Johannesburgh, Gauteng Anytime English
I have been a keen birder for over 40 years. I am a professional freelance trails guide and am happy to take out visiting birders as a Birdingpal anytime, when not on tour or safari.
DA Morrey Johannesburgh, Gauteng Weekend English
Marievale Wetlands, Suikerbosrand Game Reserve Walks and Trials 1 Hr outside city. Other good destinations within 2hrs drive - Borakalao and Pilanesburg GRs.
P Huggins Benoni, Johannesburgh, Gauteng Weekend English
Am a member of Birdlife South Africa and committee member of the Wits Bird Club, East Rand Branch. Have lead many birding outings in and around Gauteng. Have transport and equipment. Have several great birding locations in the surrounding area, namely Suikerbos Rand, Marievale, Rietvlei Nature Reserve and Pilanesberg.
T O'Boyle Johannesburg, Delta Park, Gauteng Anytime English, Irish, German
A Marx Johannesburg/Pretoria, Gauteng Anytime English
D Swanepoel Pretoria/Johannesburgh, Gauteng Weekend English, Afrikaans
I am a reasonably experienced birder with the good fortune to live in a particularly bird rich part of South Africa. I have taken a few birdingpals out birding in the past, as well as availed of the help of others while traveling abroad. I love getting to meet birders from other parts of the world and to share our wonderful birdlife.
E Retief Pretoria, Gauteng Weekend English
Keen birder for many years.
L van den Heever Pretoria, Gauteng Weekend English, basic Dutch, German
Birding around Pretoria can be very satisfactory with different biomes and good variety.
D Onderstall Krugersdorp, Gauteng Anytime English, Afrikaans
Krugersdorp has a lot of urban bird species, many more than I have seen in urban areas in other country I have visited. I usually have space in my house for guests. The Krugersdorp game reserve is minutes away and there are many good spots within a few hours.
R Coetzee Nigel, Gauteng Anytime English
I have been birding for 30 years, BUT I am by no means a professional. I bird, I do not twitch. I don't keep lists, I just enjoy birds. Gauteng is Highveld and do not really have the very colourful spectacular species, but the Limpopo province, further North is great. I also, if people like to camp, go there. I do not like staying in lodges, I do not like people smoking and I have a Land Rover Defender, 90, which a lot of people have a hate for. She is riged to only take one person and me. I love my Landy and my birding trips.
S Terblanche Faerie Glen/Pretoria, Gauteng Anytime English, understand German, Dutch
Pretoria is situated in a particularly bird rich area, even in the urban areas. During the Bird Atlas project, that has been running for almost a year now, 167 species have already been recorded in the vicinity of my home, in an area of 8km by 8km.
R Geddes Pretoria, Gauteng Anytime English
R de Rover Pretoria, Gauteng Anytime English, Afrikaans
D Human Pretoria, Gauteng Weekend Afrikaans, English, Italian
For the best birding areas - visit Pretoria!!!
P Penlington Pretoria, Gauteng Weekend English
Keen photograper and birder. I spend most of my time birding the areas with 100km of Pretoria know most of the best locations. A full day should usally get around 200 species in summer, 170 in Winter.
R Gerber Pretoria, Gauteng Weekend English, Afrikaans
Elarduspark is about 12 km from Pretoria and 6km from Rietvlei Nature Reserve, my patch. My personal list at this reseve is 150. Please let me know if you need anything more. I am 61 and a birdwatcher for the past 15 years with a total of 640 Southern African twitches. My patch is Rietvlei Nature Reserve where 70+ is the norm per day from Ocktober to end April.persons 1-3 welcome.
J Boyce Pretoria, Gauteng Anytime English
Hi, I am a super keen birder and really love to get out birding with any excuse. This part of South Africa is really diverse and totals up to a 150 species in a day are not uncommon. I am a guide, but will not charge guiding fee to fellow birders, if they are willing to pay our Fuel to get around.
G Burrows Durban, Kwa Zulu Natal Weekend English, Afrikaans
D Morrey Durban, Kwa Zulu Natal Anytime English
The upper highway area is well forested and has many birding hot spots for forest specials. Down at the coast there are many areas rich in waders and shore birds.
M Taylor Durban, Kwa Zulu Natal Anytime English, Afrikaans
Happy to show birders around my local patch or to answer any questions on birding in South Africa.
M Bowker Pietermaritzburg, Kwa Zulu Natal Anytime English
C Summersgill Pietermaritzburg, Kwa Zulu Natal Weekends English, some German
Keen birder and bird atlaser. Travel quite extensively in KZN to atlas when I get the chance.
M Meidlinger Nelspruit, Mpumalanga Weekend English
Less than an hours drive from the Kruger National Park and various Escarpment forests and grasslands with some exciting birding to be had in Nelspruit town itself.
J Rensburg Standerton, Mpumalanga Anytime English
Wakkerstroom and Memel, both well-known for highveld birding is part of my stomping grounds.
C Williams Standerton, Mpumalanga Anytime English, Afrikaans, Zulu
Birdringer since 2005 and Citizen Scientist.
D Mostert Hoedspruit, Limpopo (Northern Province) Anytime English
S Mulaudzi Louis Trichardt, Limpopo Anytime English, Afrikaans
Greater Limpopo Birding Route specialist Bird Guide based in the Soutpansberg and Venda.Can guide birders to from Soutpansberg-Venda areas, Hanglip Forest, Entabeni Forest, Roodewal Forest, Muirhead Dam Reserve and Forest, Albasini Dam, Botanical Garden, Northern Kruger, Sagole Big Tree.
D Kleynhans Sasolburg, Northern Free State Anytime English
R Balt Hartbeespoort, North West Weekend English, Afrikaans, French
The Magaliesberg is on our doorstep, Pilansberg Nature Reserve is not too far away. And then some treasure troves for birding in the Bushveld, and various wetlands in the area close by. I do Photography and Atlasing.
E Muller Hartbeespoort/Pretoria, North West Anytime English, Afrikaans
I am a keen birder and ringer. Stay at the Hartbeespoort dam which is about 50 kilometers west of Pretoria. There are many reserves and special birding spots in and around Pretoria with Pilansberg Nature Reserve about 100 kilometers away.
B Loxton Klerksdorp, North West Anytime English, Afrikaans
Nature Reserves in vicinity Faan Meintjies NR, Sandveld NR and Barberspan NR.
A Archer Klerksdorp, North West Anytime Spanish, Afrikaans
I have filled in that I am available on weekends only. However my work is such that I can at times go out during the week. There are many of the South African endemics in the area - Larks, Pipits. There is a nature reserve 15km from from Klerksdorp with good accomodation and most of the birds can be seen within the reserve. I have taken people out before without charging a fee. That did not work as my vehicle was used and no offer to at least share costs was made. So I will be charging a fee.
M Phiri Mafikeng, North West Weekend Spanish, Afrikaans

Professional Guides

If you contact a professional Birdingpal guide you must be prepared to pay a fee for guiding services.

First Last Name Area Available Lanautage
CBadenhorst Ofcolaco, Limpopo Anytime
We live midway between Magoebaskloof, Krugerpark and the Strijdom tunnel in Limpopo. Special species are Taita Falcon, Bathawk & Black-fronted Bush Shrike. We have 99 Garden species.
More info and pictures of accommodation


  Casper Badenhorst Hoedspruit, Limpopo, South Africa Anytime English, Spanish, Afrikaans, Tunisian Arabic
  I am Casper Badenhorst, a professional bird and nature guide, from Hoedspruit in the Limpopo province of South Africa. I run my own birding company and also guide for several birding and wildlife operators in Southern Africa. Area:
The Kruger National Park with 500+ bird species and tons of wildlife is a mere 40 minutes away.
The 3rd largest canyon in the world, the Blyde River Canyon is on our doorstep .
The Panorama route is a short day trip from Hoedspruit with incredible views and birds.
Mariepskop Afro-montane forests is 30 min away with 22 forest bird specials.
Magoebaskloof forests is an hour away and a birding hotspot not to miss.
Walking trails in Kruger National Park among Africa's big five.

Area Birds:
African Finfoot, Black-fronted Bush-shrike, Knysna Turaco, Southern Bald Ibis, Martial Eagle, Narina Trogon, Kori Bustard, Half-collard Kingfisher, Lappet-faced Vulture, Barrat's Warbler, Crowned Eagle, Scaly-throated Honeyguide, Gorgeous Bushskrike, Pygmy Kingfisher

Nature: Bird and wildlife Photography, Hiking
Travel: Travelling

Please see my website: Birding and Wildlife Safaris

Gilly Louw Hermanus, Western Cape Anytime English
Endemics are Cape Sugarbird, southern double collared sunbird, Protea canary, cape siskin, cape batis, victorins warbler, cape rockjumper. Also Jackass penguin colony nearby. Coastal birds such as gannets and manyfresh water fowl. Area:
Fernkloof nature reserve

Area Birds:
Black Eagle, Orange-breasted sunbird,malachite sunbird, Cape Eagle owl, flamingo
Nature: birdwatching, , photography, butterflies, swimming, beach, Travel: stroll, walking, hiking, climbing, train, bus, car, hitchhiking, biking, long walk, packpack, portage, canoe, ship, cruise: tourist site, museum, restaurant, club, vineyard, wine, wildlife, frogs, rock art, Bushman paintings, local culture and cuisine


Birding Friendly Lodging

A place near a birding hotspot, operated by Pals who cater to birders' needs.

Contact Location Nearby Hotspots Type of lodging Languages

Southern Free State, south of Bloemfontein
right on the farm property Fully equipped two-bedroomed cottages English
Garingboom Guest Farm

The Garingboom Guest farm is an eco-friendly Karoo sheep farm situated in the Southern Free State.

The farm is 150km south of Bloemfontein on the N1 and at exit no 45 only 11km on the R715 towards Bethulie.
Garingboom Guest Farm

Over 160 species of birds are listed for the farm. This includes specials like the Burchells’ Courser, Doublebanded Courser, Layards’ Titbabler, Grey Tit, Blue Korhaan, Rock Pipit and many other Karoo specials.

Riëtte is an experienced birder and special birding trips, horse rides and Dragonfly and Butterfly - spotting can be arranged with her.

Special info on the beautiful indigenous plants and bushes , mammals , reptiles, Butterflies and Dragonflies , is also available
Garingboom Guest Farm

Accommodation in comfy fully equipped two-bedroomed cottages under shady trees, includes air-conditioning, TV, kitchenette, fridge, barbeque and covered parking.

Two trails on the farm gives you the opportunity to do some birding and walking on your own as well.

Breakfast and special Karoo lamb dinners are also available.

Contact Jan and Riëtte Griesel
Fax: 0865195421
Cell : 0829009888


Local Information
Name Description
Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia South Africa
Local weather Yahoo
Birdlife South Africa Club
BirdLife Northern Gauteng Club
African Bird Club South Africa Club
Latest Sights RBR
Warren Mckay's Birdsouthafrica Blog
Roberts on line Photos
South African National Parks Sites
Kruger Park Sites
Cape Town Pelagics Pelagic
Birding Hotspots around the world Sites