As a serious birder, (and sometimes we really are far too serious!) it is easy to become fixated on doing everything yourself, with regard to finding birds. If it's not done the 'hard way', the sighting is somehow less real.
I'd fallen into this trap, and have only recently started to add audio IDs to my list, which has opened up a new world for me.
This week I broke with tradition and actually forked out money for the first time ever to a bird guide. R195 for three hours and I cannot imagine why I have never done this before. It's like walking past a tap to reach the river...!
This took place at Bonamanzi, a non-SANPark, so I won't go into detail, but suffice it to say that a good (or even fair) guide is definitely worth the investment. I'd walked the area the previous day, armed with Roberts and Sasol, and while I saw some lovely birds, no lifers appeared.
Next day got 3 definites,
plus I was shown two more which I rejected as I could not make a certain ID before the bird flew off.
Interestingly, the guide relied far more on audio than visual alerts and as a result we walked far less and saw far more than I did in the same area just 24 hours before...