South Africa hosts about one tenth of the world’s bird species. The country’s national parks offer excellent venues to view these birds, and with parks located in all corners of the country, in a variety of habitats, each park has its own unique avi-spectrum.
For up to date information and discussions, as well as birding events please visit out Birding Forum.
You can also page through the camp and park birding accounts listed underneath this overall introduction for a detailed breakdown of birds likely to be found in the individual camps.
Have you seen an African Fish Eagle on a recent visit to Kruger National Park (KNP)? A Bataleur? A Pallid Harrier? If you see these big birds, or a number of others on your next foray into the park, we’d like you to tell us about your sighting! Not sure what they look like? Not to worry - you'll soon find posters dotted around the park to help you out. You can e-mail your sightings to firstname.lastname@example.org or fill in this electronic sightings form.
SANParks, in collaboration with the Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT) and the "Stiffnecks" birdclub, are asking the public to help record bird sightings within the KNP. They have produced a number of large posters displaying photos of each bird to look out for, as well details for the submission of sighting reports.
This poster project is an exciting example of how the SANParks forum community is getting involved in conservation efforts. Jackie During, chairperson of the forum birdclub, the Stiffnecks, approached SANParks with the idea for the project as a way to involve the keen online birding community in research in the park.
With the invaluable assistance of Chris Patton and Dr Andrew Deacon from SANParks, the project was approved and soon grew into a collaborative effort with Andre Botha, manager of the Birds of Prey Working Group of the Endangered Wildlife Trust.
These pages feature a spectrum of information about birding in South African National Parks. They include the general descriptions of birding opportunities in most of SANPark's 20 odd national parks and in the grounds of our head office in Pretoria . Click on the park-by-park bird summaries and click on the park you are interested in, and the descriptions for the parks in that area will be shown.
There are also checklists of the birds that may be found in each of the parks (lists derived from park records and SAOS Atlasing records) and additional information on birds and birding in SANParks.
Kruger National Park has over 500 species on its list and is an excellent place to see woodland and savannah birds. Numbers are greatest in summer, when all the Palaearctic and Intra-African migrants are present.
Marakele National Park is another excellent venue for woodland and savannah species and the great altitudinal variance is another dimension. The park is also in the transition zone between dry western species and more growth dependent eastern species.
Mapungubwe National Park has over 400 species in a relatively small area. There is an exciting blend of woodland and grassland species; of arid western and eastern bush species, birds associated with rocky areas, some northern specials (usually associated with Zimbabwe and Botswana), and water birds (particularly when the flood plains are wet).
Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park is an excellent venue for dry western species and is particularly renowned for birds of prey.
Golden Gate Highlands National Park is an excellent venue for montane and grassland species.
Addo Elephant National Park with its diversity of habitat biomes offers a real diversity of species across the Greater park area. Coastal, Forest , Thicket, Fynbos and Arid species can all be seen.
Garden Route Nationa Park (Knysna & Wilderness) and West Coast National Parks are excellent venues for waders and water birds of lagoon and estuary.
Agulhas and Table Mountain National Parks offer up many vagrant species because of their geographic locations, in addition to the conventional Fynbos and coastal species present.
Each of the remaining parks offer excellent birding too, and each reflects the habitat biomes that they respectively conserve.
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