Africa offers some of the most untouched, vast tracts of wilderness ideal for birdwatching safari holidays. We have handpicked bird specialists in Southern and East Africa and together create birdwatching in Africa for birders and twitchers. We ensure you get to stay in the very best located camps and lodges to maximise your chances of seeing the birds of Africa that interest you most. Whether you want to tick off a list or linger longer for the ultimate photograph and notations, birdwatching in Africa is a hugely rewarding safari experience.
South Africa has the highest number of endemic bird species in mainland Africa whilst Zimbabwe has no endemics. So it’s important to know what you’re looking for and work with specialists. Why not start your birdwatching safari in remote wilderness abundant with other wildlife too and then move to a beautiful beach and island destination where ornithological records remain incomplete and bird watching that little bit more exciting for it!
Seeing more diversity in bird species is all about changing habitat. In general, for birders we recommend it’s better to spend longer in each park to avoid missing birds and animals and we offer activities in the best light so you get outstanding sightings. Twitchers may prefer to keep on the move, visiting as many different national parks and likely bird habitats as possible logistically with given timeframes and budgets.
So get in touch today and let’s start the process of tailoring your dream birdwatching safari in Africa.
When to Go
There is never really a bad time for holidays like birdwatching in Africa simply because the continent is vast, countries with exceptional bird numbers abound and safari activities available all year round. It’s important to know what you would like to try and see, photograph and experience because then it’s easier to advise the best time of year to travel. Typically wet seasons attract migratory and greater numbers of birds as the rains herald new life in flora and fauna, ultimately their food supply.
Good to Know
If you are not a birder and would like to be, it’s as easy as one, two, three.
- Get a pair of binoculars. We recommend waterproof, easy focus, at least 8x magnification and a 30 to 42mm front lens. That means 8×32 or 10×42 would be ideal.
- Work out where you want to go in Africa, get in touch with us to start planning and buy a good bird guide.
- Most excitingly, depart for your Birding in Africa safari holiday and ensure you relish every moment in the bush, savour the sounds and see what you can see on birdwatching safari.
Is a must with fantastic birds like the Shoebill, the Albertine Rift endemics, Green breasted Pitta and many many more, to be more accurate, some 1050 species. You can also get close to primates including gorillas and chimps and colobus monkeys plus larger African mammals at Queen Elizabeth National Park. Africa’s largest lake (Victoria) has outstanding papyrus swamps that are inhabited by the shoebill, the monstrous birds that are almost pre historic.
Birding on an Island
For island paradise, you cannot look past Bird Island Lodge in the Seychelles where enormous numbers of birds nest on the island including some million ground-nesting sooty terns. Seychelles endemics range from the black paradise flycatcher to warbler, magpie robin, scops owl and white eye.
Some 1,132 bird species are recorded in this fantastic safari country including nine endemic species. For impressive numbers, visit October to April when 120 migrant species arrive including the Forbes-Watson’s Swift. Lesser Flamingo flock in vast numbers to the rift’s alkaline lakes for periodic feeding but that depends on algae levels and cannot easily be predicted.
South Africa birding
South Africa has a long list of endemic species and a diversity of landscapes and wilderness areas in which to explore on a birding safari. From the coastal forests, the bushveld of the Kruger, mountainous Sani Pass and Drakensburg to the Mediterranean style areas of the Western Cape and drier Karoo you will see literally hundreds of different species. Cape Town is home to a penguin colony that always impresses birdwatching safari goers.
Namibia boasts 13 endemic and 620 resident bird species and the rains herald great birdwatching safari weather between November and April. During this time food is abundant and a number of birds are sporting spectacular plumage. With endless coastline, mysterious mists, harsh desert landscapes, salt pans and woodlands, you get every chance to spot the endemics and some of the many migrant bird species that visit.
Whilst there are no endemic species here, the country is home to Africa’s finest birds that can be seen in on a Botswana safari. Explore the famous Okavango Delta, one of the finest wetland areas for birding and the bird rich Chobe River. The Kalahari Desert and Makgadikgadi Salt Pans are home to an array of birds, from the largest (Ostrich) to the heaviest (Kori Bustard) and the most numerous (Red-billed Quelea). The most productive when numbers are at their highest is November to March. Over 150 different species may be recorded in a day at this time.