Birdwatching or Birding in and around Kruger National Park and Panorama Route
The rich habitat and vegetation of South Africa provide an ideal breeding ground for a wide and diverse range of birds. An incredible variety of bushbirds, including giant birds of prey, can be found in the country’s vast stretches of bush and woodland. A network of wetlands is home to gracious waterbirds. Many exquisitely colored and rare birds live in the dense indigenous forests here.
Mpumalanga’s entire province is known as a top birding destination. Within a 100-kilometer radius, habitats ranging from mountain highveld to acacia lowveld can be found. The abundance of vegetation provides a safe haven for a wide range of birds. A variety of significant endemic and partly endemic species can be found in the southern grasslands and wetlands.
Birdwatching in and around Kruger National Park
This magnificent Kruger National Park needs little introduction and is already well-known as a must-see for birders. Over 20 000 km2 of savannahs, tropical grasslands, and riverine forests are home to an incredible variety of birds. There are over 500 birds registered in South Africa, making it one of the most rewarding birding destinations on the planet.
The 95 endemics, or species occurring only in Southern Africa, are of particular concern. Look for the Kruger’s signature lilac-breasted rollers and hornbills, as well as birds of prey, kingfishers, and the magnificent secretary duck.
Birdwatching in and around Blyde River Canyon
This is the world’s third-largest canyon and one of Africa’s most beautiful sights. The canyon is part of the Blyde River Canyon Nature Reserve, a 27.000-hectare birding haven. The combination of diverse ecosystems has resulted in a remarkable bird list of approximately 365 species, the highest species diversity of any nature reserve in the area.
The canyon’s view points are perfect for raptor viewing, and this has to be one of South Africa’s raptor hotspots. Verreaux’s Eagle, Cape Vulture, Jackal Buzzard, Lanner Falcon, African Goshawk, and White-necked Raven are all common sightings. The Taita Falcon, an extremely rare little falcon that nests nearby and rarely flies over, is the ultimate reward.
Birdwatching in and around Kaapsehoop
Kaapsehoop is a small hamlet 30 kilometers south-west of Nelspruit. The landscape is mostly undulating mistbelt grassland, with a few rocky outcrops and forested pockets in damp valleys. In the grasslands, the uncommon and endangered Blue Swallow breeds. Between September and April, the Blue Swallow is the main attraction, but other endangered species such as Striped Flufftail and Black-rumped Buttonquail are also present.