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Day Guiding and Tours

We also offer variety of pesonalised guided tours (day trips or longer), our guides being among the region's most experienced birders. This includes set tours or an individually guided day or two in search of your most wanted species. Itineraries include these possible day trips around Cape Town:

Cape Peninsula Fynbos and coastal endemics including Knysna Warbler, Cape Sugarbird and African Penguin.
West Coast Concentrates on the famous Langebaan Lagoon for scrub and coastal birding - including shorebirds and Black Harrier.
Tanqua Karoo (2 day loop) The Tanqua Karoo is a superb birding area, offering the majority of the Karoo desert endemics (including Cinnamon-breasted Warbler and Karoo Eremomela) in wonderful landscapes.
Overberg and Agulhas Plain For a number of endemic species of grassland and thicket, including Blue Crane, Stanley's Bustard, Cape Vulture and the highly localised Agulhas Long-billed Lark
Endemic Tours Day trip targeting Cape and Karoo endemics for the dedicated birder.
Clean up tours Our guides will help you find your most wanted species.

Raptor tours (2 days)

See 20 species in 2 days, including all of SA's 5 bird of prey endemics - Jackal Buzzard, Pale Chanting Goshawk, Black Harrier, Forest Buzzard & Cape Vulture. Led by local raptor researchers.

Desert birding Join us for 4-10 day tours into Bushmanland and the Kalahari in search of some of the more special endemics, including larks and bustards.


Sample day trip itinerary

Tanqua Karoo Day (Cape Town - Ceres - Tanqua Karoo - Cape Town)

The parched brown expanses, aloe-lined escarpments and lonely isolated hills of the Tanqua Karoo provide an apt setting for such fine and sought-after dry western endemics as Karoo Eremomela, Cinnamon-breasted Warbler, Namaqua Warbler and Fairy Flycatcher, among many others.

The steep, rocky slopes and dense acacia thicket of the small picnic site of Skitterykloof (sometimes called Katbakkies) offers fine and varied birding. These slopes are also legendary as the most accessible site in the world to see Cinnamon-breasted Warbler. Familiarity with this species' call is absolutely essential, as it is otherwise almost impossible to locate. A reticent and little-known inhabitant of arid, rocky hill-slopes, the Cinnamon-breasted Warbler is peculiar enough to have been accorded its own genus. Its behaviour most closely resembles that of shy and diminutive rockjumper, bounding about sun-baked boulders and calling fervently before inexplicably disappearing for long periods.

Other species that we hope to encounter here are Black-headed Canary (nomadic) Southern Grey Tit, Layard's Titbabbler, Mountain Chat and Grey-backed Cisticola. Pale-winged Starlings regularly overfly the valley, and Ground Woodpeckers sometimes hurl invective from the ridges. As ever, it is worth keeping an eye skyward for the likes of Black and Booted Eagles and Rock Kestrel. The acacia thicket in the picnic site is usually alive with birds, even at midday. The essentials here are Fairy Flycatcher and Pririt Batis (p. 00). Other interesting birds of this habitat are Pied Barbet, White-backed Mousebird, African Marsh Warbler (summer), White-throated Canary and Cape Bunting.

Emerging from the hills and onto the semidesert plains of the Tanqua Karoo, one enter a whole new habitat for birds - where almost everything is an endemic! We'll take the R355 to Calvinia, notorious as the longest road in South Africa uninterrupted by a town (250 km in all). Common birds of the relatively moist scrublands just north of the road fork are Pale Chanting Goshawk, Karoo Lark, Karoo Chat and Yellow Canary. We'll also search for Karoo Eremomela. A co-operative breeder, it occurs in small, agitated flocks that remain constantly on the move, thoroughly gleaning low bushes before the birds follow each other onwards. Other typical birds of this habitat are Karoo Lark, Karoo Chat, Rufous-eared Warbler and Grey-backed Cisticola.

As we head north bushes are few and far between and the ground gleams with the mineral patina of the desert pebbles. This is classic Tractrac Chat country: birds are most often spotted, as they flush near the road and display their white rumps as they fly a short distance to perch, again on a fence or low bush. Spike-heeled Lark is also regularly seen. From this point on, we'll keep alert for Black-eared Finchlark, a nomadic species found throughout the Karoo and which often moves around in flocks. While driving, you are likely to spot the conspicuous, all-dark males fluttering over the road, although they invariably land frustratingly behind the bushes by the time you've stopped the car! It is worth keeping an eye out for pairs of superbly camouflaged Karoo Korhaans. Pale Chanting Goshawks are reasonably common throughout the Tanqua Karoo, and Greater Kestrels frequently wander into the area. If we are lucky enough to visit after recent rain, you will see that pools forming close to the road invariably attract South African Shelduck, drinking flocks of Namaqua Sandgrouse and irruptive seedeaters such as Lark-like Bunting. We'll also search for Namaqua Warbler in the watercourses. Formerly classified as a prinia, this species has recently been assigned its own genus, Phragmacia, picturesquely named after its habitat of mixed Phragmites reeds and Acacia thicket. It is a much more secretive bird than the similar Spotted Prinia, but every bit as noisy. If we're really fortunate, we may even spot a Burchell's courser on the plains in some of the areas where we've seen them in the past.


Over years of birding experience in the area, we have selected a handful of birder-friendly guest houses and lodges along the route which we can recommend. The accommodation is selected on the level of service and hospitality, country charm, the fantastic settings and adjacent birding opportunities. We can book accommodation from Cape Town to the Kalahari, and a few highlights from our collection are included on the pages of this site. Go to Cape Birding Route > Accommodation for more.


Please contact us to cost your personalized trip.


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4 Crassula Way, Pinelands, 7405, Cape Town, South Africa

27/09/09: Dalton Gibbs reports back from Gough Island! Read the blog!

26/09/09: New Cape Town Pelagics trip report from trips of 12 and 19 September 2009.

30/08/09: British Birdwatching Fair at Rutland Water proved very successful, with sunny weather and over 20,000 visitors. Callan's "Birding Namibia and the Okavango" was the most highly-attended lecture on the Saturday, with over 240 people. Congratulations to the winners of the Birding Africa competition and the African Bird Club raffle that we helped sponsor!

12/08/09: New Cape Town Pelagics trip reports from August and July 2009. Highlights: Little Shearwater and more!

07/08/09: The sub-adult Black Sarrowhawk visits our garden again! Read on about Raptor Research in the Western Cape.

27/07/09: Cape Town's Verreauxs' Eagle Chick has grown! And its sibling never had a chance to hatch. See the pictures of the chick, its nest and the breeding pair. Find out more about the Western Cape Raptor Research Programme.

27/07/09: To follow modern nomenclature and systematics, we've adopted the IOC World Bird List, Version 2.1.

13/07/09: The 8th African Bird ID Challenge has launched! Win a 50% discount on a Cape Town Pelagics trip, a copy of Southern African Birdfinder, or African Bird Club membership for 1 year.

6 July 09: Cape White-eye research in our garden.

2 July 09: Cape Town's Verreauxs' Eagle Chick has hatched! See the pictures of the chick, its nest and the breeding pair. Find out more about the Western Cape Raptor Research Programme.

2 July 09: Campbell Fleming, a Cape Town scholar, avid birder and photographer, joined Birding Africa last month as an intern. Click here, to see what he got up to.

2 July 09: New pelagic trip reports from the Cape Town Pelagics trips in June 2009. Highlights: Slenderbilled Prion and Leach's Storm Petrel

30 july 09: Our latest Cape Fynbos and Karoo trip reports feature Hottentot Buttonquail, Cinnamon-breasted Warbler and other fynbos and Karoo endemics...

26 June 09: Tungsten mining threatens RAMSAR site, South Africa's Verlorenvlei. Read the Media Release.

22 June 09: Claire Spottiswoode, one of the Cape Birding Route founders, was part of the exploratory team at Mount Mabu. The mountain is part of the newly discovered largest rainforest in Southern Africa.

11 June 09: A colour-ringed Black Sparrowhawk visits the Birding Africa office garden. Read why it's a 10 months old male!

14 June 09:
Wildlife at the office of The Cape Birding Route, Birding Africa and Cape Town Pelagics.

31 May 09:
Michel Watelet wins the 7th African Bird Club & Birding Africa ID Challenge. Test your African birding skills and WIN a Birding Africa Cape town day trip or a copy of the Birdfinder!

30 May 09: A tragedy unfolds at Kommetjie south of Cape town as 44 beached False Killer Whales were shot. Click here for more details and pictures.

14 March 09: Raptor Watch in Cape Town on 14 March 09