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Post Info TOPIC: Cape Town-South Africa

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RE: Cape Town-South Africa

Photos from previous post :-


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Posts: 1201

South Africa Trip Report

1-17 November 2023

Main Areas Birded :-

Cape Town - Table Top Mountain. Up and down on the cable car with a 30 minute walk along a trail at the top.
Cape Town - V & A Waterfront. Harbour/marina areas.
Stellenbosch - Four vineyards for most of the day. Garden areas and farmland, all a few kilometres out of town.
De Zeekoe Hotel grounds a few kms south of Oudtshoorn. A working farm with trails, a lake and a small reservoir. Adjacent to the Olifants River with reedbed.
Wilderness Beach and Estuary. Nearby Island Lake and Rondevlei Lake where there was a bird hide.
Lily Pond Hotel grounds and adjoining Natures Valley, north of Plettenberg Bay.
Bitou River Valley, also north of Plettenberg Bay.
Pumba Private Game Reserve, 18k acres, an hour or so north east of Port Elizabeth.

The route we took after three nights in Cape Town was to head for Stellenbosch and the 'wine country' and following that, a five hour drive to Oudtshoorn and the Garden Route. Next stop was Wilderness, then Plettenberg Bay, before finishing with a three night stay at Pumba Private Game Reserve. Just short of 900 miles in total.

The scenery is delightful, very green at this time of year and much diverse habitat. Lovely mountains near Cape Town, the Klein Karoo, farmland, gorges, wetlands, river valleys and coastal areas. The roads are generally very good and even the dirt track type roads can be driven at decent speeds. Contrary to what is spewed out in the media, the people are friendly and genuinely want tourists to come back to help what is currently a stuttering economy. Yes, you have to be careful about doing certain things at certain times and you have to remember that you are in Africa. We never experienced any hassle at any time. The food and drink are cheap, roughly 50-75% of prices in the UK and the exchange rate is favourable. A bit of a cliche when folk say 'we'll be back' but this is definitely a country I would wish to visit again. Probably our best ever holiday.

Field Guide - The SASOL Birds of Southern Africa. An excellent guide which also covers Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Lesotho.

As is the norm, Mrs J and our two friends are non birders, so it was a case of doing what I could, when I could. No half days off on my own and no guiding.

Trip List :-

Common Ostrich
White-faced Whistling-Duck
Egyptian Goose
South African Shelduck
Yellow-billed Duck
Cape Teal
Helmeted Guineafowl
Cape Spurfowl
Red-necked Spurfowl
Greater Flamingo
Little Grebe
Great Crested Grebe
Rock Pigeon
Speckled Pigeon
Red-eyed Dove
Ring-necked Dove
Laughing Dove
Emerald-spotted Wood-Dove
Knysna Turico
White-browed Coucal
African Swift
White-rumped Swift
African Palm Swift
Eurasian Moorhen
Red-knobbed Coot
African Swamphen
Blue Crane
Spotted Thick-Knee
Water Thick-Knee
Black-winged Stilt
African Oystercatcher
Black-bellied Plover
Three-banded Plover
Blacksmith Lapwing
White-fronted Plover
Grey-hooded Gull
Hartlaub's Gull
Kelp Gull
Whiskered tern
Arctic tern
Common Tern
Sandwich Tern
Great Crested tern
African Penguin
Cape Gannet
African Darter
Long-tailed Cormorant
Bank Cormorant
Cape Cormorant
Great (White-breasted) Cormorant
Little Bittern
Black-crowned Night Heron
Little Egret
Western Cattle Egret
Grey Heron
Black-headed heron
African Sacred Ibis
Hadada Ibis
Black-winged Kite
African Harrier-Hawk
African Marsh Harrier
Black Harrier
Black (Yellow-billed) Kite
African Fish-Eagle
Common Buzzard
Jackal Buzzard
Spotted Eagle-Owl
Speckled Mousebird
Eurasian (African) Hoopoe
Brown-hooded Kingfisher
Pied Kingfisher
Rufous-necked Wryneck
Knysna Woodpecker
Rock Kestrel
Cape Batis
Southern Boubou
Fork-tailed Drongo
Southern Fiscal
House Crow
Cape Crow
Pied Crow
White-necked Raven
Karoo Lark
Rufous-naped Lark
Karoo Prinia
Piping Cisticola
Zitting Cisticola
Common Reed Warbler
Black Sawwing
Rock Martin
Pearl-breasted Swallow
Barn Swallow
White-throated Swallow
Greater Striped Swallow
Sombre Greenbul
Common Bulbul
Cape Bulbul
Cape White-eye
Red-billed Oxpecker
European Starling
Red-winged Starling
African Pied Starling
Cape Starling
Olive Thrush
Karoo Thrush
Fiscal Flycatcher
Cape Robin-Chat
Chorister Robin-Chat
African Stonechat
Amethyst Sunbird
Malachite Sunbird
Southern Double-collared Sunbird
Greater Double-collared Sunbird
Spectacled Weaver
Cape Weaver
African Golden-Weaver
Southern Masked-Weaver
Red-billed Quelea
Southern Red Bishop
Pin-tailed Whydah
House Sparrow
Cape Sparrow
Southern Grey-headed Sparrow
Cape Wagtail
African Pipit
Cape Canary

A few photos attached of Rufous-necked Wryneck, White-fronted Plover, Southern Red Bishop, African Stonechat, African Penguin and Knysna Turico.


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Best time to visit The Cape is August when all the Albatrosses,Shearwaters and Petrels are wintering off the Cape,and the Southern Right Whales are a couple of 100yds offshore of which we saw at least 30.I spent 3 weeks there a few years ago,went as far as Namibia and over to the Kalahari and down the Garden Route.Apart from one grotty warbler we more or less cleaned up.Its dead cheap,roads are empty and its hassle free.Did two pelagics and got strokeable views of 5 species of Albatross plus lots of good seabirds and several cetaceans.Would recommend to anybody,really easy country to do yourself,lots of gen for the harder species,and penguins hiding under your car at Boulders Beach!!.


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Mark, I saw all the birds before the wine tasting, Hicwink.gif, honestsmile.gif
Cheers Ian


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The birds on the 25th look a bit suspect- after wine tasting????wink.gifYou will be saying next that City beat United twice this season!!!!!confused.gifOh! Happen not thencry.gifcry.gif


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Just spent 10 days in Cape Town on holiday with my wife, we stayed with her uncle in Simon's Town which is South of Cape Town on the coast in False Bay. All the birds I saw were whilst doing typical tourist stuff.
17th, around the house and in Simon's Town; Cape Sugarbird, Familiar Chat, Laughing Dove, Common Waxbill, Karoo Prinia, Barn Swallow, Red-Winged Starling, Cape White Eye, Grey Heron, Cape Cormorant, African Penguin, Kelp Gull, Hartlaubs Gull, Pied Crow, Common Fiscal Shrike, Cape wagtail plus unidentified Tern sp.
18th, Table Mountain; Rock Kestrel, Verreaux's Eagle, Ground Woodpecker, Rock Pigeon. Aruond Cape Town; Helmeted Guineafowl, African Goshawk, Cattle Egret, Cape Crow, House Sparrow, Starling.
19th, Simons Town; Cape Robin-Chat, Cape Siskin, Southern Lesser Double-Collared Sunbird, Olive Thrush, Greater Striped Swallaw, Speckled Muosebird, Sacred Ibis.
20th Kommetjie Bay; Blacksmith Lapwing, African Black Oyster Catcher, Hadeda Ibis, Red-Eye Dove.
20th Stellenbosch(Spier Vineyard); African Darter, Egyptian Goose, Black Shouldered Kite, Red-knobbed Coot, African Black Swift, Southern Masked Weaver.
22nd, Cape Peninsula; Ostrich, White Breasted Cormorant, Swift Tern, Brown Throated Martin, Cape Bulbul, Malachite Sunbird.
23rd,Kirstenbosch(National Gardens); Cape Frankolin, Cape Turtle Dove, Orange Breasted Sunbird(amazing bird!).
24th Rondevlei Reserve, Cape Town, spent 30mins here early a.m. the only dedicated birdwatch and it is worth a whole day!; GCGrebe, Little Grebe, Great White Pelican, Reed Cormorant, Little Egret, African Spoonbill, Spur Winged Goose, Yellow Billed Duck, African Swamp Hen, Common Moorhen, Glossy Ibis, Caspian Tern.
25th Somerset West, wine tasting; Little Swift, White Rumped Swift, Steppe Buzzard, Swee Waxbill.
In all I think 70 different species without really trying, the area is amazing scenically and the food is excellent and cheap, I would definately recommend it although we did have the advantage of free accomodation.
Other wildlife seen; Rock Hyrax, Chakma Baboons, Bontibok Antelope and Giant Tortoise.
Cheers Ian

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