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South Africa, September 2005

by Jono Leadley

Cheetah

Trip Report Contents


Click on the links to go directly to the required section, or simply scroll down.

  1. Itinerary
  2. Visitor Information
  3. Useful Links
  4. Bird Photographs
  5. Mammal Photographs
  6. Bird List
  7. Mammal List

Itinerary


10 September 2005 : Flight from Birmingham Airport to Amsterdam, then on to Johannesburg. Collected from the airport, before spending the night at the Emerald Guest House.

11 September 2005 : Early morning flight to Durban. Collected the car, then drove to Creighton. Birded the Creighton area in the afternoon. Spent the night at Smithfield Guest House, Creighton.

12 September 2005 : Birded the Sani Pass, Drakensberg Mountains and Lesotho. Night at Smithfield Guest House.

13 September 2005 : Birded Xumeni Forest and Creighton area. Late morning, drove back towards Durban then north to Amatikulu to meet Sbu. Birded Amatikulu and Mtunzini. Night in the Zululand Backpackers, Eshowe.

14 September 2005 : Birded Dlinza Forest, Eshowe, then on to Ongoye Forest. Mid afternoon drive to St Lucia. Spent the next three nights at Hippo's Hideaway.

15 September 2005 : Boat trip up the St Lucia river, then spent the afternoon on Cape Vidal.

16 September 2005 : Day trip to Hluhluwe Imfolozi. Spent the day driving around the Imfolozi section of the park.

17 September 2005 : Drove back to Durban to catch a flight to Cape Town. Drove out of Cape Town to Rooi Els, then on to Hermanus. Night at Hermanus Backpackers.

18 September 2005 : Hermanus area, including Fern Kloof nature reserve, then drove to Arniston. Spent the night at Southwinds B 'n' B.

19 September 2005 : De Mond nature reserve, lunch in Struisbaai then on to Cape Agulhas.

20 September 2005 : De Hoop nature reserve in the morning, then to Paarl via the Malagas - Buffeljags road. Night at Aster Palms.

21 September 2005 : Birded the Tanqua Karoo National Park with Callan Cohen from Birding Africa. Night at Aster Palms.

22 September 2005 : Visited a few places in the Paarl area, then drove the short distance back to Cape Town. Night at Whale Cottage B 'n' B, Bakoven.

23 September 2005 : Table Mountain, Cape Town and Robben Island. Spent the night at Marianella, Simon's Town.

24 September 2005 : Boulders Beach and Cape of Good Hope National Park. Night at Marianella.

25 September 2005 : Cape Town. Flight to Johannesburg and then a night at the Emerald Guest House.

26 September 2005 : Drove to Sabi Sands, Kruger National Park. Next five nights at Elephant Plains Lodge.

27 September 2005 : Sabi Sands.

28 September 2005 : Sabi Sands.

29 September 2005 : Sabi Sands.

30 September 2005 : Sabi Sands.

01 October 2005 : Sabi Sands, then drove back to Johannesburg. Flight back to Amsterdam.

02 October 2005 : Flight from Amsterdam to Birmingham.


Visitor Information


General

South Africa was a great place to visit. It has a great infrastructure, seems very safe away from certain parts of some cities and has some awesome scenery in which to go birding. The people are very friendly and helpful and it has a small, but thriving, birding scene. We found September a great time to go as it is the start of spring and consequently the countryside is carpeted in flowers and many of the birds are singing and hence quite showy.

Birding

Birding is easy, with plenty of birds around in most habitats and the majority are relatively easy to identify. Our biggest struggle was with the Euplectes widowbird group, which gave us a bit of a headache. Around Creighton there were large mixed flocks of these widowbirds and in immature-type plumages were pretty hard to sort out.

We did not have any bird call CDs and although we would have undoubtedly found more species with this aid, we still did pretty well. Consequently, I had no playback facility and this is why some of the more skulking species did not show themselves. Birders equipped in this manner will have better success with species such as Barratt's Warbler than we did. However, playback is cheating and possibly in some well-known sites it could be quite damaging to individual birds that have tapes played at them regularly. It is much more fun to use fieldcraft to see birds anyway!

There is a good system of nature reserves, national parks and game parks which usually have an entrance fee. Some have hides, and many have information leaflets, species lists and maps available.

The information available on the internet is excellent, particularly the websites of the Cape Birding Route, Zululand Birding Route, Birding Africa, Cape Town Pelagics etc. The SASOL guide to the Birds of Southern Africa (Sinclair, Hockey and Tarboton) is excellent and essential, as was the Essential Birding Western South Africa (Cohen and Spottiswoode).

Guides

We hired three guides during our stay. The first was Malcolm Gemmell who runs the wonderful Smithfield Guest House at Crieghton and the bird tour company, Button Birding. Malcolm took us out on our first afternoon around the Creighton area to look for such specials as Black-rumped Buttonquail, Denham's Bustard and Black-bellied Bustard. The following day, Malcolm took us over the Sani Pass into Lesotho. This trip requires a 4x4 and is pretty hairy at times so it is worth paying for someone like Malcolm who knows the road - and where to find the birds! On our last morning in the Creighton area, Malcolm took us to Xumeni Forest to look for Cape Parrot.

In Eshowe, we hired Sbu who is a local man who has been trained as a bird guide through a project run by BirdLife International South Africa. This superb project is training many local people as bird guides, to encourage bird-tourism. Sbu was a fantastic guide and was able to give us an insight into the culture of the region, aswell as it's bird life. He took us to Amatikulu, for Swamp Nightjar and to Mtunzini for Palmnut Vulture and Mangrove Kingfisher. The following day he accompanied us to Dlinza Forest where we found Eastern Bronze-naped/Delegorgue's Pigeon and Spotted Ground Thrush. Our only miss came at Ongoye Forest, where despite Sbu's heroic efforts we only heard Green Barbet. Sue Anderson who works at the BLSA office was very helpful in organising an itinerary for this part of our trip and introduced us to Sbu, who coincidentally we met at the Rutland Water Birdwatching Fair.

Lastly, we hired Callan Cohen from Birding Africa. Callan needs no introduction and exceeded expectations on our trip to the Tanqua Karoo. His birding skills were simply awesome and together with his wider interest in botany, geology, culture etc, we had a great introduction to the sights, sounds and smells of this fantastic area. We cleared up most of our target species and even added some superb bonus birds such as Ludwig's Bustard.

We had booked on to a pelagic with Cape Town Pelagics, from Simon's Town, near Cape Town, but unfortunately, the weather was too bad and the trip was cancelled.

Health

We took Malerone anti-Malaria prophylaxis for the duration of our stay, but I did not see more than a handful of mosquitos during our entire stay and I did not get bitten. Kwa-Zulu Natal, and especially Kruger NP have a high Malaria incidence and precautions must be taken. However, when we visited, it was so dry that there were simply no mozzies around. We took advice from our doctors before we left and had a couple of innoculations - this is essential before you visit. The hot sun and ticks were the only problems we encountered, but neither caused any lasting problems. There are some big scary things that can eat or squash you, so do take care and follow guidance carefully.

Safety

We felt safe throughout our trip, both in the cities and in remote rural areas. I was a little apprehensive about standing by the roadside with my 'scope, but in my experience it was completely fine. Some areas of the cities are reputedly dangerous for tourists but this is all well-known and highlighted in all guide books, so just use common-sense. Most good birding sites had an entrance gate, so we felt completely secure once inside. An interesting thing is that most streets and car parks have people working as car park attendants. For a few rand (we usually paid 5R, about 50 Uk pence) they would look after your car. It was all completely safe and above board and it was nice to know somebody was keeping an eye on your car, especially if you were carrying all of your gear around.

When booking over the internet, a number of the SA companies, eg Cape Town Pelagics, require you to send photos of your credit card and the security number. I was a little concerned about doing this so I asked "Smile", my credit card company. They said if I gave this information out, it would not be deemed as "due care and attention" and if anything bad happened, then they would not cover me. There appears to me no way round this, unless you are willing to pay through the nose for a cash transfer. We had no problems however, but tried to book things through the companies that did not require such extensive info, such as Safari Now.

Travel

We flew KLM, which was by far the cheapest we could find at the time. The downside was that we had to change planes in Amsterdam and on the way back this resulted in a 5 hour wait. KLM were fine, but the planes we flew on were old and a bit basic.

For us Brits, driving was a pleasure. South Africans drive on the left hand side, the same as in the UK, which immediately makes travelling easy. We hired cars from Hertz, who were good value and excellent. A large 4 door saloon worked out about 11 (110 Rand) a day which was good value. Petrol is about half the cost of the UK, which is handy given some of the distances we drove. Road conditions and signage are excellent, although in rural areas most roads are unsurfaced. Take huge care driving on gravel roads as they are very slippy and punctures are easy to get, especially if you slam your anchors on to check out a Black Harrier, or something! Having said this, we took a bit of care and did not get a single puncture.

For the longer trips, we flew with the internal carrier Kallula. Flying Kallula is great fun (as you can see from their website) and is reliable and cheap, although we had a slight delay on one of our three flights.

Accomodation

We booked the vast majority of our accomodation over the internet in advance. One particularly good website was www.safarinow.co.za which enables you to book a range of accomodation in a range of places very simply. Birding Africa and BirdLife South Africa can help sort out accomodation if needed. The vast majority of places we stayed in, from the backpackers at Eshowe and Hermanus to the luxury lodge at Elephant Plains, were superb and good value for money.

Food

The food was excellent and cheap. My first "bought" meal was T -bone steak, with chips and salad, in the pub next to the Eshowe backpackers, for about 3 UK pounds! All "western" snacks and meals are available, intermingled with some great "game". We tried Kudu, Warthog and Angel Fish - all beautiful!


Useful Links



Bird Photographs


Please click the links below to view photos.


Mammal Photographs



Bird List


  1. Common Ostrich

    Many seen in the Cape, most of which were presumed to be feral. Large creches of young noted at De Hoop NR.

  2. African Penguin

    Several seen from the Robben Island ferry, then hundreds seen on and around Boulders Beach.

  3. Shy Albatross

    Four (three adults and one immature) seen off Cape Point (Cape of Good Hope NP) in strong winds.

  4. Indian Yellow-nosed Albatross

    At least two seen from Cape Vidal during strong onshore winds.

  5. Northern Giant Petrel

    Three seen from Cape Point, one of which came close in enabling specific identification.

  6. White-chinned Petrel

    c20 seen off Cape Vidal and a couple of hundred seen from Cape Point.

  7. Cape Gannet

    c250 off Cape Vidal and c500 off Cape Point.

  8. White-breasted Cormorant

    Fairly common along the coast both in KZN and the Cape.

  9. Cape Cormorant

    Fairly common along the Cape coast, with largest count (c30) at Robben Island.

  10. Bank Cormorant

    Only seen with certainty at Robben Island, where c30 actively nesting on the breakwater.

  11. Reed Cormorant

    Common at the lake near Underberg and small numbers on wetlands elsewhere.

  12. Crowned Cormorant

    Seen commonly along the Cape coast, eg. Cape Point and Hermanus.

  13. Little Grebe

    c50 on the lake near Underberg.

  14. Black-necked Grebe

    70 seen on the lake at De Hoop.

  15. Great Crested Grebe

    Ten on the lake at De Hoop.

  16. Black-headed Heron

    The commonest heron seen. Three together at Durban airport the largest count.

  17. Goliath Heron

    Singles on the St Lucia river followed by two together at Cape Vidal.

  18. Great White Pelican

    Several on a lake near St Lucia.

  19. Yellow-billed (Intermediate) Egret

    Singles seen at various wetlands, including the small reservoir near Creighton.

  20. Little Egret

    Common across South Africa.

  21. Cattle Egret

    Very common throughout, especially near cattle and large game.

  22. Hamerkop

    Singles seen at a variety of places, eg Creighton, Imfolozi and in Sabi Sands.

  23. White Stork

    One in a field near Underberg was presumably a bird that had overwintered rather than an early migrant.

  24. Woolly-necked Stork

    Small numbers seen at Amatikulu and near Cape Town.

  25. Greater Flamingo

    c250 on pans next to the road, c5 miles from Arniston on the Bredasdorp road. The pans were a result of heavy rains last winter.

  26. Marabou Stork

    Small numbers seen regularly in Sabi Sands, especially around the lodge waterhole. Three the largest count.

  27. African Sacred Ibis

    Common. Largest gathering on a rubbish tip near Underberg.

  28. Southern Bald Ibis

    Six feeding in a grassy field near Creighton.

  29. Hadeda Ibis

    Abundant and noisy! One pair nesting in the garden at Smithfield Guest House.

  30. Glossy Ibis

    Several seen including three on a roadside wetland near Johannesburg.

  31. African Spoonbill

    One flew up river at St Lucia from Hippo's Hideaway.

  32. White-faced Duck

    c150 on the river at St Lucia, from the Ski-boat pub.

  33. White-backed Duck

    20 on a lake near Underberg.

  34. South African Shelduck

    Four seen in the Creighton area. Four seen in the Tanqua Karoo, seemingly miles from any water.

  35. Yellow-billed Duck

    Common in the Creighton area and on the lake near Underberg. Seen on the pans at Arniston and on other wetlands.

  36. African Black Duck

    Two seen near Paarl on the way to the Tanqua Karoo.

  37. Cape Teal

    Common on the lake near Underberg and at St Lucia. Small numbers seen on other wetlands, such as the pans at Arniston.

  38. Hottentot Teal

    Eight seen on the river at St Lucia.

  39. Cape Shoveler

    Small numbers on the pans at Arniston.

  40. Spur-winged Goose

    Common in a wide range of habitats.

  41. Maccoa Duck

    A single male seen on the lake at De Hoop NP.

  42. Secretarybird

    A single seen in a tree at De Hoop NR.

  43. Cape Vulture

    Eight seen below the Sani Pass.

  44. African White-backed Vulture

    Common in Sabi Sands.

  45. White-headed Vulture

    One seen well in Sabi Sands.

  46. Verrauxs' Eagle

    One seen briefly cruising along a ridge on the edge of the Tanqua Karoo.

  47. Tawny Eagle

    Several in Sabi Sands, including one seen at close range swallowing a large rat.

  48. Wahlberg's Eagle

    Two seen in Imfolozi and then seen regularly most days in Sabi Sands. Two nests seen, one of which had a sitting bird.

  49. African Hawk-eagle

    One seen on the penultimate day in Sabi Sands, with a displaying pair the following morning.

  50. Long-crested Eagle

    Common in Kwa Zulu Natal. Refularly seen perches on roadside posts and poles in the Creighton area.

  51. Martial Eagle

    A majestic male seen with a large monitor lizard in a tree at Sabi Sands. This bird allowed a very close approach.

  52. Brown Snake-eagle

    Common in Imfolozi and Sabi Sands.

  53. Bateleur

    One male seen in Imfolozi. One of the commonest raptors at Sabi Sands, with several seen each day, including frequent sightings of pairs and threes. Seen occasionally perched, including on the ground at waterholes.

  54. Palm-but Vulture

    One flew in right on cue at Mtunzini, landing in the top of a nearby raffia palm. Raffia palms that have been planted along the KZN coast have apparently led to the southwards spread of this species. It is still pretty uncommon in SA.

  55. African Fish Eagle

    Up to five adults seen on the river at St Lucia. One adult and one immature seen at Sabi Sands, and two adults seen on the way back to Johannesburg on our last day.One male seen in Imfolozi. One of the commonest raptors at Sabi Sands, with several seen each day, including frequent sightings of pairs and threes. Seen occasionally perched, including on the ground at waterholes.

  56. Steppe Buzzard

    One at De Hoop NR.

  57. Jackal Buzzard

    Common in KZN. Scarce in the Cape.

  58. Little Sparrowhawk

    One seen at dawn perched in a tree at imfolozi and one shot across the airstrip one dusk in Sabi Sands.

  59. Black Sparrowhawk

    Only one of these collosal Accipters was seen; an immature at Creighton.

  60. African Goshawk

    One seen in Ongoye Forest, one at St Lucia Ski-boat Club and one seen in Sabi Sands from the balcony at Elephant Plains.

  61. Lizard-buzzard

    One seen in Sabi Sands.

  62. Southern Pale Chanting Goshawk

    Three seen in the Tanqua Karoo.

  63. African Marsh Harrier

    One in a marshy area near Creighton, then two near Arniston.

  64. Black Harrier

    This was undoubtedly one of the most handsome species seen in South Africa. Several seen around Arniston, including three separate individuals within the space of twenty minutes along the Bredasdorp to Arniston road and on the dunes just south of Arniston. In addition, one adult seen near De Hoop.

  65. African Harrier-hawk

    One near Buffeljags.

  66. Lanner Falcon

    A big female was seen sparring with a Jackal Buzzard over grassland near Ongoye Forest, one in Imfolozi, and one seen in Sabi Sands.

  67. Yellow-billed Kite

    Very common. Large flocks noted eg near Ixhopo c30.

  68. Black-shouldered Kite

    Very common in open areas throughout, noticeably around the Arniston area.

  69. Rock Kestrel

    Common, especially in the Cape. Several seen in the Tanqua Karoo. Sometimes lumped with Common Kestrel, this species is much more similar to Lesser Kestrel in appearance, being very pale and unmarked on the underside. The female also looks a but like a male!

  70. Coqui Francolin

    A pair seen on our last afternoon in Sabi Sands.

  71. Crested Francolin

    Very common in Sabi Sands.

  72. Grey-winged Francolin

    A large covey of c15 seen on the way up and then back down the Sani Pass.

  73. Cape Francolin

    Common in the Cape, eg Rooi Els and suburban Hermanus.

  74. Natal Francolin

    common in Sabi Sands.

  75. Swainson's Spurfowl

    Common in Sabi Sands.

  76. Helmeted Guineafowl

    A very common and charismatic bird seen throughout SA, often in large groups.

  77. Black-rumped Buttonquail

    One of the Creighton specials. A single seen unbelievably well at close quarters in a stubble field. After having spent hours searching long grass for them with Malcolm, we came across one looking a bit nervous in a nearby field while looking for larks. The bird showed too close for me to digiscope it, down to several feet. It is apparently very rare to see them on the deck.

  78. Common Quail

    Two accidentally flushed from the road verge near De Mond.

  79. Blue Crane

    A beautiful and common bird in the grassy plains of the western Cape. Large flocks noted around Arniston, with the largest count over 60, near De Mond NP.

  80. Grey Crowned Crane

    Four seen in fields by the lake near Underberg and then two family parties located near Creighton. It seems hard to beleive birds this exotic live wild!

  81. Red-chested Flufftail

    Approximately twenty heard in a small marsh near Creighton, with only a brief sighting of one of them.

  82. Red-knobbed Coot

    Abundant on all freshwater.

  83. African Finfoot

    An absolute cracker found unexpectedly in a creek in the mangroves whilst looking for Mangrove Kingfisher at Mtunzini. We heard a splash and the finfoot swam across the creek next to us, climbed out on the mud and started running around on the mud among the mangrove roots, showing it's rediculously large coral pink feet off to full effect. Possibly the best surprise bird of the trip.

  84. Denham's Bustard

    Surprisingly common. Several of these collosal birds seen in the Creighton area with further sightings of about five in the De Mond - De Hoop area.

  85. Ludwig's Bustard

    Another surprise, five seen distantly in flight, in the Tanqua Karoo. This is the very southern limit for this species which is equally as massive as Denham's.

  86. Red-crested Korhaan

    Common and approachable in Sabi Sands. Several calling males seen.

  87. Black-bellied Bustard

    One seen near Creighton and one seen at Sabi Sands.

  88. African Jacana

    One seen on a small marsh near Creighton was the only sighting.

  89. Crowned Lapwing

    Very common in open areas. Three pairs breeding on the airstrip at Sabi Sands had hatched chicks by the end of the week.

  90. Senegal Lapwing

    Several seen in Sabi Sands.

  91. Black-winged Lapwing

    Two near Creighton.

  92. Blacksmith Lapwing

    A common and charismatic species.

  93. African Wattled Lapwing

    Small numbers seen in Sabi Sands.

  94. African Snipe

    Heard displaying at dusk over the marsh near Creighton.

  95. Spotted Thick-knee

    Two on Johannesburg airfield and one flushed at close range during an evening game drive at Sabi Sands.

  96. Water Thick-knee

    Common on the river at St Lucia, where 5 seen together from the Ski-boat Club, and singles seen elsewhere, such as at waterholes in Sabi Sands.

  97. Grey Plover

    Common at De Mond NR.

  98. African Black Oystercatcher

    Over 40 seen, with highest counts at De Mond NR (12), De Hoop NR (6), Robben Island (8) and Boulders Beach (6).

  99. Black-winged Stilt

    Small numbers at the lake near Underberg, on the river at St Lucia and on the pans at Arniston.

  100. Pied Avocet

    c250 on the pans near Arniston was an impressive site.

  101. Three-banded Plover

    Common along the river at St Lucia.

  102. Kittlitz's Plover

    Common on the pans at Arniston, with small numbers at De Mond NR and St Lucia.

  103. White-fronted Plover

    Common along the river at St Lucia. One seen at the mouth of the river at De Mond NR.

  104. Ruff

    Very common along the river at St Lucia. c30 flew upriver at dusk from Hippos Hideaway.

  105. Curlew Sandpiper

    Abundant along the river at St Lucia and five on the pans at Arniston.

  106. Little Stint

    Common along the river at St Lucia.

  107. Temminck's Stint

    c15 seen along the river at St Lucia.

  108. Marsh Sandpiper

    Very common in most marshy areas, especially at St Lucia.

  109. Whimbrel

    Several at De Mond NR.

  110. Arctic Skua

    Two seen at Arniston harrassing the terns, and one off Cape Point.

  111. Kelp Gull

    Common along the coast, with a surprising number seen inland feeding in grassy fields, eg. near Bredasdorp.

  112. Grey-headed Gull

    Common inland in KZN, eg around the Johannesburg airport. Small numbers along the coast too.

  113. Hartlaub's Gull

    Very common along the Cape coast.

  114. Cape Gull

    One seen in Cape Town at the Victoria and Albert Dock with the characteristic white eye. This was the only one seen well enough to identify.

  115. Antarctic Tern

    One seen feeding over the breakers at Arniston, with Common and Arctic Terns.

  116. Damara Tern

    Three of these smart little birds seen resting on sandbars in the mouth of the river at De Mond NR. One pair was seen displaying.

  117. Sandwich Tern

    Common along the coast, with large flocks noted roosting at Hermanus.

  118. Swift (Crested) Tern

    Common along the coast. Regularly in mixed flocks with Sandwich Terns.

  119. Arctic Tern

    Small numbers seen along the Cape coast, including at Arniston.

  120. Common Tern

    Common on the Cape coast.

  121. Whiskered Tern

    c20 breeding plumaged adults and a few juveniles seen on a small wetland near De Mond NR.

  122. Caspian Tern

    Several seen at St Lucia.

  123. African Olive (Rameron) Pigeon

    Several seen at Ongoye Forest, including one individual picking up gravel on the road through the site. c20 in a tree next to Aster Palms, Paarl.

  124. Eastern Bronze-naped (Delegorgue's) Pigeon

    One seen perched at Dlinza Forest from the platform, early morning.

  125. Red-eyed Dove

    Common throughout SA, particularly in KZN.

  126. African Mourning Dove

    Two heard and a couple of "possibles" in Sabi Sands.

  127. Cape Turtle Dove

    Abundant everywhere. It's "work harder" call a common sound throughout the country.

  128. Emerald-spotted Wood-dove

    One at Amatikulu. Very common in Sabi Sands.

  129. Tambourine Dove

    One showed well next to the car park at Dlinza. Two seen from the balcony at Elephant Plains, Sabi Sands.

  130. Lemon Dove

    One seen on the forest floor at Dlinza.

  131. Namaqua Dove

    One seen near Malagas.

  132. African Green Pigeon

    Three flew over at Sabi Sands.

  133. Cape Parrot

    c15 seen on a murky morning at Xumeni. Many more flying over in the mist calling. This species is highly endangered due to habitat loss. It was a shame to see many tourist trinkets for sale made out of yellow wood, which is the primary nesting tree for the parrots. The loss of these trees for timber is the main threat to the species' survival.

  134. Brown-headed Parrot

    Several seen around a water-hole on our first afternoon in Sabi Sands.

  135. Knysna Turaco

    One seen briefly at Xumeni Forest.

  136. Purple-crested Turaco

    Three seen together at Dlinza Forest, with others heard.

  137. Grey Go-away Bird

    Very common at Sabi Sands, often in groups of up to 10.

  138. Red-chested Cuckoo

    Heard near Paarl, on the way to the Tanqua Karoo NP.

  139. African Emerald Cuckoo

    Heard at Dlinza Forest.

  140. Klaas's Cuckoo

    One heard at Amatikulu. Two seen at Sabi Sands in the grounds of the lodge.

  141. Green Malkoha

    One showed well sunbathing at Dlinza Forest and another heard.

  142. Burchell's Coucal

    One flew across the road at Cape Vidal and one hopping about in bushes in front of our room at Elephant Plains. Several others heard.

  143. African Wood Owl

    One roosted each day in the tree next to our bungalow at Hippo's Hideaway, St Lucia.

  144. African Scops Owl

    One found roosting in a small tree next to our room at Elephant Plains allowed very close approach. Many others heard at Sabi Sands, including several on our last game drive calling within the space of half a mile.

  145. Southern White-faced Scops Owl

    One showed well in a tree at Sabi Sands.

  146. Pearl-spotted Owlet

    Several seen at Sabi Sands, usually during the early morning.

  147. Cape Eagle Owl

    One huge individual seen perched on a telegraph pole near Creighton.

  148. Spotted Eagle Owl

    Common. Two large chicks found in the garden of Smithfield Guest House, Creighton. They had apparently bred in the compost heap! Three seen on roadside poles within the space of a minute on the way back to Paarl from the Tanqua Karoo. One seen eating a bush baby on a track at Sabi Sands, flew to a nearby tree, where it bit off and swallowed the poor mammal's head. Two road casualties found, both near Arniston.

  149. Giant Eagle Owl

    Two absolute behemoths gave cracking views close to the track on our last evening at Sabi Sands. They are quite scarce in this area, but with a bit of persistence, our guide took us to the southern limits of their land to where they have previously nested.

  150. Barn Owl

    One seen before dawn on the way to Underberg from Creighton.

  151. Fiery-necked Nightjar

    Heard at Creighton and Sabi Sands. At least three seen at Sabi Sands, including two perched on or beside the road.

  152. Swamp Nightjar

    Courtesy of Sbu, a male and female located during the afternoon roosting in grassland at Amatikulu.

  153. White-rumped Swift

    c10 seen near Durban airport. Very common around De Hoop and Arniston. Also seen in the Tanqua Karoo.

  154. Little Swift

    Abundant. A huge colony was under the bridge at St Lucia. At times the air above the bridge swarmed with them. Also, large numbers at Johannesburg airport.

  155. African Black Swift

    Two seen at St Lucia. Several seen in the Cape area.

  156. African Palm Swift

    Several nesting in palms in the grounds of the Zululand Backpackers at Eshowe and four seen feeding over St Lucia.

  157. Alpine Swift

    Several seen near Paarl on the way to the Tanqua Karoo and also seen at Cape Point and Sabi Sands in small numbers.

  158. Speckled Mousebird

    Very common especially in Sabi Sands.

  159. Red-faced Mousebird

    Common throughout.

  160. White-backed Mousebird

    Two seen near Paarl and then others in the Tanqua Karoo.

  161. Narina Trogon

    One seen perched at close range at Dlinza Forest.

  162. Giant Kingfisher

    One on the river at Mtunzini.

  163. Malachite Kingfisher

    One on the river from the Ski-boat Club at St Lucia.

  164. African Pygmy Kingfisher

    One feeding in the low branches of a tree next to the office at Amatikulu.

  165. Mangrove Kingfisher

    One showed well in the mangroves (where else?!) at Mtunzini, shortly after crippling views of the Finfoot.

  166. Brown-hooded Kingfisher

    Common in wooded savanna in Imfolozi and Sabi Sands.

  167. Grey-headed Kingfisher

    One seen in Sabi Sands on a roadside wire.

  168. White-fronted Bee-eater

    One perched on a dead branch on a sandbar in the middle of the White Infolozi river, in Imfolozi park.

  169. Little Bee-eater

    Common in Sabi Sands.

  170. European Bee-eater

    Four seen in the Tanqua Karoo perched on wires near the turn for Katbakkies, was an unexpected and pleasant surprise.

  171. Lilac-breasted Roller

    Very common in Infolozi and Sabi Sands.

  172. African Hoopoe

    Small numbers seen in Imfolozi and Cape Vidal. Very common in Sabi Sands.

  173. Green Wood-hoopoe

    Very common in Sabi Sands, with several groups of up to a dozen seen ever day.

  174. Common Scimitarbill

    Three seen together in Sabi Sands.

  175. Trumpeter Hornbill

    Common at Dlinza (15). Several seen around St Lucia too, including four in the garden of Hippos Hideaway and five by the Ski-boat Club.

  176. African Grey Hornbill

    Two seen in Imfolozi park.

  177. Southern Yellow-billed Hornbill

    Very common at Sabi Sands. Known to the guides as "The Flying Banana" for obvious reasons.

  178. Red-billed Hornbill

    Several seen in Sabi Sands, but much scarcer than the Yellow-billed.

  179. Southern Ground Hornbill

    One immense specimen walking around in some burnt wooded savanna in Imfolozi later flew low over the car.

  180. Black-collared Barbet

    Very common in KZN.

  181. Acacia Pied Barbet

    One seen in Imfolozi park.

  182. White-eared Barbet

    Common in forest areas in KZN, eg. Amatikulu, Dlinza Forest and Ongoye Forest.

  183. Green Barbet

    A big dip! We heard several calling at Ongoye Forest, the stake out for this restricted-range endemic, but despite prolonged efforts, we failed to find any.

  184. Red-fronted Tinkerbird

    One seen at Ongoye Forest and several others heard.

  185. Yellow-rumped Tinkerbird

    Several seen at Amatikulu, Imfolozi etc.

  186. Crested Barbet

    One seen at Imfolozi, and very common in Sabi Sands.

  187. Greater Honeyguide

    Three heard around the wood next to SMithfield Guest House, but we failed to locate them.

  188. Ground Woodpecker

    Several seen on our Sani Pass trip, and one heard near Karooport.

  189. Golden-tailed Woodpecker

    A pair seen in Sabi Sands.

  190. Cardinal Woodpecker

    Common in Sabi Sands.

  191. Bearded Woodpecker

    A pair in Imfolozi. Common at Sabi Sands.

  192. Red-throated Wryneck

    A cracking individual showed well singing from a tree stump at the lake near Underberg.

  193. Rufous-naped Lark

    Several in the stubble field where we saw the Button-quail near Creighton. Two heard in open grassland near Ongoye Forest.

  194. Sabota Lark

    Common at Imfolozi.

  195. Agulhas Long-billed Lark

    One showed well on a roadside post along the Malagas to Buffeljags road. This area is a regular stake out for this species, but we failed to find Agulhas Clapper Lark with certainty in the same area. although two individuals seen briefly were probably this species.

  196. Karoo Lark

    Several seen in the Tanqua Karoo.

  197. Red-capped Lark

    Small numbers seen at Creighton, near De Mond and Sabi Sands.

  198. Large-billed Lark

    One seen in Lesotho on the high plateau. Several seen in the Tanqua Karoo.

  199. Grey-backed Sparrowlark

    Several seen in the Tanqua Karoo near the Katbakkies turn.

  200. Wire-tailed Swallow

    Two seen by a bridge over the White Imfolozi river posed well for photos.

  201. White-throated Swallow

    Common in KZN, eg around Creighton. Elsewhere, one seen by the jetty on the St Lucia river.

  202. Pearl-breasted Swallow

    One seen around the lighthouse at Cape Agulhas.

  203. Red-breasted Swallow

    One seen near Ongoye Forest.

  204. Greater Striped Swallow

    Very common in the Cape, particularly along the coast.

  205. Lesser Striped Swallow

    Very common along the coast in KZN and up in the foothills of the Drakensberg.

  206. South African Cliff Swallow

    One at a regular breeding site (under a small road bridge) near Creighton.

  207. Rock Martin

    Common. Seen around the hangars at Johannesburg and then wherever there was cliffs, large buildings etc.

  208. Banded Martin

    Several seen around De Mond NR.

  209. Brown-throated Sand Martin

    c30 seen over a water hole near Creighton. Two seen near Arniston.

  210. Black Saw-wing

    Several seen at Amatikulu feeding along the river.

  211. Black Cuckooshrike

    A male was seen in a roadside tree in Imfolozi.

  212. White-breasted Cuckooshrike

    Several seen in Dlinza Forest, especially from the viewing tower.

  213. Fork-tailed Drongo

    Very common throughout, one of the characteristic species of South Africa. A pair would usually be found with each herd of large herbivores in the national parks.

  214. Square-tailed Drongo

    Several seen at Dlinza Forest and one or two at Ongoye. Heard at Amatikulu.

  215. Black-headed Oriole

    Seen and heard regularly in Sabi Sands.

  216. Cape Crow

    Common in the Cape.

  217. White-necked Raven

    Many seen on the Sani Pass trip, including a large flock near the dump which lies just east of the SA border post. Several seen around the Cape, eg Cape of Good Hope.

  218. Grey Tit

    Seen in small numbers in the Tanqua Karoo and also on the high plateau in Lesotho.

  219. Southern Black Tit

    Common in most woodlands visited.

  220. Arrow-marked Babbler

    Several small groups seen most days in Sabi Sands.

  221. Bush Blackcap

    This scarce endemic, which failed to show near the Sani Pass, was seen well at Xumeni Forest.

  222. Dark-capped Bulbul

    Abundant in KZN.

  223. Cape Bulbul

    Very common in the Cape.

  224. Terrestrial Brownbul

    One seen at close quarters feeding on the ground among the leaf litter (where else?!) at Dlinza Forest.

  225. Yellow-streaked Greenbul

    One seen at Amatikulu, with another the next day at Ongoye Forest.

  226. Sombre Greenbul

    One seen bathing in the garden at Smithfield Guest House, Creighton. Common at Dlinza Forest and Ongoye Forest. Also seen at Amatikulu and Ongoye.

  227. Yellow-bellied Greenbul

    Two seen at Amatikulu and one at Ongoye Forest.

  228. Kurrichane Thrush

    One seen in Sabi Sands.

  229. Olive Thrush

    Fairly common, with multiple individuals seen at Dlinza (3), St Lucia (2) and Boulders Beach (2).

  230. Karoo Thrush

    One seen feeding in leaf litter in the picnic area at Skitterykloof, Tanqua Karoo.

  231. Spotted Ground Thrush

    One of these cracking Zootheras found after a long search feeding on the forest floor at Dlinza.

  232. Orange Ground Thrush

    Heard at Xumeni Forest.

  233. Groundscraper Thrush

    Two of these rather strange thrushes showed well around the waterhole at the front of the Elephant Plains lodge, Sabi Sands.

  234. Cape Rock Thrush

    A female seen near Underberg. Several seen on the Sani Pass trip and in the Cape, eg two at Rooi Els.

  235. Sentinel Rock Thrush

    Common on the Sani Pass.

  236. Mountain Wheatear

    One seen near Skitterykloof, Tanqua Karoo, with two others seen near Katbakkies.

  237. Capped Wheatear

    Common in fields and grasslands around the Arniston-De Mond-De Hoop area.

  238. Buff-streaked Chat

    Several seen in the lower Sani Pass area.

  239. Familiar Chat

    Common in the lower Sani Pass area. One seen at Rooi Els.

  240. Tractrac Chat

    Seen frequently in the Tanqua Karoo.

  241. Sickle-winged Chat

    Common on the high plain of Lesotho. One seen near Katbakkies in the Tanqua Karoo.

  242. Karoo Chat

    Small numbers seen around Eirkop and elsewhere in the Tanqua Karoo.

  243. African Stonechat

    Very common throughout.

  244. Chorister Robin-chat

    One seen at Ongoye Forest.

  245. White-browed Robin-chat

    One seen in Sabi Sands.

  246. Red-capped Robin-chat

    Common at Dlinza Forest.

  247. Cape Robin-chat

    Very common, seen throughout South Africa.

  248. Cape Rockjumper

    A pair watched at fairly close range feeding fledged young at Rooi Els, south of Hermanus. The birds were watched on the lower slopes on the inland side of the track about 250 metres past the locked metal gate.

  249. Drakensburg Rockjumper

    Common around the highest pub in Africa at the Sani Pass, including some small groups.

  250. White-browed Scrub-robin

    One seen in Imfolozi and found to be common in Sabi Sands.

  251. Karoo Scrub-robin

    Three or four seen; in the Tanqua Karoo and near Malagas.

  252. Chestnut-vented Tit-babbler

    One near Karoopoort.

  253. Fairy Flycatcher

    Several of these exquisite little birds seen at Skitterykloof, including one pair building a nest.

  254. Layard's Tit-babbler

    One seen at Skitterykloof.

  255. Dark-capped Yellow Warbler

    One showed very well near the South African border post on the way to the Sani Pass.

  256. Barratt's Warbler

    This little skulker was very common at Xumeni Forest, but try as we might, they would not show themselves.

  257. Bar-throated Apalis

    One male seen at Xumeni Forest.

  258. Yellow-breasted Apalis

    Two seen at Amatikulu. Two seen in Imfolozi. One seen in Sabi Sands in a mixed species flock.

  259. Long-billed Crombec

    Two near Karoopoort and the several in Sabi Sands.

  260. Yellow-bellied Eremomela

    Two seen in Sabi Sands on a bush walk.

  261. Karoo Eremomela

    Three, in a typically fast-moving group seen well near Eierkop in the Tanqua Karoo.

  262. Green-capped Eremomela

    Two seen in Sabi Sands.

  263. Cape Grassbird

    Common just lower than the South African border post near the Sani Pass. Seen elsewhere including De Hoop.

  264. Cinnamon-breasted Warbler

    After a bit of searching, two pairs heard, one of which showed very well for a prolonged period as they fed young around the river canyon near Skitterykloof, Tanqua Karoo.

  265. Green-backed Camaroptera (Bleating Warbler)

    Common at Amatikulu.

  266. Grey-backed Cisticola

    Very common in the Tanqua Karoo and along the Cape coast.

  267. Wailing Cisticola

    One by the Black Mountain, Lesotho.

  268. Rattling Cisticola

    Common in Imfolozi and Sabi Sands.

  269. Levaillant's Cisticola

    Common in a marsh near Creighton.

  270. Croaking Cisticola

    Common at Amatikulu.

  271. Zitting Cisticola

    One seen in the bare field running around like a mouse near the button-quail at Creighton. Two seen at Amatikulu.

  272. Neddicky

    Two seen at Xumeni Forest.

  273. Pale-crowned Cisticola

    Common at Rooi Els.

  274. Tawny-flanked Prinia

    Common in KZN, eg at Mtunzini and in Imfolozi.

  275. Karoo Prinia

    Common around Cape Town and in the Tanqua Karoo.

  276. Drakensburg Prinia

    Common around the Drakensberg, including the garden of Smithfield Guest House.

  277. Namaqua Warbler

    One seen at Karooport.

  278. Rufous-eared Warbler

    Three seen in the Tanqua Karoo, one of which showed well in roadside scrub near Karoopoort.

  279. African Dusky Flycatcher

    One seen by the SA border post near the Sani Pass. One seen in Sabi Sands.

  280. Ashy Flycatcher

    Singles at Dlinza Forest, Ongoye Forest and in Sabi Sands.

  281. Grey Tit-flycatcher

    Two seen in Sabi Sands whilst on a bush walk.

  282. Southern Black Flycatcher

    A pair seen in a small Eucalptus wood near Smithfield Guest House. Several seen at Dlinza and Imfolozi, and seen regularly in Sabi Sands.

  283. Pale Flycatcher

    An individual considered to be this species seen in Imfolozi.

  284. Fiscal Flycatcher

    Common at Arniston, including individuals visiting the drinking pool in the garden of the guest house, plus seen regularly elsewhere.

  285. Cape Batis

    One seen well at Xumeni Forest. Several others heard.

  286. Chinspot Batis

    Seen in small numbers in Sabi Sands.

  287. Pririt Batis

    A pair showed well at the picnic site at Skitterykloof, Tanqua Karoo.

  288. Black-throated Wattle-eye

    One seen near the riverside picnic area at Amatikulu.

  289. African Pied Wagtail

    Common by waterholes in Imfolozi and Sabi Sands.

  290. Mountain Wagtail

    One elegant indivdual along a small forest stream at Ongoye Forest.

  291. Cape Wagtail

    Very common throughout.

  292. African Pipit

    Two seen at close range near Creighton, and several others seen along the Cape coast, including, for example, at De Mond.

  293. Plain-backed Pipit

    Two at Amatikulu and one seen near Malagas.

  294. Bushveld Pipit

    Two seen in Sabi Sands, with many other unidentified pipits which were probably this species.

  295. Cape Longclaw

    A pair showed well near Creighton in a grass field adjacent to the one with the buttonquail in.

  296. Yellow-throated Longclaw

    Several seen at Amatikulu and in Imfolozi.

  297. Common Fiscal Shrike

    Very common to abundant throughout.

  298. Magpie Shrike

    Parties several strong seen twice in Sabi Sands.

  299. Southern Boubou

    Heard regularly, but usually elusive. Three birds having a noisy territorial dispute showed well at Dlinza Forest.

  300. Black-backed Puffback

    Common in KZN, especially at Dlinza and Amatikulu, but also seen in drier forests at Imfolozi and Sabi Sands.

  301. Brubru

    This species proved to be very elusive. Individuals were heard calling from thick cover near Creighton and at Dlinza Forest.

  302. Brown-crowned Tchagra

    Several seen at Imfolozi and in Sabi Sands, including in the garden at Elephant Plains.

  303. Bokmakerie

    One seen at Amatikulu. Fairly common around the Cape, such as at De Hoop where three seen feeding on the ground together.

  304. Gorgeous Bush-shrike

    Heard at Amatikulu.

  305. Orange-breasted Bush-shrike

    This cracking species was common at Imfolozi. One was seen on a bush walk in Sabi Sands.

  306. Olive Bush-shrike

    Several heard at Dlinza Forest.

  307. White-crested Helmet-shrike

    A flock of eight seen in Imfolozi. Seen regularly in flocks in Sabi Sands.

  308. Pied Starling

    Common in many areas, eg Creighton, De Hoop etc. Several seen near Witbank on the N4.

  309. Burchell's Starling

    This large, long-tailed species was common in Sabi Sands.

  310. Cape Glossy Starling

    Fairly common in KZN and the Cape, eg around Smithfield Guest House, Creighton.

  311. Greater Blue-eared Starling

    Very common in Sabi Sands.

  312. Black-bellied Starling

    Several seen well from the viewing platform at Dlinza Forest.

  313. Red-winged Starling

    Very common throughout.

  314. Pale-winged Starling

    Two seen very briefly at Skitterykloof, Tanqua Karoo.

  315. Red-billed Oxpecker

    Two seen at Imfolozi. Seen regularly in small numbers at Sabi Sands. Most game heards had several around, especially the Cape Buffalo and the White Rhinos.

  316. European Starling

    Common in the Cape.

  317. Cape Sugarbird

    Seen regularly in the western Cape, for example at Rooi Els, around Cape Town and at Fernkloof, Hermanus.

  318. Gurney's Sugarbird

    About a dozen seen on the Sani Pass trip, including several feeding on Protea flowers at close range. Much more attractive than Cape Sugarbird!

  319. Malachite Sunbird

    Common in the western Cape, including in the Tanqua Karoo and near the Sani Pass.

  320. Orange-breasted Sunbird

    Fairly common in the western Cape. One at the top of Table Mountain in the fog looked a bit lost.

  321. Marico Sunbird

    Fairly common in Sabi Sands, especially around the Elephant Plains lodge gardens.

  322. Southern Double-collared Sunbird

    Very common in KZN and in the Cape.

  323. White-bellied Sunbird

    Common in Imfolozi and Sabi Sands.

  324. Grey Sunbird

    One seen at Ongoye Forest.

  325. Eastern Olive Sunbird

    Common at Xumeni Forest and Ongoye Forest.

  326. Scarlet-chested Sunbird

    One male seen well in Imfolozi.

  327. Amethyst Sunbird

    Common around Creighton.

  328. Collared Sunbird

    Common at Dlinza. Two seen at Ongoye Forest.

  329. Cape White-eye

    Very common in forest throughout South Africa.

  330. Cape Sparrow

    Common and widespread. There was a large colony around the Lesotho border checkpost.

  331. Southern Grey-headed Sparrow

    Several seen in Imfolozi and in Sabi Sands.

  332. House Sparrow

    Very common throughout in suitable habitat.

  333. Yellow-throated Petronia

    Several seen in Imfolozi.

  334. Thick-billed Weaver

    A large flock seen at Xumeni Forest, with one at Amatikulu and several at Dlinza Forest.

  335. Village Weaver

    Very common in KZN, with about 50 nests in the garden of Smithfield Guest House.

  336. Cape Weaver

    Less common than Village Weaver, but still seen in reasonable numbers, often in mixed flocks with Village Weaver.

  337. Southern Masked Weaver

    Abundant in the western Cape.

  338. Yellow Weaver

    Common at Amatikulu.

  339. Forest Weaver

    Two seen building a nest at Amatikulu. Very common at Dlinza Forest.

  340. Red-billed Quelea

    This variable species was very common in the Crieghton area.

  341. Southern Red Bishop

    Common throughout, with many unbelievably bright males holding territory in any small patch of reeds they could find.

  342. Yellow Bishop

    Several seen near Malagas. Also seen in the Tanqua Karoo.

  343. White-winged Widowbird

    Small numbers in mixed flocks with other widows near Creighton. Many immature widows we left unidentified.

  344. Red-collared Widowbird

    Large numbers in KZN particularly around Creighton.

  345. Long-tailed Widowbird

    One cracking male, complete with long tail seen near Creighton. Other immature males seen in the same area and large numbers of female-type birds seen in mixed flocks in the grasslands.

  346. Green-winged Pytilia

    One seen in Imfolozi and one seen in Sabi Sands.

  347. African Firefinch

    Four seen in the Elephant Plains lodge garden, Sabi Sands.

  348. Jameson's Firefinch

    One seen in the Elephant Plains lodge garden, Sabi Sands.

  349. Red-billed Firefinch

    Two seen in Imfolzi.

  350. Blue Waxbill

    Abundant in Imfolozi and Sabi Sands.

  351. Common Waxbill

    Several flocks seen, notably around Creighton and on the edge of the Tanqua Karoo.

  352. Swee Waxbill

    Three seen at Xumeni Forest.

  353. African Quail Finch

    One flew over calling near Creighton, but evaded detection.

  354. Orange-breasted Waxbill

    A flock of ten seen near Creighton feeding in a grassy field.

  355. Bronze Mannikin

    Common in KZN eg over 20 in the garden of Smithfield Guest House, Creighton.

  356. Red-backed Mannikin

    Ten seen at Dlinza Forest.

  357. Pin-tailed Whydah

    Very common, especially around Creighton.

  358. Dusky Indigobird

    One seen briefly in the garden of the Smithfield Guest House, Creighton.

  359. Yellow-fronted Canary

    This attracive species was very common in KZN and in the Tanqua Karoo.

  360. Cape Canary

    Common throughout South Africa.

  361. Forest Canary

    Common at Xumeni Forest.

  362. Drakensburg Siskin

    Very common on the Lesotho plain, particularly around the Sani Top Chalet.

  363. Black-headed Canary

    Several seen near the Katbakkies turn in the Tanqua Karoo.

  364. Brimstone Canary

    Common in the western Cape, eg at De Mond and De Hoop.

  365. Yellow Canary

    A pair watched at a small stream in Lesotho, while four were seen in the Tanqua Karoo.

  366. Golden-breasted Bunting

    One male seen near Creighton. Elsewhere, several seen in Imfolozi and one male seen in Sabi Sands.

  367. Cape Bunting

    Very common and widespread. Seen at the Sani Top Chalet and by the coast at De Mond, for example.

  368. Lark-like Bunting

    Two or three seen in flight near Eierkop in the Tanqua Karoo.


Mammal List


  1. Southern Right Whale

    Very common along the western Cape, with notable concentrations in Hermanus bay, off De Hoop and Stuisbaai, in fact, anywhere we stopped to look!

  2. Humpback Whale

    A spectacular display was put on by several breaching individuals off the coast at Cape Vidal.

  3. Bottle-nosed Dolphin Tursiops truncatus

    A small group was seen while seawatching from Cape Vidal.

  4. Cape Fur Seal

    Common around the Cape, eg in Cape Town harbour.

  5. Chacma Baboon Papio ursinus

    Common in all game parks, and in the Drakensberg Mountains near the Sani Pass.

  6. Vervet Monkey Cercopithecus pygerythrus

    Fairly common at Imfolozi and common at Sabi Sands. Seen occasionally elsewhere, mainly in KZN.

  7. Gentle Monkey Cercopithecus mitis

    Seen at Cape Vidal and heard at Ongoye Forest.

  8. South African Galago Galago moholi

    Seen most evenings in Sabi Sands, usually singly, but occasionally in pairs.

  9. Cape Hare Lepus capensis

    One flushed at Skitterykloof, Tanqua Karoo.

  10. Scrub Hare Lepus saxatilis

    Common in Sabi Sands.

  11. Smith's Bush Squirrel Paraxerus cepapi

    Several seen in Sabi Sands.

  12. Ongoye Red Squirrel - tbc

    Two seen in Ongoye Forest.

  13. Four-striped Grass Mouse Rhabdomys pumilio

    Seen at De Mond and Cape Point.

  14. Sloggett's Ice Rat

    Common on the Sani Pass.

  15. Slender Mongoose Herpestes sanguinea

    One small group and a single seen in Sabi Sands.

  16. Small Grey Mongoose Herpestes pulverulenta

    Common around Arniston-De Mond.

  17. Dwarf Mongoose Herpestes parvula

    A small group seen in Sabi Sands. Tiny, like almost like Weasels.

  18. Yellow Mongoose Cynictis pencillata

    A couple seen in Sabi Sands.

  19. White-tailed Mongoose Ichneumia albicauda

    Seen regularly at night in Sabi Sands.

  20. Common Genet Genetta genetta

    Two singles seen in Sabi Sands.

  21. African Civet Civettictis civetta

    Two or three seen in Sabi Sands.

  22. Leopard Panthera pardus

    Up to four seen every day in Sabi Sands. There were four individuals; a territorial adult male, an adult female accompanied by a five month old female cub, and a two year old female. Seen with kills including Impala, Kudu and Bushbuck. On our last day we found the adult female and her cub with the adult male, which is a rare sight apparently. The male was heard roaring on one of the early mornings. Additionally, we found pug marks in Skitterykloof, Tanqua Karoo.

  23. Lion Panthera leo

    Seen most days in Sabi Sands. Two old males seen occasionally, part of the "Robson" pride. Additionally, a group of three seen several times, consisting of an adult male, an adult female and a young female. These were part of the "Manyeleti" pride and during the week were seen eating a Zebra and a Warthog.

  24. Cheetah Acinonyx jubatus

    A female was seen several times during the week at Sabi Sands. She was seen with a freshly killed Impala early one morning, and on our last day, she was watched stalking and then chasing Impala at full speed.

  25. Rock Hyrax - sp tbc Procavia sp.

    Common at Hermanus.

  26. African Elephant Loxodonta africana

    A large "tusker" (male) seen in the river at Imfolozi. A 30-strong herd, made up of females and young seen every day at Sabi Sands, plus the occasional tusker and a small group of immature males.

  27. Common Zebra Equus quagga

    Common at Cape Vidal, Imfolozi and Sabi Sands.

  28. Mountain Zebra Equus zebra

    Small numbers seen at De Hoop NP.

  29. White Rhinoceros Ceratotherium simum

    Several seen at Cape Vidal and Imfolozi, with a female accompanied by a calf at the latter site a nice sighting. Two males held territory around Elephant Plains, Sabi Sands, and they were seen every day. On our last day, two groups of five wandered in from Kruger.

  30. Hippopotamus Hippopotamus amphibius

    Very common in the river at St Lucia, with several herds seen from the boat trip, plus a group out of the water opposite the ski-boat club. Present in the large waterhole at Sabi Sands too.

  31. Common Warthog Phacochoerus africanus

    Common at Cape Vidal and fairly common at Imfolozi and Saib Sands.

  32. Giraffe Giraffa camelopardalis

    Common at Imfolozi and Sabi Sands.

  33. African Buffalo Syncerus caffer

    Several seen at Imfolozi and commonly seen, often in large herds, at Sabi Sands.

  34. Bushbuck Tragelaphus scriptus

    Fairly common at Sabi Sands.

  35. Nyala Tragelaphus angasi

    Small numbers seen at Cape Vidal. Common at Imfolozi and Sabi Sands.

  36. Greater Kudu Tragelaphus strepsiceros

    Common at Imfolozi and Sabi Sands.

  37. Bush Duiker Sylvicapra grimmia

  38. Blue Duiker Cephalophus monticola

  39. Natal Duiker Cephalophus natalensis

  40. Ruwenzori Red Duiker - tbc Cephalophus rubidus

  41. Steinbuck Raphicerus campestris

    Common at Sabi Sands.

  42. Oribi Ourebia ourebi

    Small numbers seen in the foothills of the Drakensberg Mountains.

  43. Rhebok Pelea capreolus

    Small herds seen around the Sani Pass.

  44. Mountain Reedbuck Redunca fulvorufula

    Seen in the Drakensberg Mountains.

  45. Waterbuck Kobus ellipsiprymnus

    Common at Cape Vidal and one large male seen at Sabi Sands.

  46. Springbuck Antidorcas marsupialis

    A huge herd seen distantly in the Tanqua Karoo.

  47. Impala Aepyceros melampus

    Common at Cape Vidal. Abundant in Imfolozi and Sabi Sands. Known as "MacDonalds" to the Sabi Sands guides, due to the black "m" on the rear end, and the fact that they are fast-food for most predators!

  48. Bontebok Damaliscus dorcas

    About 20 seen at De Hoop NP.

  49. Brindled Gnu (Wildebeest) Connochaetes taurinus

    Small numbers seen at Imfolozi. Fairly common at Sabi Sands.


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