Cape Town. South Africa. East & West September 2016.

Arrived in Cape Town and drove east on the Garden Route for an overnight in Knysna which took five hours. Continued next morning to Kariega Game Reserve Eastern Cape, (another four hours) located north of Port Elizabeth where we spent three day's looking for animals and birds. Highlights being African Lion, White Rhino, African Elephant and Cape Buffalo. Birds not seen elsewhere of note were Secretarybird, Crowned Plover, African Hamerkop, Goliath Heron to name just a few. We did twice daily safari drive's with the reserve guides some of which are knowledgeable birders which was a bonus. We opted for all inclusive at the River Lodge which we would highly recommend.

Leaving Kariega we spent two days back in Knysna to bird Knysna Head, Leisure Island, Wilderness NP, Victoria Bay. Birds seen here but nowhere else, Knysna Warbler heard and seen eventually with the help of Essential Birding Western South Africa by Claire Spottiswoode & Callan Cohen. Malachite Kingfisher at the Wilderness NP. Check the list below with Knysna noted to see what we only observed here. This was the only route we saw Blue Crane by the roadside but in good numbers.

We then headed to Simonstown. East Cape Town to meet up with Cape Town Pelagic's Due to high winds our first day was cancelled but next day we were at sea. We travelled thirty two miles south of Simonstown to find three trawlers one of which was processing their catch. The sea was alive with Albatross's! including Shy, Black-browed, Wandering, Indian Yellow nosed and Southern Royal!!. The back up being White chinned, Wilson's, Cape, Southern and Northern Giant Petrel's. Great, Sooty and Flesh footed Shearwaters. Subantarctic Skuas and Cape Gannets. Considering no one got sick what a day! Highly recommended to say the least.

Next day making our way east we had gen for Rock Jumper thanks to Cliff Dorse of Cape Town Pelagics of which we got five. Also Victorin's Warbler also heard (mostly) and seen. Also a pair of African Black Ducks.

We stayed in West Cape Town for the rest of our trip at Camps Bay which was safe and had a sea view . Most mornings were spent seawatching from the window, White chinned and Wilson's Petrel, Cape Gannets were scoped most days. From here we birded Table Mountain, Botanical Gardens, Strandfontein Sewage Works, Robben Island, Cape Point and West Coast NP. All these sites are to be found in Essential Birding Western South Africa by Claire Spottiswoode & Callan Cohen. Also Southern African Birdfinder. Both of these are essential to birding South Africa.

Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens is just fantastic for Sunbirds and Spotted Eagle Owl's and is a must do. Strandfontein Sewage Works is also fantastic for waders, gulls, Terns, waterbirds and passerines. West Coast NP is two hours drive from Cape Town but is well worth the spin as the general birding is varied and just fantastic.

Safety wise we stayed in good recommended accommodation. We encountered no issues but were alert at all times. All birding sites were safe for us. Just exercising common sense with our bino's and cameras is recommended.

Would we go back to South Africa?. Absolutely YES. Great roads, easy driving, fantastic food, great accommodation and last but not least fantastic birding and general wildlife.

Paul and Andrea Kelly 2016

Common (C) Localised (L) Rare (R)
African Penguin (C) Cape Town. Grey crowned Crane (1) Eastern Cape. Plain backed Pipit (1) Cape Town.
Southern Royal Albatross (2). Cape Town Pelagic. Blue Crane (L) Cape Town. Knysea. African Pipit (C) Cape Town.
Shy Albatross (C) Cape Town Pelagic. Sectretarybird (1) Eastern Cape. Cape Wagtail (C) Cape Town.
Black browed Albatross (C) Cape Town Pelagic. Southern black Korhaan (L) Western Cape. White throated Swallow (C) Eastern Cape.
Indian Yellow nosed Albatross (5) Cape Town Pelagi Black winged Stilt (C) Cape Town. Pearl breasted Swallow (L) Eastern Cape.
Wandering Albatross (1) Cape Town Pelagic. Pied Avocet (C) Cape Town. Lesser Striped Swallow (C) Eastern Cape.
Southern Giant Petrel (6) Cape Town Pelagic. African Black Oystercatcher (30) Cape Town. Greater Striped Swallow (C) Cape Town.
Northern Giant Petrel (3) Cape Town Pelagic. Spotted Thick-Knee (3) Cape Town. Black Saw-Wing (11) Eastern Cape.
Pinado Petrel (C) Cape Town Pelagic. Water Thick-Knee (2) Cape Town. Banded Martin (L) Cape Town.
White chinned Petrel (C) Cape Town Pelagic. Blacksmith Lapwing (C) Cape Town. Brown throated Martin (L) Cape Town.
Sooty Shearwater (C) Cape Town Pelagic. Crowned Lapwing (5) Eastern Cape. Rock Martin (C) Cape Town.
Flesh footed Shearwater (1) Cape Town Pelagic. Grey Plover (C) Cape Town. Fork tailed Drongo (C) Cape Town.
Great Shearwater (6) Cape Town Pelagic. Kittlitz's Plover (C) Cape Town. White necked Raven (C) Cape Town.
Wilson's Petrel (C) Cape Town Pelagic. White fronted Plover (C) Cape Town. Pied Crow (C) Cape Town.
Cape Gannet (C) Cape Town Pelagic. Ringed Plover (C) Cape Town. Cape Crow (C) Cape Town.
Great White Pelican (C) Western Cape. Three Banded Plover (C) Cape Town. House Crow (1) Cape Town.
Greater Flamingo (C) Cape Town. African Snipe (1) Eastern Cape. Terrestrial Brownbul (8) Cape Town.
Lesser Flamingo (C) Western Cape. Whimbrel (C) Cape Town. Cape Bubul (C) Cape Town.
White breasted Cormorant (C) Cape Town. Bar tailed Gowit (8) Cape Town. Dark capped Bulbul (C) Eastern Cape.
Bank Cormorant (L) Cape Town. Greenshank (C) Cape Town. Sombre Greenbul (L) Cape Town.
Cape Cormorant (L) Cape Town. Marsh Sandpiper (2) Western Cape. Olive Thrush (C) Cape Town.
Crowned Cormorant (C) Cape Town. Wood Sandpiper (C) Cape Town. Cape Rock Thrush (L) Cape Town.
Reed Cormorant (C) Cape Town. Common Sandpiper (C) Cape Town. Cape Rockjumper (5) Cape Town.
African Darter (2) Cape Town. Terek Sandpiper (1) Western Cape. Familiar Chat (C) Cape Town.
African Spoonbill (C) Cape Town. Curlew Sandpiper (C) Cape Town. Capped Wheatear (L) Cape Town.
African Sacred Ibis (C) Cape Town. Everywhere. Little Stint (C) Cape Town. African Stonechat (C) Cape Town.
Hadeda Ibis (C) Cape Town. Everywhere. Subantarctic Skua (C) Cape Town Pelagic. Karoo Scrub Robin (L) Cape Town.
Glossy Ibis (L) Cape Town. Kelp Gull (C) Cape Town. Cape Grassbird (C) Cape Town.
Goliath Heron (1) Eastern Cape Town. Grey Headed Gull (C) Cape Town. Victorin's Warbler (2) Cape Town.
Purple Heron (2) Cape Town. Hartlaub's Gull (C) Cape Town. Cape Penduline Tit (L) Cape Town.
Grey Heron (C) Cape Town. Caspian Tern (C) Eastern Cape. Little Rush Warbler (C) Cape Town.
Black headed Heron (C) Cape Town. Swift Tern (C) Cape Town. Knysna Warbler (2) Victoria Bay. Cape Town.
Great Egret (L) Cape Town/Eastern Cape. Sandwitch Tern (C) Cape Town. Lesser Swamp Warbler (2) Cape Town.
Yellow billed Egret (C) Eastern Cape Town. Common Tern (C) Cape Town. African Reed Warbler (2) Cape Town.
Little Egret (L) Cape Town. Antarctic Tern (1) Cape Town. Cloud Cistcola (1) Eastern Cape.

Cattle Egret (C) Cape Town/Eastern Cape.

Little Tern (L) Cape Town. Neddicky (C) Cape Town.
White faced Whistling Duck (2) Cape Town. Whiskered Tern (1) Cape Town. Levaillant's Cistcola (C) Western Cape.
Spur winged Goose (C) Cape Town. Speckled Pigeon (C) Cape Town. Grey backed Cisticola (C) Cape Town.
Egyptian Goose (C) Cape Town. African Olive Pigeon (2) Eastern Cape. Karoo Prinia (C) Cape Town.
South African Shelduck (10) Cape Town. Rock Dove (C) Cape Town. White Starred Robin (1) Eastern Cape.
Yellow billed Duck (C) Cape Town. Lemon Dove (C) Cape Town. Bar throated Apalis (C) Cape Town.
African Black Duck (C) Cape Town. Red eyed Dove (C) Cape Town. Fiscal Flycatcher (C) Cape Town.
Cape Shoveler (C) Cape Town. Cape Turtle Dove (L) Cape Town. African Dusky Flycatcher (C) Cape Town.
Southern Pochard (C) Cape Town. Laughing Dove (C) Cape Town. Fork tailed Drongo (C) Cape Town.
Hamerkop (1) Eastern Cape. Emerald Spotted Wood Dove (C) Eastern Cape. Fiscal Shrike (C) Cape Town.
Red billed Teal (C) Cape Town. Tambourine Dove (2) Cape Town. Southern Boubou (L) Cape Town.
Cape Teal (C) Cape Town. Knysna Turaco (C) Cape Town. Southern Tchagre (1) Eastern Cape.
Hottentot Teal (5) Cape Town. Burdhell's Coucal (L) Eastern Cape. Bokmakierie (L) Cape Town.
Maccoa Duck (2) Cape Town. Spotted Eagle Owl (5) Cape Town/Eastern. Red winged Starling (C) Cape Town.
African Fish Eagle (L) Cape Town. Cape Eagle Owl (2) Cape Town. Pied Starling (C) Cape Town.
Verreaux's Eagle (2) Cape Town. Alpine Swift (L) Cape Town. Common Starling (C) Eastern Cape.
Martial Eagle (2) Cape Town. African Black Swift (L) Cape Town. Black bellied Starling (C) Eastern Cape.
Crowned Eagle (1) Cape Town. Little Swift (L) Cape Town. Cape Glossy Starling (C) Eastern Cape.
Long crested Eagle (L) Cape Town. Horus Swift (L) Western Cape. Cape Sugarbird (C) Cape Town.
Booted Eagle (L) Cape Town. White rumped Swift (L) Western Cape. Malachite Sunbird (C) Cape Town.
Yellow billed kite (C) Cape Town. African Palm Swift (2) Eastern Cape. Amethyst Sunbird (C) Cape Town.
Jackal Buzzard (C) Cape Town. Speckled Mousebird (C) Cape Town. Southern Double collared Sunbird (C) Cape Town.
Steppe Buzzard (C) Cape Town. White backed Mousebird (C) Cape Town. Greater Double collared Sunbird (C) Cape Town.
Forest Buzzard (2) Eastern Cape. Red faced Mousebird (2) Eastern Cape. Orange breasted Sunbird (C) Cape Town.
African Marsh Harrier (C) Cape Town. Giant Kingfisher (2) Cape Town. Cape White-eye (C) Cape Town.
Black Harrier (1) Western Cape. Pied Kingfisher (L) Cape Town. Grey headed Sparrow (C) Cape Town.
Black shouldered Kite (L) Cape Town. Malachite Kingfisher (1) Cape Town. Cape Sparrow (C) Cape Town.
Black Sparrowhawk (L) Cape Town. Brown hooded Kingfisher (2) Eastern Cape. House Sparrow (C) Cape Town.
African Goshawk (2) Cape Town. Crowned Hornbill (1) Eastern Cape. Cape Weaver (C) Cape Town.
Rufous breasted Sparrowhawk (C) Cape Town. African Hoopoe (3) Cape Town. Masked Weaver (C) Cape Town.
Little Sparrowhawk (L) Cape Town. Black Collard Barbet (2) Eastern Cape. Red Bishop (C) Cape Town.
African Harrier hawk (1) Cape Town. Greater Honeyguide (2) Eastern Cape. Yellow Bishop (C) Cape Town.
Rock Kestrel (C) Cape Town. Knysna Woodpecker (1) Eastern Cape. Common Waxbill (L) Cape Town.
Common Ostrich (C) Cape Town. Cardinal Woodpecker (5) Cape Town. Swee Waxbill (L) Cape Town.
Helmeted Guineafowl (C) Cape Town. Ground Woodpecker (1) Cape Town. Forest Canary (L) Eastern Cape.
Grey winged Francolin (2) Western Cape. Red capped Lark (1) Eastern Cape. Yellow Canary (L) Cape Town.
Cape Spurfowl (C) Cape Town. Large billed Lark (L) Eastern Cape. Cape Canary (L) Cape Town.
Common Quail (L) Western Cape. Rufous naped Lark (C) Eastern Cape. Streaky headed Canary (L) Cape Town.
Red Knobbed Coot (C) Cape Town. Cape Clapper Lark (2) Western Cape. Protea Canary (L) Eastern Cape.
Common Moorhen (C) Western Cape. Agulhas Long billed Lark (2) Cape Town. Cape Siskin (L) Cape Town.
African Swamphen (C) Cape Town. Grey backed Sparrow Lark (2) Western Cape. Cape Bunting (L) Cape Town.
Black Crake (1) Cape Town.
African Rail (1) Eastern Cape.
 
Animals
 
Baboon (C) Eastern Cape/ Cape Town. Black backed Jackal (2) Eastern Cape. Blue Wildebeest(L) Eastern Cape.
Cape Buffalo(L) Eastern Cape. Burchell's Zebra (C) Eastern Cape. Eland (C) Eastern Cape/ Cape Town.
African Elephant (C) Eastern Cape. Giraffe (C) Eastern Cape. Hippopotamus(L) Eastern Cape.
Impala (C) Eastern Cape.
African Lion (3) Eastern Cape.
Oribi (C) Eastern Cape.
Velvet Monkey (C) Eastern Cape/ Cape Town. Warthog (C) Eastern Cape. White Rhino (2) Eastern Cape.
Bontebok (C) Eastern Cape. Waterbuck (C) Eastern Cape.