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