The birding opportunities in South Africa are great year-round, however it is their summer months (November-April) that see the biggest variety when the summer migrants arrive. Whilst the vegetation is normally thicker and greener at this time of year, the migratory birds bring with them a flurry of colour and noise that provide excellent photographic opportunities as well as some beautiful sightings.
The best birding safaris in South Africa
Anywhere in the Greater Kruger will give you excellent birding opportunities. Ngala Tented Camp is located in a private concession South of the Timbavati that contains many different habitats. Ranging from riverine thickets to wide open grassy plains, the variety in bird life is outstanding. The same can be said of Dulini and Tengile River Lodge, located at opposite ends of the Sabi Sands to one another. Bird species vary from the critically endangered Ground Hornbill, to the commonly seen Spectacled Weaver.
As the rains arrive, so do the summer migrants. The Woodland's Kingfisher's distinct call can be heard everywhere and the bright blue plumage of the European Roller flits in and out of the lush and vibrant vegetation. Even the Southern Carmine Bee-Eaters that are famous for nesting in the banks of the Zambezi River are seen in the months of January and February.
Away from the Kruger area, Phinda Game Reserve provides an incredible birding opportunity, with Forest Lodge being an absolute must for those wishing to tick off rare species. With over four-hundred-and-fifty different bird species notes, Phinda's seven biomes are perfect for an abundance of bird life. From LondgCrested Eagles to the highly sought after Narina Trogon, it is a birders paradise. Forest Lodge is located in the rare sand forest biome and the glass walls of the rooms make you feel immersed in this wonderful setting. From every corner of the room, birds like the Paradise Fly Catcher and the Golden Breasted Bunting can be seen flitting in and out of the trees whilst you enjoy some down time in between activities.