South Africa offers a range of birding habitats, from grasslands, wetlands and forests, to savannahs, fynbos, the seashore and open oceans. Bird-watching in South Africa allows birders to explore a diverse range of habitats. These habitats offer a spectacular diversity of beautiful birds, from the diminutive, fynbos-restricted Orange-breasted Sunbird to the large, desert-adapted Ludwig's Bustard. A remarkable 841 bird species are found in South Africa, about eight percent of the world's bird species. Seventy-four species are endemic to South Africa, i.e. they do not occur naturally anywhere else in the world.

Birding routes provide information and resources to local and international birders on where to go, what to see, who to go birding with and where to stay within a certain geographical area. An exciting initiative along all the birding routes is the availability of Community Bird Guides. The guides are affordable; provide improved security and valuable information on where elusive and special bird species may be found.

New Birding Route

The Vaal Birding Route extends from the green hills of Devon in the east to the Vredefort Dome in the west. Within this region occurs a wide variety of habitats including extensive highveld grasslands, rolling hills cloaked with a variety of woodland types and extensive natural pans and wetland areas. The vast shoreline of the Vaal and the richly diversity of riverine habitats along the Vaal, the Klip, the Suikerbos and other rivers, all contribute to a region which is rich in natural treasures. Vaal has a relatively small altitudinal range, from about 1 300 m to 1 900 meters above sea level. Despite its small area and lack of sub-tropical woodlands, Vaal has over 360 species of birds, including a number which are more easily seen here than anywhere else.

New Research Reports

New Research into Avitourism in South Africa - go to the research reports section of our website to view the details.

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