Birding Tours – Day Tours
South Africa birding day tours, which we run at any time!
Our 1-day South African tours are extremely popular and offer our clients the possibility of seeing a large diversity of birds on the outskirts of South Africa’s major metropolises. Our most popular day tours are those from Cape Town and Johannesburg/Pretoria, however we do also run tours from Durban, Port Elizabeth, the Garden Route and other places, when guides are available. Our 1-day South Africa birding tours cost R6,000 for one person, with an extra R500 per person if more than one participant. We run all our 1-day tours as private tours, since we have found we never manage to put groups together. Most people travel singly, in couples, or they bring their own small group along. Half-day trips lasting less than five hours are much poorer value for money as we can only give a R500 discount for groups of two or more (because the guide usually ends up doing a large mileage even for such a short trip).
These prices include guiding fees, vehicle costs, entrance fees and a light lunch (but you can tell us if you prefer a sit-down restaurant meal which will then be for your account). The birding guide will fetch you from wherever you are staying, after breakfast, and drop you back before dinner/before dark in the case of a 1-day tour (airport drop-offs are also perfectly OK). In the case of a half-day tour, the trip will run either from breakfast until lunch or from lunch until dinner. Please e-mail us for the starting time you prefer – we are happy with an early start (e.g. 5 a.m.), but we also understand that you will sometimes prefer a later start (e.g. 9 a.m.). The trip is yours, and you can tell us when you want to start the day. We often recommend 7:30 a.m. at the entrance to your hotel, but we can also advise about the best time to avoid rush hour for specific tours.
Longer trips – accommodation and meals have to be added to the price – please ask us; we can usually get accommodation for R900 per person sharing per night (ballpark), but if more luxury is needed the price, of course, increases. The guide’s accommodation also needs to be paid.
We strongly recommend that you book far in advance even for the three larger cities. At certain times of the year our birding guides get booked particularly far in advance, but even at the best of times we recommend booking as far in advance as possible. On the other hand, we can often accommodate you even if you book a week in advance (sometimes even the day before).
You are welcome to just pay the guide cash (South African Rands; ZAR) on the day of the tour after you have booked with us. For trips that are longer than one day, we need payment of a deposit in advance.
Which tours do we recommend? In Cape Town, if you have never visited the Cape before and only have one day available for guided birding, we suggest doing a 1-day tour of the Cape Mountains and Fynbos, which can be custom-made to your exact needs (you can discuss this with the guide at the start of the day). If you have a second day available, we recommend also doing a 1-day West Coast birding tour. If you have more than two days available, there is a stack more you can do birding-wise – please ask us for suggestions. In Johannesburg, we recommend Suikerbosrand/Marievale (south of Johannesburg) if you only have one day available. If you have a second day, we suggest Zaagkuilsdrift and environs (north of Pretoria), an area which has Kalahari-type birds. The Walter Sisulu National Botanical Garden provides an excellent half day around Johannesburg.
We believe in providing first class service, and if you e-mail us with any questions you will find we answer with great detail and enthusiasm. We look forward to hosting you here in sunny South Africa!
Please note: Any of these 1-day tours can be run as 1-day photographic birding tours – to convert them into birdwatching photo tours we modify the sites visited and slow down the pace.
If you are interested in longer birding tours in South Africa please have a look here. Please scroll down to find out more about specific day tours.
South African day tours
Testimonials from our South African birding day tours
Just a quick note today to let you know that mom (Eleanor) and I had a fantastic day with Dylan. First of all it was a great comfort to meet someone at the airport from the area who knows how to go about things. Dylan provided us with a splendid introduction day to the common bird families and antelope (plus a mongoose) at Rietvlie which was exactly what we needed after being cooped up on a plane for so long! He also capably described things about each family and then the species we were seeing. What surprised me was how knowledgeable he is about other species around the world which makes it easy for him to relate to our knowledge base. We had a splendid day talking about all sorts of things. You guys are doing everything right -Bravo! Your website came up first in a Google search and it’s very inviting which encourages an inquiry. Chris, you got back to me right away, and Dylan followed up with answers and then read perfectly what we needed. Thank you so much! I will most definitely recommend you to anyone coming to this part of Africa. Keep up the good work! Dylan, thank you! I look forward to coming back some day.Kim - On Dylan and South Africa
I just wanted to email and say how much I enjoyed the day yesterday in and around Suikerbosrand – Dylan was a fantastic guide, unbelievably knowledgeable, very helpful (and patient!) and good company. We saw much more than I expected, and the flufftail was the icing on the cake! I would go out of my way to recommend you guys and Dylan in particular – thanks again for a thoroughly enjoyable day. I will be in touch when I return to South Africa – even if just to set eyes on that pesky grass owl. . .!Liam - On Dylan and South Africa
My sister and I used one of our 2 and a half days in Cape Town to do a birding tour of the Peninsula including the Cape of Good Hope. I had great communication with our guide, Dom, before the tour and he picked us up right on time at our hotel. It was an excellent day. Dom is very knowledgeable and good company. It turned out he was at Magee Marsh in Ohio the same time I was this year! The weather was glorious and we got to see lots of SA endemics plus a Humpback Whale and a lifer sewage pond! I would recommend Birding Ecotours and Dom Rollinson to anyone birding in South Africa.Jean - On Dom and South Africa
I would definitely recommend Birding Ecotours! Before the trip, we had prompt responses to our enquiries and we were fast assigned to a guide, Dominic Rollinson. We had such a great time with Dom on our day out in the Cape Peninsula. He was flexible with the schedule, itinerary, and with our photographic demands. He adjusted the trip so that we did everything at a slower pace, to be able to take pictures of literally every bird we saw. He knew how to position the car to get a better light on the subject, when that was the case. He’s very patient and pleasant to be with, and he shared with us some tips on where to go during the next days.Olivia - On Dom and Cape Day Tours
My three day tips out of Joburg with Dylan were phenomenal - a perfect introduction to the birds of the region, with all the logistics nailed down expertly. I would strongly recommend to anyone wanting to get a quick sense of the region's bird life.Michael - On Dylan and Johannesburg day tours
A brilliant day out with an exceptionally brilliant guide (Dylan), in some beautiful places, with some amazing birds - perfect.Colin - On Dylan and Johannesburg day tours
Marievale Bird Sanctuary provided ample opportunity to see thousands of birds. We saw a total of 82 bird species with over 40 new life birds. Weather was perfect. Our guide, Dylan, was knowledgeable and informative.Marcia - On Johannesburg day tours