Duration: 2 days
Tour Start: Johannesburg/Pretoria
Tour End: Johannesburg/Pretoria
We often run a 24-hour trip out of Johannesburg or Pretoria, with one night in Dullstroom, targeting Cape Eagle-Owl. Often we run this trip purely as fund-raising trip to raise money for bird conservation.
Conveniently, Dullstroom also has a plethora of greater Drakensberg endemics and other sought-after birds, and we typically look for these the morning after we’ve sought the owl – the pickings include Yellow-breasted Pipit, Eastern Long-billed Lark, Gurney’s Sugarbird, all three cranes, a host of spectacular widowbirds and bishops, and so many others. Occasionally we are even able to combine this trip with a White-winged Flufftail conservation walk, also near Dullstroom.
We have a couple of relatively reliable sites for African Grass Owl only 45 minutes’ drive from Johannesburg airport, but one has to be there when it is completely dark (very early morning or quite late at night), and you can encounter a host of other species here as well, including abundant Marsh Owl, lots of waterbirds and grassland birds, and sometimes some rarer species such as Black-winged Pratincole.
Flufftails are among the world’s most elusive birds, but some of them can be found near Johannesburg. We have a reasonably reliable site for Red-chested Flufftail in Pretoria year-round (this only needs a morning trip), and 4 hours’ drive from Johannesburg we have a good site for Striped Flufftail in October to early November. Some of these trips can be combined together to form 2-4 day trips, and of course we can also arrange longer tours for you, such as our 8- and 18-day-long Cape and subtropical South Africa tours.
Usually we custom-make trips to see these rare and tough species. Please contact us for more information.
The guide for day trips is allocated only after you have booked, as all of them are run as private trips. But we always use the country’s top birding guides.
We went out to Marievale with Dylan to (re)connect with some South African birds after some years away from SA. It was a wonderful experience. Dylan was charming, helpful and incredibly knowledgeable about the birds. We saw over 50 species in a morning and learned a lot about the birds. We would highly recommend Birding Ecotours for an excellent birding experience.
Linda Jacobson – Toronto, Canada