Duration: 1 day
Tour Start: Johannesburg
Tour End: Johannesburg
Our birding guide will fetch you after breakfast from your hotel anywhere in the Johannesburg/Pretoria area, and take you first to Suikerbosrand Nature Reserve in the morning, then to Marievale wetlands in the afternoon.
Suikerbosrand is a remarkably wild area surprisingly close to Johannesburg. It is wonderful being able to get right away from the city so easily, soon seeing various antelope species, zebra, and a plethora of excellent grassland and bushveld birds here in this hilly reserve. The avian pickings include a fine suite of southern African endemics, some generally uncommon birds, and many very showy birds, such as Red-throated Wryneck, Red-winged Francolin, Kalahari Scrub Robin, Bokmakierie, Mocking Cliff Chat, Sentinel Rock Thrush (winter only), Eastern Long-billed Lark, Black-chested Prinia, Mountain Wheatear, African Red-eyed Bulbul, a fine collection of spectacular widowbirds, bishops, and whydahs, Marsh Owl and even Grass Owl and Orange-breasted Waxbill, and a great many other species.
After lunch, we head to Marievale, which is an extensive and very bird-rich wetland only half an hour’s drive from Suikerbosrand. Marievale provides an awesome opportunity to see a completely different suite of birds compared to those you will have encountered in the morning. A rich assemblage of waterbirds awaits us, such as Goliath, Squacco, and Black Heron, Malachite and Pied Kingfisher, Cape Shoveler, African Rail, and with luck some skulkers such as Baillon’s Crake and Red-chested Flufftail. There is also a chance of finding Cape clawless otter here.
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 had an absolutely wonderful weekend at Ezemvelo. Great company, good weather and Dylan.
What a good guide that young man is!!! He certainly knows his birds, and tries very hard to make everyone happy. He really goes out of his way. He’s such a gentleman, he’s going to go far. By the way four adults and one Blue Crane chick were seen on the weekend. Also a Black Stork, which Dylan was so pleased to see, and a couple of Honey Buzzards
Bev Carstens – Johannesburg, South Africa