Duration: 3–5 days
Southern Africa is the lark capital of the world, and larks are at times the favorite group of birds for Chris (when he is not chasing owls) and some of the other Birding Ecotours guides. And a disproportionate number of these subtly beautiful birds lurk in Namaqualand and other parts of the remote Northern Cape, South Africa. This is why we love to do 3-5 day lark tours to this region.
We target Red Lark, Sclater’s Lark, Stark’s Lark, Karoo Lark, Karoo Long-billed Lark, Large-billed Lark, Sabota Lark, Spike-heeled Lark, Cape Long-billed Lark, Cape Clapper Lark, Black-eared Sparrow-Lark, and others. We also do a half-day trip to the Namib Desert coast north of Port Nolloth, where Barlow’s Lark is not uncommon.
We also look for Black-headed/Damara Canary (sometimes split and sometimes in mixed flocks!), Cinnamon-breasted Warbler, Rufous-eared Warbler, Sociable Weaver, Rosy-faced Lovebird (on an exciting excursion to the Namibian border along the Orange River, South Africa’s largest river that here makes its way through the desert, forming an oasis that is often called “the Green Kalahari”). And we see many greater Karoo endemics, such as Karoo Korhaan, Karoo Eremomela, Grey Tit, and stacks of others. In the past we have also stumbled across exciting mammals, such as aardvark (while on a night drive looking for Cape Eagle-Owl) and a host of other species too.
We spend 1-2 nights in Springbok and 1-2 nights in Pofadder. This is a birding tour we do by request. It’s definitely one of our favorites, and it’s a classic route we’ve been doing for many years of bird touring.
While some tour participants opt to drive from Johannesburg, Cape Town or even Windhoek to join this classic lark trip, we recommend rather flying into and out of Upington, which gives easier access to most species.