Duration: 1 day
Tour start: Cape Town
Tour end: Cape Town
Price: R4,200 for one person, R500 per extra person
Single Supplement: n/a
Vehicle hire and fuel
As usual, this is a very full day of birding. We will drive north from the beautiful city of Cape Town. Our first stop will be at the tiny Tienie Versveld Wildflower Reserve, an excellent stakeout for the unique Western Cape subspecies of Cloud Cisticola. Here it is also usually easy to find the stunning Cape Longclaw, Common Quail (in spring), Large-billed Lark, several waterbirds often including South African Shelduck, and good numbers of other fine birds. This tiny reserve also hosts a plethora of stunning flowers.
We will then head to the extremely interesting fishing town of Yzerfontein for the tiny, beautiful, and localized Chestnut-banded Plover, two endemic cormorant species, and others. Yzerfontein is an excellent site for the West Coast endemic Heaviside’s dolphin.
We will continue northwards to the West Coast National Park, which has fantastic terrestrial endemic birding as well as a huge lagoon, which is one of Africa’s primary shorebird stopover sites. Sought-after species we can find here include Black Harrier (and also African Marsh Harrier), Grey-winged Francolin, Cape Penduline Tit, Southern Black Korhaan, and many others. Common Ostrich is “common”. Shorebirds (waders) include impressive numbers of Red Knot, Curlew Sandpiper, Whimbrel, Eurasian Curlew, Little Stint, Bar-tailed Godwit, Common Greenshank, Marsh Sandpiper, Grey (Black-bellied) Plover, Greater Flamingo, and a host of others. Several shorebird species such as Common Redshank that are generally vagrants to South Africa are actually regular here at the Langebaan Lagoon in the West Coast National Park. We can also visit a freshwater wetland within the national park for a suite of new species, including African Rail (with luck), Black Crake (with luck), several waterfowl, Brown-throated Martin, Sand Martin (late summer), reed-associated warblers, and many more.
Time permitting, we can look for Sickle-winged Chat, Cape Long-billed Lark, Cape Clapper Lark, Secretarybird (with luck), Blue Crane (with luck), and other birds to the north of the West Coast National Park on the Columbine Peninsula, before heading back to Cape Town.
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.