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 occasionally run these tours from Durban, Port Elizabeth and other smaller cities, when guides are available. Our 1-day Cape Town, Johannesburg/Pretoria and Durban area tours cost R4,200 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 and entrance fees but they exclude lunch (you can tell us if you prefer “on the run” sandwiches or a sit-down restaurant meal halfway through the day of birding). Lunches for you and the guide are 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 Peninsula and False Bay, 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.