Best of Cape Town and Beyond Trip Report October 2023

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7 – 14 OCTOBER 2023
By Dominic Rollinson 

Overview

This short but relatively intense Cape birding tour was designed to take in some of the best birding in the general Cape area, including a couple days in the semi-desert of the Tankwa Karoo, while also enjoying some beautiful scenery. The tour started with a few days in Cape Town where we undertook day tours, before making our way up the west coast to Langebaan and inland through the Cederberg Mountains into the Tankwa Karoo, where we targeted many South African endemics and near-endemics. We then ended back in Cape Town where we targeted a few missing species. The trip was meant to include a Cape Town pelagic, however, despite having three full days set aside for our sea trip, we could not get a weather gap and instead had to settle for a trip down to Cape Point where we enjoyed some land-based seabirding and took in the area’s impressive scenery.

Western Cape trip report

Cape Sugarbird gave us the classic ‘sugarbird pose’ in Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden.

Over our eight days of Cape birding we racked up an impressive 228 bird species which included many of the Cape’s endemics and specials. Some of our highlights included Grey-winged Francolin, Karoo and Southern Black Korhaans, Namaqua Sandgrouse, African Penguin, Bank, Cape and Crowned Cormorants, Black Harrier, Ground Woodpecker, Cape Rockjumper, Fairy Flycatcher, Grey Tit, Cape Penduline Tit, nine lark species (including many Black-eared Sparrow-Larks), Victorin’s Warbler (annoyingly only seen by one of the group, despite our best efforts), Rufous-eared, Cinnamon-breasted and Layard’s Warblers, Dusky Sunbird and Protea, Forest and Black-headed Canaries.

Western Cape trip report

The erratic Black-eared Sparrow-Lark was numerous in the Tankwa Karoo.

Detailed Report

Day 1, 07th October 2023. Arrival in Cape Town and Kirstenbosch birding

With all members of the group having arrived by the early afternoon, we headed out for our first birding of the tour with a walk around the famous Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden. The wind was quite strong this afternoon (something we would have to contend with for large periods of this trip) however we still managed to find a good selection of forest- and garden-associated species. Soon after entering the gate we had a dark-phase Booted Eagle high up above our heads which would then continue to show on and off for the remainder of the afternoon. We slowly worked our way through the picturesque gardens (with a stunning view of Table Mountain as a backdrop) and managed to find Cape Spurfowl, Karoo Prinia, Black Saw-wing, Cape Bulbul, Cape White-eye, Olive Thrush, Cape Sugarbird (lovely looks at a pair), Amethyst, Malachite and Southern Double-collared Sunbirds, Forest Canary, Common Chaffinch (an introduced, yet range-restricted species in South Africa) and Swee Waxbill. The shaded undergrowth of a forested section of the gardens produced the goods with a couple of Lemon Doves which showed well for us. We then headed out for an enjoyable dinner where we excitedly discussed the trip ahead.

Western Cape trip report

Although common, Cape White-eyes are always a pleasant sight to see.

Day 2, 08th October 2023. West coast birding

With the outlook not looking great for our pelagic trip, we headed up the west coast today, to give us another full day in our weather window to try head out to sea. It was another windy day but the birding got off to a good start with a stop at Sunset Beach Pan which held a few White-backed Ducks as well as our first looks at Cape Shoveler, Yellow-billed Duck, Great Crested Grebe, Black-crowned Night Heron and Southern Red Bishop. Another stop, just around the corner, yielded much the same birds with the addition of African Palm Swift (a localized bird in the Cape) in amongst the many Little and White-rumped Swifts.

A little further north we birded the Silwerstroomstrand area which proved incredibly productive and we soon found our target bird, Black Harrier, which hung around for a while as it hunted low over the strandveld vegetation. Other nice birds seen here included Black-winged Kite, African Marsh Harrier, White-backed Mousebird, European Bee-eater, Bokmakierie, Cape Penduline Tit, Cape Clapper Lark (performing their aerial displays), Cape Grassbird, Grey-backed Cisticola, Pearl-breasted Swallow, Karoo Scrub Robin, Pied Starling, Cape Weaver, Brimstone (surprisingly, as they are unusual on the west coast) and Yellow Canaries and Cape Bunting. We tried for Grey Tit and Karoo Thrush which had been seen recently in the area but they were seemingly not around this morning.

Western Cape trip report

The bright Bokmakierie was commonly encountered on this Cape birding tour.

Next, was a brief stop at Tienie Versveld Wildflower Reserve where we immediately heard Cloud Cisticola displaying, however, seeing the birds was a different story. After a while some of us managed to spot a tiny dot high up in the sky as the males performed their aerial display. Other birds seen in the area included South African Shelduck, Great White Pelican (a distant group of three), Lanner Falcon, Cape Longclaw, Red-capped Lark, African Stonechat, Capped Wheatear (always a crowd favorite), African Pipit and Yellow Bishop

We had now taken a few hours to make our way up the west coast and we finally entered West Coast National Park, where we would spend most of the remainder of the afternoon. A stop at Abrahamskraal bird hide was particularly busy with birds constantly coming down to the water to drink. Waterbirds included Little Grebe, Cape Shoveler, African Spoonbill, African Rail (heard only) and a couple of Lesser Swamp Warblers flitting about in the reedbeds. Other birds seen nearby included Rock Kestrel, Namaqua Dove, Banded Martin and Cape Bulbul

We then enjoyed a light sit-down lunch at Geelbek Manor House and while waiting for our food, we took a walk around and found African Hoopoe, Cardinal Woodpecker and a single Grey-winged Francolin. As we left the manor house, we were very surprised to see a Secretarybird fly over and land in a distant field, an unusual bird in the park. In the area, we also encountered an impressive Common Eland herd, one of the largest antelope in the world.

To finish off the afternoon in the park, we visited Seeberg bird hide which had good numbers of water-associated species around. Just before arriving at the hide, Catherine spotted a single male Southern Black Korhaan which was a welcome sight. Greater and Lesser Flamingoes were numerous and we enjoyed good looks at these popular birds, while we also found African Oystercatcher, Black-winged Stilt, Grey, Kittlitz’s and White-fronted Plovers, Eurasian Whimbrel, Sanderling, Curlew Sandpiper and a suite of tern species including Caspian, Common, Greater Crested and Sandwich Terns. We then took the long drive back to Cape Town, enjoying a Puff Adder crossing the road in the reserve, ending a highly successful day of west coast birding.

Western Cape trip report

We had two fantastic Puff Adder encounters on this tour.

Day 3, 09th October 2023. Rockjumpers and birding Betty’s Bay

With the wind blowing even worse than yesterday, we had another early start and started making our way east. We stopped at Sir Lowry’s Pass and almost immediately flushed an eagle-owl, unfortunately our views were just too brief to determine whether it was the common Spotted or rare Cape Eagle-Owl. We heard several Victorin’s Warblers however despite a concentrated effort, we could not see any of these singing birds. Bill did manage a look at a bird while we were all facing the other way, but the wind just proved too ferocious to try get looks at these notorious skulkers. While looking for the warblers, we spotted Common and Jackal Buzzards and White-necked Ravens flying overhead. 

Due to the intense storm that had ravaged the Cape the previous week, the picturesque Clarence Drive was closed which meant we had to take the long way round to Rooi-Els, however we soon arrived at our spot to look for rockjumpers. The wind was again blowing a gale and it took some time but we eventually managed to find a relatively close pair of Cape Rockjumpers which we all enjoyed scope views of. Other birds encountered here included Orange-breasted Sunbird, Familiar Chat, Cape Bunting and a calling Streaky-headed Seedeater which soon disappeared as we approached its bush.

Western Cape trip report

The colorful Orange-breasted Sunbird is an abundant resident of mountain fynbos.

We had a relaxed picnic lunch at Harold Porter Botanical Garden (without any interference from marauding Chacma Baboons) and afterwards took a (windy) walk around the gardens which did not prove terribly productive. We did however find Cape Spurfowl, Bar-throated Apalis, Karoo Prinia, Grey-backed Cisticola, Sombre Greenbul (well spotted, Ohad), African Dusky Flycatcher and Cape Sugarbird.

Western Cape trip report

The endemic Cape Spurfowl is normally straightforward to find in the Cape.

A brief stop at the Stony Point penguin colony in Betty’s Bay saw us enjoying the cute and comical African Penguins and we managed to pick out Bank, Crowned and Cape Cormorants breeding on the nearby rocks. 

We decided to bird a rocky ridge near Betty’s Bay in the hopes of finding a few missing specials which proved to a be a good decision, as this spot was slightly sheltered from the wind. Cape Rockjumper showed better than before at Rooi-Els and we also found Ground Woodpecker, Cape Rock Thrush, Cape Siskin (unfortunately missed by some of the group) and calling Neddicky which was determined not to reveal itself to us. After a long, windy day out we headed back to Cape Town, it had been a tough day of birding but our perseverance meant we had seen just about all the day’s major targets.

Day 4, 10th October 2023. Cape Point birding and transfer to the west coast

We had been given the bad news the previous evening that our pelagic trip had been cancelled as we could not get a break in the weather, so decided to head down to Cape Point for the morning. The day started with a displaying African Goshawk as it gave its piercing ‘chip’ call high above our heads. We then made our way south along the peninsula (spotting a hunting Black Sparrowhawk en route) and arrived at the Cape of Good Hope National Park (to be greeted by strong winds). We had our picnic breakfast at the actual Cape of Good Hope (the most southwesterly point of Africa) which, despite the strong winds, proved quite enjoyable. There were a number of seabirds out at sea (although I was expecting greater numbers) and some scanning revealed White-chinned Petrel, Sooty Shearwater, Cape Gannet and a single Northern Giant Petrel. The rocks nearby had Common, Greater Crested and Sandwich Terns, African Oystercatcher and a large group of Afro-Australian Fur Seals.   

We then moved around the corner to Cape Point and took a gentle stroll below the car park (Ed took a run up to the top lighthouse) where we saw Speckled Mousebird, a flyby Ground Woodpecker and had brief views of Cape Siskin. It was then time to head north and soon after leaving the reserve we found a pair of confiding Olive Woodpeckers which we had missed previously.

After the long drive north, checking into our Langebaan accommodation and some time off, we headed back out for some late afternoon birding which proved highly productive. We birded some farmlands en route to Jacob’s Bay and here we found Black Harrier, Crowned Lapwing, Large-billed and Red-capped Larks, Banded Martin, Pearl-breasted Swallow and a distant pair of Blue Cranes.  

We then birded around the small coastal town of Jacob’s Bay where an inspection of the tern roost revealed a single Antarctic Tern in amongst the Greater Crested, Common and Sandwich Terns, with Ruddy Turnstone and White-fronted Plover seen feeding on the rocks. The surrounding strandveld had some great birds including Spotted Thick-knee, Karoo Lark, Cape Long-billed Lark, White-backed Mousebird and Bokmakierie. We then ended the day with a nighttime venture which resulted in good looks at our target bird, Fiery-necked Nightjar.  

Western Cape trip report

Spotted Thick-knees were common and confiding in Jacob’s Bay.

Day 5: 11th October 2023. Birding the west coast and transfer to the Tankwa Karoo

We started the morning with a delicious sit-down breakfast before we headed to the local quarry where it did not take long for our target bird to appear, a majestic pair of Verreaux’s Eagles. We had a quick spin around Jacob’s Bay again in the hope of improving our views of Grey-winged Francolin but had to settle for a showy Grey Tit.

We then continued our way up the west coast and stopped in at the salt works near Velddrif which was, as usual, full of birds. In very little time, we racked up a good bird list, many of which were new birds for the tour including Cape Teal, Black-necked Grebe, Pied Avocet, Chestnut-banded Plover, Ruff, Common Sandpiper, Red-necked Phalarope, Common Greenshank, African Darter, Reed Cormorant, Black-crowned Night Heron, Glossy Ibis, African Spoonbill, African Marsh Harrier, Pied Kingfisher and European Bee-eater.

After a quick pit stop in town, we hit the long road to the Tankwa Karoo and crossed through the southern end of the Cederberg Mountains (our lunch stop producing a Long-billed Crombec), enjoying the impressive views along the way. The drive was mostly quiet until we crossed the Katbakkies Pass where things started to heat up (both the birding and the temperature). Within a fairly short period of time we had found Layard’s Warbler, Protea Canary, Pale Chanting Goshawk and a small group of Black-headed Canaries before we descended into the plains of the Tankwa Karoo and took it easy for the remainder of the afternoon. We decided to do a night drive that evening which was not terribly productive, although we did get nice views of Spotted Eagle-Owl, Klipspringer and Scrub Hare and enjoyed the spectacular astronomical display out here in the wilderness, far away from any light pollution.  

Western Cape trip report

Black-headed Canaries, such as this juvenile, were abundant around the Tankwa Karoo.

Day 6, 12th October 2023. Tankwa Karoo birding

We had the full day to explore the dry gorges and plains of the Tankwa Karoo today and had a long list of target birds to aim for. We started the day by birding around our guest farm and the nearby Skitterykloof which added many of our dry country targets. Not far from the accommodation, we found Karoo Lark, Karoo Eremomela, Rufous-eared Warbler, Karoo Chat, Nicholson’s Pipit, White-throated Canary and Lark-like Bunting. An hour or so at Skitterykloof yielded Cinnamon-breasted Warbler (which didn’t really put up a fight today) as well as Pale Chanting Goshawk, Fairy Flycatcher, Grey Tit, Common Reed Warbler, Layard’s Warbler, a pair of flyover Pale-winged Starlings and more Black-headed Canaries.

We then had a lovely sit-down breakfast before heading out into the Tankwa Karoo (armed with lunch packs) for the remainder of the day. With all the rain the area had received over the last few months, the plains were alive with birds and we enjoyed some of the best birding I have ever experienced in the Tankwa Karoo. Our first stop at a dry acacia-lined river bed soon added Pririt Batis, Chestnut-vented Warbler and Namaqua Warbler with repeat views of Fairy Flycatcher and White-throated Canary. Moving further north into the plains we soon started to notice flocks of sparrow-larks flying by and on closer inspection it revealed they were predominantly the highly nomadic and unpredictable Black-eared Sparrow-Lark, as well as smaller numbers of Grey-backed Sparrow-Larks. The Black-eared Sparrow-Larks took some time to get decent views of but eventually we all had excellent views as they went about feeding on the ground.  

Western Cape trip report

It’s always special to see nomadic Black-eared Sparrow-Larks in the Tankwa Karoo.

We kept heading north and ultimately made it all the way into the Tankwa Karoo National Park, along the way we kept adding new birds such as Namaqua Sandgrouse, Greater Kestrel, Spike-heeled Lark, Tractrac Chat, Dusky Sunbird and a Karoo Long-billed Lark, at our turnaround point. On our way back out of the park, we had a distant sighting of a Secretarybird and a subadult Black-chested Snake Eagle which was the surprise of the day. We had some nice mammal sightings this afternoon too, with Steenbok, Springbok and Gemsbok (Southern Oryx) all being seen well. To finish the day’s birding, we had another lovely sighting of a Puff Adder as it crossed the road. We made it back to our accommodation late in the afternoon and again decided to take the remainder of the day off, after a highly successful day out, with just about all our targets seen.  

Western Cape trip report

We had a few good Namaqua Sandgrouse sightings in the Tankwa Karoo.

Day 7, 13th October 2023. Tankwa karoo birding and transfer to Cape Town

We had an early sit-down breakfast today before loading up the van and slowly making our way out of the plains of the Tankwa Karoo. We still had a couple targets left over from yesterday and so stopped at a dry river bed where Yellow-bellied Eremomela soon obliged. Next up was Karoo Korhaan which did not take too much work however the scope views were a little distant. Our final stop for some dry country birding was at the Karooport farmhouse where we unsuccessfully tried to turn an Olive Thrush into a Karoo Thrush but did find Acacia Pied Barbet and more Black-headed Canaries.

We drove the scenic Bain’s Kloof Pass on the way back to Cape Town in the hopes of finding Victorin’s Warbler but unfortunately, we could not even hear any birds singing today, despite the glorious weather. We did however finally catch up with an obliging Neddicky, had brief views of Cape Siskin and managed lovely looks at a singing Cape Rock Thrush

We made it back into our Cape Town accommodation in the early afternoon and took some time off before heading out to Strandfontein Sewage Works for the remainder of the afternoon. Ed decided this was at last his weather window to head up Table Mountain and left the group to enjoy an afternoon on Cape Town’s iconic peaks. As usual, the sewage works were full of birds and we managed to track down most of our missing targets. In amongst the masses of common waterbirds and wildfowl, we found Fulvous Whistling Duck, Southern Pochard, Maccoa Duck, African Swamphen, Grey-headed Gull, Whiskered Tern and Bar-tailed Godwit. We also had better looks at Lesser Swamp Warbler and managed brief views of Little Rush Warbler.

After dinner we had a quick nocturnal birding session to try find a resident pair of African Wood Owls which were a no-show however, we did hear the foghorn-like call of Buff-spotted Flufftail which was quite something to experience.

Day 8, 14th October 2023. Cape Town birding and departure

Most of the group’s flights were around mid-morning today and so we had an hour or so before breakfast to see if we could track down any new birds before we made our way to the airport. We birded a nearby river which soon yielded African Black Duck and Malachite Kingfisher and we vastly improved our views of Little Rush Warbler. We then moved to a nearby patch of exotic trees where we had lovely views of a pair of Rufous-breasted Sparrowhawks and added an African Harrier-Hawk nearby.

Western Cape trip report

We could not have asked for better views of Rufous-breasted Sparrowhawk near Cape Town.

We enjoyed a sit-down breakfast back at our accommodation before I dropped off most of the group at the airport for their flights. John only flew out later in the day and so we had a couple hours to bird in the leafy suburbs of Cape Town. Here, we enjoyed a good walk through one of the greenbelts (before John’s long international flight) and added African Paradise Flycatcher, Bronze Mannikin (an introduced population here in the Cape) and a showy pair of Cape Batises.

This ended a highly successful and thoroughly enjoyable week’s birding in the Cape. Despite the strong wind for large parts of the tour, we managed to find almost all our targets, with the Tankwa Karoo being a tour highlight for most of the group. Thanks everybody for making it such a fun trip.

Western Cape trip report

Large-billed Lark was one of the nine lark species we saw on this Cape birding tour.

Bird ListFollowing IOC (13.2)

Birds ‘heard only’ are marked with (H) after the common name, birds seen by the guide only are marked with a (G) after the common name, all other species were seen both by clients and guide.

The following notation after species names is used to show conservation status following BirdLife International. EN = Endangered, VU = Vulnerable, NT = Near-Threatened.

Common NameScientific Name
Ostriches (Struthionidae)
Common OstrichStruthio camelus
Ducks, Geese, Swans (Anatidae)
Fulvous Whistling DuckDendrocygna bicolor
White-backed DuckThalassornis leuconotus
Spur-winged GoosePlectropterus gambensis
Egyptian GooseAlopochen aegyptiaca
South African ShelduckTadorna cana
Cape ShovelerSpatula smithii
African Black DuckAnas sparsa
Yellow-billed DuckAnas undulata
Cape TealAnas capensis
Red-billed TealAnas erythrorhyncha
Southern PochardNetta erythrophthalma
Maccoa Duck – ENOxyura maccoa
Guineafowl (Numididae)
Helmeted GuineafowlNumida meleagris
Pheasants & Allies (Phasianidae)
Grey-winged FrancolinScleroptila afra
Cape SpurfowlPternistis capensis
Nightjars (Caprimulgidae)
Fiery-necked NightjarCaprimulgus pectoralis
Swifts (Apodidae)
African Palm SwiftCypsiurus parvus
Alpine SwiftTachymarptis melba
African Black SwiftApus barbatus
Little SwiftApus affinis
White-rumped SwiftApus caffer
Bustards (Otididae)
Karoo KorhaanHeterotetrax vigorsii
Southern Black Korhaan – VUAfrotis afra
Sandgrouse (Pteroclidae)
Namaqua SandgrousePterocles namaqua
Pigeons, Doves (Columbidae)
Rock DoveColumba livia
Speckled PigeonColumba guinea
Lemon DoveColumba larvata
Red-eyed DoveStreptopelia semitorquata
Ring-necked DoveStreptopelia capicola
Laughing DoveSpilopelia senegalensis
Namaqua DoveOena capensis
Rails, Crakes & Coots (Rallidae)
African RailRallus caerulescens
Common MoorhenGallinula chloropus
Red-knobbed CootFulica cristata
African SwamphenPorphyrio madagascariensis
Cranes (Gruidae)
Blue Crane – VUGrus paradisea
Grebes (Podicipedidae)
Little GrebeTachybaptus ruficollis
Great Crested GrebePodiceps cristatus
Black-necked GrebePodiceps nigricollis
Flamingos (Phoenicopteridae)
Greater FlamingoPhoenicopterus roseus
Lesser FlamingoPhoeniconaias minor
Stone-curlews, Thick-knees (Burhinidae)
Spotted Thick-kneeBurhinus capensis
Oystercatchers (Haematopodidae)
African OystercatcherHaematopus moquini
Stilts, Avocets (Recurvirostridae)
Black-winged StiltHimantopus himantopus
Pied AvocetRecurvirostra avosetta
Plovers (Charadriidae)
Blacksmith LapwingVanellus armatus
Crowned LapwingVanellus coronatus
Grey PloverPluvialis squatarola
Common Ringed PloverCharadrius hiaticula
Kittlitz’s PloverCharadrius pecuarius
Three-banded PloverCharadrius tricollaris
White-fronted PloverCharadrius marginatus
Chestnut-banded PloverCharadrius pallidus
Sandpipers, Snipes (Scolopacidae)
Eurasian WhimbrelNumenius phaeopus
Bar-tailed GodwitLimosa lapponica
Ruddy TurnstoneArenaria interpres
RuffCalidris pugnax
Curlew SandpiperCalidris ferruginea
SanderlingCalidris alba
Little StintCalidris minuta
Red-necked PhalaropePhalaropus lobatus
Common SandpiperActitis hypoleucos
Common GreenshankTringa nebularia
Gulls, Terns, Skimmers (Laridae)
Grey-headed GullChroicocephalus cirrocephalus
Hartlaub’s GullChroicocephalus hartlaubii
Kelp GullLarus dominicanus
Caspian TernHydroprogne caspia
Greater Crested TernThalasseus bergii
Sandwich TernThalasseus sandvicensis
Common TernSterna hirundo
Antarctic TernSterna vittata
Whiskered TernChlidonias hybrida
Penguins (Spheniscidae)
African Penguin – ENSpheniscus demersus
Petrels, Shearwaters, Diving Petrels (Procellariidae)
Northern Giant PetrelMacronectes halli
White-chinned Petrel – VUProcellaria aequinoctialis
Sooty ShearwaterArdenna grisea
Gannets, Boobies (Sulidae)
Cape Gannet – ENMorus capensis
Anhingas, Darters (Anhingidae)
African DarterAnhinga rufa
Cormorants, Shags (Phalacrocoracidae)
Reed CormorantMicrocarbo africanus
Crowned CormorantMicrocarbo coronatus
Bank Cormorant – ENPhalacrocorax neglectus
Cape Cormorant – ENPhalacrocorax capensis
White-breasted CormorantPhalacrocorax lucidus
Ibises, Spoonbills (Threskiornithidae)
African Sacred IbisThreskiornis aethiopicus
Hadada IbisBostrychia hagedash
Glossy IbisPlegadis falcinellus
African SpoonbillPlatalea alba
Herons, Bitterns (Ardeidae)
Black-crowned Night HeronNycticorax nycticorax
Western Cattle EgretBubulcus ibis
Grey HeronArdea cinerea
Black-headed HeronArdea melanocephala
Little EgretEgretta garzetta
Pelicans (Pelecanidae)
Great White PelicanPelecanus onocrotalus
Secretarybird (Sagittariidae)
Secretarybird – ENSagittarius serpentarius
Kites, Hawks, Eagles (Accipitridae)
Black-winged KiteElanus caeruleus
African Harrier-HawkPolyboroides typus
Black-chested Snake EagleCircaetus pectoralis
Booted EagleHieraaetus pennatus
Verreaux’s EagleAquila verreauxii
Pale Chanting GoshawkMelierax canorus
African GoshawkAccipiter tachiro
Rufous-breasted SparrowhawkAccipiter rufiventris
Black SparrowhawkAccipiter melanoleucus
African Marsh HarrierCircus ranivorus
Black Harrier – ENCircus maurus
Yellow-billed KiteMilvus aegyptius
Common BuzzardButeo buteo
Jackal BuzzardButeo rufofuscus
Owls (Strigidae)
Spotted Eagle-OwlBubo africanus
Mousebirds (Coliidae)
Speckled MousebirdColius striatus
White-backed MousebirdColius colius
Red-faced MousebirdUrocolius indicus
Hoopoes (Upupidae)
African HoopoeUpupa africana
Kingfishers (Alcedinidae)
Malachite KingfisherCorythornis cristatus
Pied KingfisherCeryle rudis
Bee-eaters (Meropidae)
European Bee-eaterMerops apiaster
African Barbets (Lybiidae)
Acacia Pied BarbetTricholaema leucomelas
Woodpeckers (Picidae)
Ground WoodpeckerGeocolaptes olivaceus
Cardinal WoodpeckerDendropicos fuscescens
Olive WoodpeckerDendropicos griseocephalus
Caracaras, Falcons (Falconidae)
Rock KestrelFalco rupicolus
Greater KestrelFalco rupicoloides
Lanner FalconFalco biarmicus
Wattle-eyes, Batises (Platysteiridae)
Cape BatisBatis capensis
Pririt BatisBatis pririt
Bushshrikes (Malaconotidae)
BokmakierieTelophorus zeylonus
Southern BoubouLaniarius ferrugineus
Drongos (Dicruridae)
Fork-tailed DrongoDicrurus adsimilis
Monarchs (Monarchidae)
African Paradise FlycatcherTerpsiphone viridis
Shrikes (Laniidae)
Southern FiscalLanius collaris
Crows, Jays (Corvidae)
House CrowCorvus splendens
Pied CrowCorvus albus
White-necked RavenCorvus albicollis
Rockjumpers (Chaetopidae)
Cape RockjumperChaetops frenatus
Fairy Flycatchers (Stenostiridae)
Fairy FlycatcherStenostira scita
Tits, Chickadees (Paridae)
Grey TitMelaniparus afer
Penduline Tits (Remizidae)
Cape Penduline TitAnthoscopus minutus
Larks (Alaudidae)
Spike-heeled LarkChersomanes albofasciata
Karoo Long-billed LarkCerthilauda subcoronata
Cape Long-billed LarkCerthilauda curvirostris
Black-eared Sparrow-LarkEremopterix australis
Grey-backed Sparrow-LarkEremopterix verticalis
Karoo LarkCalendulauda albescens
Cape Clapper LarkMirafra apiata
Large-billed LarkGalerida magnirostris
Red-capped LarkCalandrella cinerea
Bulbuls (Pycnonotidae)
Sombre GreenbulAndropadus importunus
Cape BulbulPycnonotus capensis
Swallows, Martins (Hirundinidae)
Black Saw-wingPsalidoprocne pristoptera
Banded MartinNeophedina cincta
Brown-throated MartinRiparia paludicola
Rock MartinPtyonoprogne fuligula
Pearl-breasted SwallowHirundo dimidiata
White-throated SwallowHirundo albigularis
Barn SwallowHirundo rustica
Greater Striped SwallowCecropis cucullata
Crombecs, African Warblers (Macrosphenidae)
Cape GrassbirdSphenoeacus afer
Long-billed CrombecSylvietta rufescens
Victorin’s WarblerCryptillas victorini
Reed Warblers & Allies (Acrocephalidae)
Lesser Swamp WarblerAcrocephalus gracilirostris
Common Reed WarblerAcrocephalus scirpaceus
Grassbirds & Allies (Locustellidae)
Little Rush WarblerBradypterus baboecala
Cisticolas & Allies (Cisticolidae)
Grey-backed CisticolaCisticola subruficapilla
Levaillant’s CisticolaCisticola tinniens
NeddickyCisticola fulvicapilla
Zitting CisticolaCisticola juncidis
Cloud CisticolaCisticola textrix
Karoo PriniaPrinia maculosa
Namaqua WarblerPhragmacia substriata
Bar-throated ApalisApalis thoracica
Rufous-eared WarblerMalcorus pectoralis
Cinnamon-breasted WarblerEuryptila subcinnamomea
Yellow-bellied EremomelaEremomela icteropygialis
Karoo EremomelaEremomela gregalis
Sylviid Babblers (Sylviidae)
Layard’s WarblerCurruca layardi
Chestnut-vented WarblerCurruca subcoerulea
White-eyes (Zosteropidae)
Cape White-eyeZosterops virens
Sugarbirds (Promeropidae)
Cape SugarbirdPromerops cafer
Starlings, Rhabdornises (Sturnidae)
Common StarlingSturnus vulgaris
Pied StarlingLamprotornis bicolor
Red-winged StarlingOnychognathus morio
Pale-winged StarlingOnychognathus nabouroup
Thrushes (Turdidae)
Olive ThrushTurdus olivaceus
Chats, Old World Flycatchers (Muscicapidae)
Karoo Scrub RobinCercotrichas coryphoeus
Fiscal FlycatcherSigelus silens
African Dusky FlycatcherMuscicapa adusta
Cape Robin-ChatDessonornis caffer
Cape Rock ThrushMonticola rupestris
African StonechatSaxicola torquatus
Karoo ChatEmarginata schlegelii
Tractrac ChatEmarginata tractrac
Ant-eating ChatMyrmecocichla formicivora
Mountain WheatearMyrmecocichla monticola
Capped WheatearOenanthe pileata
Familiar ChatOenanthe familiaris
Sunbirds (Nectariniidae)
Orange-breasted SunbirdAnthobaphes violacea
Amethyst SunbirdChalcomitra amethystina
Malachite SunbirdNectarinia famosa
Southern Double-collared SunbirdCinnyris chalybeus
Dusky SunbirdCinnyris fuscus
Old World Sparrows, Snowfinches (Passeridae)
Cape SparrowPasser melanurus
House SparrowPasser domesticus
Weavers, Widowbirds (Ploceidae)
Cape WeaverPloceus capensis
Southern Masked WeaverPloceus velatus
Southern Red BishopEuplectes orix
Yellow BishopEuplectes capensis
Waxbills, Munias & Allies (Estrildidae)
Bronze MannikinSpermestes cucullata
Swee WaxbillCoccopygia melanotis
Common WaxbillEstrilda astrild
Indigobirds, Whydahs (Viduidae)
Pin-tailed WhydahVidua macroura
Wagtails, Pipits (Motacillidae)
Cape WagtailMotacilla capensis
Cape LongclawMacronyx capensis
African PipitAnthus cinnamomeus
Nicholson’s PipitAnthus nicholsoni
Finches, Euphonias (Fringillidae)
Eurasian ChaffinchFringilla coelebs
Forest CanaryCrithagra scotops
Cape SiskinCrithagra totta
Yellow CanaryCrithagra flaviventris
Brimstone CanaryCrithagra sulphurata
Streaky-headed SeedeaterCrithagra gularis
White-throated CanaryCrithagra albogularis
Protea Canary – NTCrithagra leucoptera
Cape CanarySerinus canicollis
Black-headed CanarySerinus alario
Buntings (Emberizidae)
Lark-like BuntingEmberiza impetuani
Cinnamon-breasted BuntingEmberiza tahapisi
Cape BuntingEmberiza capensis
Species Seen223
Species heard only5
Total species recorded228

Mammal List

Common NameScientific Name
Hyraxes (Procaviidae)
Rock HyraxProcavia capensis
  
Rabbits and Hares (Leporidae)
Scrub HareLepus saxatilis
  
Squirrels and Relatives (Sciuridae)
Eastern Grey SquirrelSciurus carolinensis
  
Old World Mice, Rats and Gerbils (Muridae)
Karoo Bush RatMyotomys unisulcatus
  
Old World Monkeys (Cercopithecidae)
Chacma BaboonPapio ursinus
  
Mongooses and Fossa (Herpestidae)
Cape Grey MongooseHerpestes pulverulentus
  
Eared Seals (Otariidae)
Afro-Australian Fur SealArctocephalus pusillus
  
Bovids (Bovidae)
Common ElandTragelaphus oryx
GemsbokOryx gazella
Blesbok (Bontebok)Damaliscus pygargus
SpringbokAntidorcas marsuplialis
SteenbokRaphicerus campestris
KlipspringerOreotragus oreotragus
 
Total species seen:13

Reptile List

Common NameScientific Name
Tortoises (Testudinidae)
Angulate TortoiseChersina angulata
  
Vipers (Viperidae)
Puff AdderBitis ariedans
  
Skinks (Scincidae)
Variegated SkinkTrachylepis variegata
  
Agamas (Agamidae)
Southern Rock AgamaAgama atra
 
Total species seen:4

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