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Aves Highlands / Tembe Birding Tour / Safari / Adventure.   

The Aves Highlands / Tembe Birding Tour / Safari / Adventure covers highlands and lowlands with diverse habitats, resulting in extremely exciting birding. The tour includes no fewer than five Important Bird Areas: -

  • Golden Gate National Park
  • Itala Game Reserve
  • Ndumo Game Reserve [Ramsar site]
  • Tembe Elephant Park
  • Wakkerstroom

Golden Gate National Park is an exceptionally scenic park with magnificent sandstone cliffs, patches of montane forest, montane grassland and numerous streams. Most the special birds can be found close to the roads.

Itala Game Reserve is famous for its diversity of vegetation, bird and 75 mammal species.. Much of the reserve consists of rocky and woodland slopes.

Ndumo Game Reserve  boasts one of the best Bird lists in Southern Africa.

Tembe Elephant Reserve is just east of Ndumo offering similar birding to Ndumo with the addition of Woodward�s Batis and the Plain Backed Sunbird.

Wakkerstroom has been propelled into the International Birding limelight by grassland specials, such as the localized Rudd�s Lark, Botha�s Lark, and Yellow-breasted Pipit.

 

IBA

5

Endemic                                 

58

Near Endemics:                      

23

Breeding Endemic 

2

 

     Bird Lists: -

     

    Golden Gate

    150

    Itala 

    314+

    Ndumo 

    420+

    Tembe       

    416+

    Wakkerstroom 

    250+

     

     

     

      Specials: -

      Birds: -

      African Hawk Eagle, Southern Banded Snake Eagle, Lammergeier, Sooty Falcon, Pel�s Fishing Owl, Bateleur, Southern Ground Hornbill,  Mocking Cliff-chat, Purple-crested Turaco, African Green Pigeon, White-eared Barbet�s, Retz�s Helmut Shrike, Black-winged Lapwing, Grey Waxbill. [ Excluding Endemic�s and Near Endemic�s]

      Mammals: -

      Elephant, Lion,  Black and White Rhinoceros, Leopard, Buffalo, [Big 5] Hippopotamus, Crocodiles, Giraffe, Burchell�s Zebra, Roan Antelope, Impala, Nyala, Bushbuck, Red Duiker and Suni

      Trees: -

      Sweet Thorn � Acacia karroo, Mountain Hard Pear �Olinia emarginata, Sacred Coral Tree � Erythrina lysistemon, Highveld Cabbage Tree � Cussonia paniculata, Scented Thorn � Acacia Niclotia, Fever Tree � Acacia xanthophloea, Brown Cluster Fig � Ficus sur, Common Wild Fig � Ficus burkei, Oldwood � Leucosidea sericea.

      Accommodation: -

      Bethlehem                 

      �Die Nes� Guest House***

      1 Night

      Ithala Game Reserve

      Ntshondwe Camp***   

      2 Nights

      Tembe Elephant Park

      Tembe Elephant Lodge****

      2 Nights

      Wakkerstroom 

      Wakkerstroom Country Inn***

      1 Night

       

      Tour Price Range: -

      From as little as $976  per person sharing to $1,407 per person sharing for the Aves Highlands/Tembe seven day Birding Tour. 

       

      Day 1

       

      08:30

      Depart from O.R. Tambo International Airport.

       

      10:00

      Pitstop at Villiers. Bird the Vaal River.

       

      Birds: -

      Karoo Thrush, South African Shelduck, Grey-winged Francolin, Northern Black Korhaan, Cape Shoveller, Secretarybird, Helmeted Guineafowl, Yellow-billed Duck, Egyptian Geese, Red-knobbed Coot, Reed Cormorant, Black-shouldered Kite, Steppe Buzzard.

       

      11:00

      Depart for Bethlehem via Frankfort, Tweeling and Reitz.

       

      Birds: -

      Blue Korhaan, Grey-winged Francolin, Northern Black Korhaan, South African Shelduck, Secretarybird, Spurwinged Geese, Black Sparrowhawk, Steppe Buzzard, Rock Kestrel,

       

      13:00

      Lunch in Bethlehem.

       

      14:00

      Bird in and around Bethlehem and Pretorius-kloof Bird Sanctuary.

       

      Birds: -

      Black-headed Canary, Southern Bald Ibis, Blue Crane, Jackal Buzzard, Black Harrier, Blue Korhaan, Northern Black Korhaan, Karoo Thrush, Cape Grassbird, Fiscal Flycatcher, Southern Boubou, Southern Double Collared Sunbird, South African Shelduck, Ground Woodpecker, Cape Vulture, Laylard�s Tit-babbler, Karoo Prinia, Karoo Thrush, Sickle-winged Chat, Cape Rock Thrush, Bearded Vulture, Rufous-chested Sparrowhawk, African Harrier Hawk, Verreaux�s Eagle, Booted Eagle, Martial Eagle, Greater Kestrel, Lanner Falcon.

       

      18:30

      Book into �Die Nes� Guest House.

       

      20:00

      Dinner at Guest House

       

      Day 2

       

      06:45

      Breakfast and Book out.

       

      07:45

      Bird Golden Gate National Park.

       

      Birds: -

      Blue Korhaan, Blue Crane, Cape Vulture, Southern Bald Ibis, Drakensberg Rock-jumper, Sentinel Rock-thrush, Buff-Streaked Chat, Gurney�s Sugarbird, Greater Double Collared Sunbird, Melodious Lark, Yellow-breasted Pipit, African Rock Pipit, Drakensberg Sisken, Mountain Wheatear, Cape Bunting,  Pergrine Falcon, White-necked Raven, Mountain Pipit, African Black Duck, African Black Swifts, Malachite Sunbird, Cinnamon-breasted Bunting.

       

      Mammals: -

      Black Wildebeest, Blesbok and Southern African Hedgehog.

       

      10:00

      Depart for Ladysmith via Sterkfontein Dam and Bergville.

       

      Birds: -

      Bush Blackcap, Fairy Flycatcher, Yellow-breasted Pipit, Gurney�s Sugarbird, Cape Vulture, Ant-eating Chat, Cape Weaver, Sickle-winged Chat, Melodious Lark, Bearded Vulture, Lanner Falcon, Black Stork, Cape Eagle Owl, Denham�s Bustard, Short-tailed Pipit, Shelly�s Francolin, Barrow�s Korhaan, Red-necked Spurfowl, Mountain Wagtail, Lazy Cisticola

       

      13:00

      Lunch in Ladysmith.

       

      14:00

      Depart for Itala Game Reserve, via Dundee and Vryheid.

       

      Birds: -

      South African Shelduck, Bush Blackcap, Pink-billed Lark,  Barrow�s Korhaan, Denham�s Bustard, Grey Crowned Crane, African Crowned Eagle, African Marsh and Grass Owls, Blue Crane, Common Fiscal, Cattle Egret, Black-headed Heron, Secretarybird,

       

      17:30

      Book into Itala Game Reserve Chalets.

       

      18:15

      Bird Itala Camp.

       

      Birds: -

      Greater Double Collared Sunbird, Cape White-eye, Swee Waxbill, Cape Canary, African Green Pigeon, Red-fronted Tinkerbird, Bronze Mannikin, Mocking Cliff-Chat, Striped Pipit, Southern Black Flycatcher, Cape Robin Chat.

       

      19:30

      Dinner in Camp Restaurant.

       

      Day 3

       

      06:30

      Drive Onverwacht Loop.

       

      Birds: -

      Cape Longclaw, Cape Canary, Barrow�s Korhaan, Southern Ground Hornbill, Denham�s Bustard, Black-winged Lapwing, Plain-backed Pipit, African Stone Chat, White-browed Scrub Robin, Croaking, Wing-snapping and Cloud Cisticola�s and Cuckoo Finch.

       

      Mammals: -

      Plains Zebra, Tsessebe, Warthog, White Rhino, Black-backed Jackal, Wildebeest, Oribi, 

       

       

      07:45

      Breakfast.

       

      08:45

      Drive Ngubhu Loop.

       

      Birds: -

      Forest Buzzard, White-throated Robin-Chat, Chorister Robin-chat, Southern Bald Ibis, Barratt�s Warbler, Forest Canary, African Hoopoe, Verreaux�s Eagle,  Trumpter Hornbill, Purple-crested Turaco, African Green Pigeon, Shelley�s Francolin, Brown-backed Honeybird, Mocking Cliff-chat, Red-backed Shrike, Common Waxbill, Malachite Sunbird, Red-winged Starling, Familiar Chat, Southern Black Flycatcher.

       

      Mammals: -

      Rock Dassie, Eland, Buffalo, Impala, Black Rhino, Chacma Baboon, Leopard, Reedbuck

       

      12:00

      Return to Camp.

       

      12:30

      Lunch.

       

      15:00

      Drive Phongolo and Duda Loops.

       

      Birds: -

      White-throated Robin Chat, Chorister Robin-chat, Pied Starling, Cape Vulture, Cape Weaver, Forest Canary, Swee Waxbill,  Lanner Falcon, Amur Falcon, Rock Kestrel, Purple-crested Turaco, Lappet-faced Vulture, Bateleur, Martial Eagle, Secretary Bird, Half-collared Kingfisher, Southern Boubou, Long-tailed Widowbird, Southern Red Bishop, Amethyst Sunbird, Blue Waxbill, 

       

       

      Mammals: -

      Elephant, Giraffe, Nyala, Black Rhino, Bushbuck,

       

      18:00

      Return to Camp

       

      19:00

      Dinner in Camp Restaurant.

       

      20:00

      Game drive.

       

      Birds: -

      Freckled Nightjar, Fiery-necked Nightjar, Spotted Eagle Owl, African Grass Owl, Barn Owl, Southern White-faced Owl, Marsh Owl.

       

      Mammals: -

      Aardwolf, Serval, Black-backed Jackal, African Striped Weasel, Leopard. 

       

      Day 4

       

      06:15

      Drive Sunjwana and Duda Loops.

       

      Birds: -

      Pied Starling, Cape Vulture, Cape Weaver, Swee Waxbill, Olive Bush Shrike, Lanner Falcon, Amur Falcon, Rock Kestrel, Purple-crested Turaco, Lappet-faced Vulture, Bateleur, Martial Eagle, Secretary Bird, Half-collared Kingfisher, Long-tailed Widowbird, Southern Red Bishop, Amethyst Sunbird, Blue Waxbill,

       

       

      08:30

      Breakfast and Book out.

       

      09:45

      Drive Onverwacht Loop.

       

      Birds: -

      Cape Longclaw, Barrow�s Korhaan, Southern Ground Hornbill, Denham�s Bustard, Black-winged Lapwing, Plain-backed Pipit, African Stone Chat, White-browed Scrub Robin, Croaking, Wing-snapping and Cloud Cisticola�s and Cuckoo Finch.

       

      Mammals: -

      Plains Zebra, Tsessebe, Warthog, White Rhino, Black-backed Jackal, Wildebeest, Oribi, 

       

       

      10:45

      Drive to Mkuzi.

       

      Birds: -

      Bokmakerie, Common Fiscal, Magpie Shrike, Grey Cuckooshrike, Lesser Grey Shrike, Black Cuckooshrike, Brubru, Long-tailed Paradise-Whydah, Brimstone Canary,

       

      12:30

      Lunch at Ghost Mountain Inn and Bird the Grounds.

       

      Birds: -

      Southern Tchagra, Southern Boubou, Grey-headed Bush-shrike, Orange-breasted Bush-shrike, Gorgeous Bush-shrike, Black-backed Puffback, Pin-tailed Whydah, Streaky-Headed Canary, Black-collared Barbet, Red-faced Mousebird, Cape Robin-chat, Scarlet Chested Sunbird.

       

      14:00

      Depart for Tembe Elephant Park via Jozini Dam.

       

      Birds: -

      Southern Yellow-billed Hornbill, Crested Francolin, Pied Kingfisher, White-Faced Duck, Fulvous Duck, Red-billed Teal, Crested Guineafowl, Black-headed Heron, Goliath Heron, African Grey Hornbill, Crested Barbet, Magpie Shrike, Burchell�s Starling, Olive-tree Warbler, Bennett�s Woodpecker, Green Wood-hoopoe, Lilac-breasted Roller, White-Fronted Bee-eater,

       

      16:30

      Book into Tembe Lodge.

       

      17:00

      Bird Lodge Grounds.

       

      Birds: -

      Brown Scrub Robin, White-throated Robin-Chat, Plain-backed Sunbird, Woodward�s Batis, African Boardbill, Black-throated Wattle �eye,  Common Scimitarbill, Purple Roller, Kurrichane Thrush, Groundscraper Thrush, Ashy Flycatcher, White-browed Robin-Chat, Woodland Kingfisher, Orange Breasted Bush Shrike, Cape Robin-Chat

       

      20:00

      Dinner.

       

      21:00

      Night Drive

       

      Birds: -

      Barn Owl, African Scops Owl, Southern White-faced Owl, Pearl Spotted Owlet, Marsh Owl, Spotted Eagle Owl, African Wood Owl, Pel�s Fishing Owl, Verreaux�s Eagle Owl, Swamp Nightjar, Freckled Nightjar, Fiery-necked Nightjar, Square-tailed Nightjar.

       

      Mammals: -

      Lion, Leopard, Spotted Hyaena, Elephant, Giraffe, White and Black Rhino�s, Impala Suni, Red Duiker.

       

      Day 5

       

      06:15

      Drive to Ndumo Game Reserve, one of the best birding areas in Southern Africa.

       

      07:00

      Ranger guided walk to see Pel�s Fishing Owl.

       

      Birds: -

      African Fish-eagle, White-eared Barbet, Yellow-rumped Tinkerbird, Red-billed Hornbill, Lilac-breasted Roller, Livingston�s Turaco, Malachite Kingfisher, Striped Kingfisher, African Finfoot, Little Bee-eater, Narina Trogon, Green Malkoha, Brown-headed Parrot, Gabar Goshawk, Grey-headed Bush-shrike, Black Coucal, Scarlet Chested Sunbird.

       

      09:30

      Picnic Breakfast at Hutted Camp.

       

      10:00

      Drive to Vulture Restaurant, Diphini Hide, Red Cliffs, Matandeni Hide.

       

      Birds: -

      Slaty Egret, Sabota Lark, Southern Banded Snake Eagle, Bateleur, White-backed Vulture, African Cuckoo Hawk, Sooty Falcon, Crested Guineafowl, African Jacana, Water Thick-knee, Yellow-billed, Woolly-necked and Saddle-billed Storks, Southern Ground Hornbill, Whiskered and White-winged Terns, African Pygmy Goose, Rufous-belied, Goliath and Black Herons, Grey-headed Bush-shrike, Marico Sunbird, Bennett�s Woodpecker, 

       

       

      Mammals: -

      Hippo, Crocodile, Nyala, Waterbuck, Bushbuck, Impala, Common Duiker, Vervet and Samango Monkey�s.

       

      14:00

      Lunch at Tembe Camp.

       

      15:00

      Drive to Mahlasela Pan, Musi Swamp, Ponweni Hide, Ezinaleni Pans and KuDukuza Forest.

       

      Birds: -

      Rudd�s Apalis, Neergard�s Sunbird, Pink-throated Twinspot, Palmnut Vulture, African Crowned Eagle, Montagu�s Harrier, White-backed Duck, Fulvous Whistling Duck, Comb Duck, Rufous-bellied Heron, Squacco Heron, Glossy Ibis, Livingston�s Turaco, Lesser Moorhen, Greater Painted Snipe, Lesser Jacana, Eastern Saw-wing, Grey-rumped Swallow, Woodward�s Batis, White-bellied Sunbird, Plain-backed Sunbird, Scaly-throated Honeyguide, Broad-billed Roller, Square-tailed Drongo, Senegal Lapwing, Retz�s Helmet-shrike, Black-throated Wattle-eye, Bearded Scrub-robin, Eastern Nicator, Green-capped Eremomela, Bushveld Pipit, Grey Waxbill, Southern Brown Throated Weaver, Black-bellied Starling.

       

      Mammals: -

      Lion, Elephant, Hippo, White and Black Rhino, Waterbuck, Crocodile, Vervet and Samango Monkey�s.

       

      19:00

      Return to Camp.

       

      20:00

      Dinner

       

      Day 6

       

      06:00

      Bird and Game drive, searching for the specials not seen the previous days.

       

      07:45

      Breakfast

       

      08:45

      Depart for Wakkerstroom via Jozini, Pongola, and Piet Retief.

       

      Birds: -

      Bush Blackcap, Cape Batis, Drakensberg Prinia, Greater Double Collared Sunbird, Buff-streaked Chat, Secretarybird, Wattled Crane, Crowned Crane, Black-bellied and Denham�s Bustards, Brown Snake Eagle, Martial Eagle, African Marsh Harrier, Black Sparrowhawk, African Goshawk, Amur Falcon, Natal Spurfowl, Lemon Dove, African Olive-pigeon, Shelley�s Francolin, Magpie Shrike, Common Fiscal, African Stone Chat.

       

      13:30

      Lunch at Wakkerstroom Country Inn.

       

      15:30

      Drive Botha�s and Rudd�s Larks Loop.

       

      Birds: -

      Botha�s, Eastern long-billed and Rudd�s Larks, Blue Korhaan, Blue Crane, Southern Bald Ibis, Cape Longclaw, Ground Woodpecker, Sentinel Rock Thrush, Buff Streaked Chat, Bush Blackcap, Spike-heeled Lark, Red-capped Lark, Amur Falcon, Lesser Kestrel, Denham�s Bustard, Banded Martin, Great Crested, Black-necked and Little Grebe�s, Maccoa Duck, Southern Pochard,  Red-winged Francolin, Yellow-crowned Bishop, African Pipit, Wing-snapping Cisticola,

       

      Mammals: -

      Yellow Mongoose, Suricate, African Clawless Otter, Grey Rhebok, Black Wildebeest and Blesbok.

       

      18:30

      Return to Wakkerstroom Country Inn.

       

      20:00

      Dinner.

       

      Day 7

       

      06:30

      Drive Yellow-breasted Pipit drive.

       

      Birds: -

      Black Harrier, Yellow-breasted Pipit, Ground Woodpecker, Sentinel Rock Thrush, Buff Streaked Chat, Eastern Long-billed Lark, Rudd�s Lark, Mountain Wheatear, 

       

      08:00

      Breakfast and Book out.

       

      09:30

      Drive the Wetland Loop,

       

      Birds: -

      African Shelduck, Ground Woodpecker, Cape Weaver,African Rock Pipit, Barn, South African Cliff, White-throated, Greater Striped Swallows, House and Brown-throated Martins, Little and White-rumped Swifts, African Rail, Malachite Kingfisher, African Grass Owl, Grey Crowned Crane, African Purple Swamphen, Purple Heron, Yellow-billed Egret, African Snipe, Levaillant�s Cisticola, Little Rush Warbler, Little Bittern, Red-chested Flufftail and Ballion�s Crake.

       

      12:00

      Drive to Volksrust.

       

      12:45

      Lunch in Volksrust.

       

      14:00         

      Depart for O.R. Tambo International Airport via Standerton, Balfour and Heidelberg.

       

      Birds: -

      Jackal Buzzard, Grey-winged Francolin, Orange River Francolin, Natal Spurfowl, Eastern Clapper Lark, Acacia Pied Barbet,  Red-winged Francolin, Amur Falcon, Black Shouldered Kite, Swainson�s Spurfowl, Crested Barbet, African Hoopoe, Pied Kingfisher, Red-faced Mousebird, Grey Go-away-bird, Speckled Pigeon, Cape Turtle Dove, Temminck�s Courser, Yellow Bishop, Southern Red Bishop, Long-tailed Widowbird, Red-collared Widowbird, White-winged Widowbird. 

       

      18:00

      Arrive O.R.Tambo International Airport, Johannesburg, South Africa.

       

       


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        Aves Arid Birding Tour / Safari, South Africa.
        Aves Eastern Cape Birding Tour / Safari, South Africa.
        Aves Highlands / Tembe Birding Tour / Safari, South Africa.
        Aves KZN Birding Tour / Safari, South Africa.
        Aves North East Birding Tour / Safari, South Africa.
        Aves North West Birding Tour / Safari, South Africa.
        Aves Western Cape Birding Tour / Safari, South Africa.
        Aves West Coast Birding Tour / Safari, South Africa.
           
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