Birding Safari


Adding to the rich biodiversity of mammal life, the Kruger National Park is a paradise for birders. With just over 500 species to twitch its a birding paradise and one not to miss. Our birding Day Safari focusses on the major hotspots in the Southern Region and is completely focussed on finding those “lifers”.


Duration: 9 Hours
Price From: R 1,150 per person
(Excludes KNP Conservation Levy)

Birding in the Kruger National Park
The Kruger National Park has got to be one of the great South African birding spots with more than half the occurring species being found within its boundaries.
With incredible and varying habitat found within its 20,000 square kilometers the area lends itself to a great mixture of stunning bird species. There are approximately 520 species of birds recorded with the Kruger National Park. Of the 520 recoded species there are roughly 200 species that are summer visitors from Eurasia and elsewhere in Africa. These visitors include the following species:
  • Steppe Eagle
  • Steppe Buzzard
  • Lesser Spotted Eagle
  • Yellow billed Kite
  • All Cuckoo species
  • White Storks
  • Woodland and Grey Headed Kingfishers
  • Amur Falcon
  • Carmine Bee-eater
  • Lesser kestrel

  • There are considered to be roughly 380 species that are resident in the park all year round. Some of these species include the beautiful Bateleur, Martial Eagle, Lilac Breasted Roller, all the Herons and Hornbills as well the heaviest flying bird, the Kori Bustard. The Vultures are also all year round residents.
    The Kruger National Park is regarded as being the best destinations to view all the great birds of prey with 15 of the 17 Eagle species being found and 80 raptor species being recorded. Kruger has served as a safe haven for many of these raptor species as a result of continued habitat destruction outside of the park.
    Kruger’s Bio-Diversity & Birding
    One of the key factors that’s promotes Kruger’s birding diversity is that its northern most boundary on the Limpopo River (Zimbabwe border) straddles the Topic of Capricorn. This forms the Southern most boundary for central African tropical species ranging from the equator down and the Northern most boundary for many of the Southern African species. In between these to boundaries we find a varied habitats determined by climate and rainfall. From the rocky Lebombo mountains to low lying savanna, acacia thick and grasslands these particular systems come together creating an abundant biome that supports Kruger’s many wonderful bird species.
    With seasonal changes and climate variation here is an annual indication of how these factors determine the quality of birding in the Kruger National Park.
    Kruger Park Birding Calendar
    Basic overview or Hot Spot areas on our Safaria Birding Day Safari

    Collection & Departure:
    To conveniently access the Sabie River and Skukuza Thick areas we enter at Paul Kruger Gate. During the summer months from October to March we start our Birding Safari at 05h30am from the Gate. Guests will be collected on an Open Safari Vehicle with Guide.
    Guests should request breakfast packs from their accommodation or are welcome to bring with their own preferred snacks. These can be eaten on the vehicle to maximize viewing.
    Basic Itinerary:
    Section 1 - 05h30am to 09h00am – Sabie River Riparian Zone Section 2 - 09h30am to 12h30am – Lake Panic, Golf Course & Nursery
    Break for Lunch Section 3 - 13h30am to 15h00am – Sabie River Banks Section 4 - 15h30am to 17h00am – Lake Panic
    Safari Tempo:
    We travel very slowly covering a maximum of 60km for the day. We do travel slightly faster between sections but at all times scanning for birds and sounds. Typically between lunch and 15h00pm the birds are very sedentary and still.
    Using the vehicle to provide a 12 O’clock, 3 O’clock, 6 O’clock and 9 O’clock orientation, we will confirm sightings using both a visual and call (sound/song) to verify a sighting. This is captured in duplicate within our Safaria Sightings Journal.
    Typically we do anticipate seeing between 80 and 110 bird species within a Full Day but this cannot be guaranteed as weather and climate conditions vary.
Our Full Day Birding Safari greets the dawn chorus at 05h15am
Guests will either self drive to the designated Kruger Park Gate or have their accommodation transfer them for the early morning start. To ensure that our guests get the most out of their safari drive we recommend departing from either Phabeni or Numbi gate. These gates are located within 10km of Hazyview being the closest main town.
Our guests are kindly requested to pre-sign the Safaria Indemnity form as well as provide ID to their resort or lodge in advance so that we can ensure a quick and easy access through the Parks gates on the morning your safari.
We will enter the gates shortly after there opening (05h30 in summer and 06h00 in winter) but not before enjoying an illy safari cappuccino and listening to the magnificent morning sounds of the African bush.
Our professional guides will introduce you to the splendour of the Kruger National Park and reading the mornings tracks and signs will pick up on the nights activity.
Between 08h30 to 09h15 we will stop at one of the rest camps for breakfast (all meals for your own account) before heading out again into the bush. During each stop we turn on our Safaria vehicle WiFi and give our guests an opportunity to share their experiences with their global family.
We again stop for lunch at 12h00 (usually at Skukuza)
Whilst in the rest camps we will unpack some of the history and iconic landmarks in the camp areas and close vicinity. Part of the magic of Kruger is understanding her history and events that shaped the land.
After lunch we head of on the last stretch of the days safari until 16h00 when we will return back to the designated Gate entrance where you will be collected by your resort or lodge transport and returned to enjoy your sundowners after a day on safari.
Weather Conditions & What to Bring:
The adventure of Safari is often unpredictable so we advise that our guests kindly bring with them the following:
  • Camera
  • A good bush hat for summer months or warm beanie in winter
  • Sunglasses
  • Comfortable shoes
  • Includes
    • Luxury Open Safari Vehicle
    • Still waters
    • Sightings Journal & checklists
    • Specialist guide fees
    • Excludes
    • KNP Entrance fees
    • Breakfast and Lunch
    • Gratuities
    • Items of a personal nature

    • Typically we do anticipate seeing between 80 and 110 bird species within a Full Day but this cannot be guarantees as weather and climate conditions vary. On average during the summer months we collect roughly 95 species in a single day.

Departure Point:

Click on name for direction
Collection at either of the following Kruger National Park Gates:
Numbi Gate GPRS | Paul Kruger Gate GPRS | Phabeni Gate GPRS

Return Point:


Drop-Off at either of the following Kruger National Park Gates:
Numbi Gate GPRS | Paul Kruger Gate GPRS | Phabeni Gate GPRS

Map:


Going onGoing on Safari has always been an exciting but inherently risky adventure. For this reason any guest traveling with Safaria Trading (Pty) Ltd enters the Kruger National Park or any other of the Private Game Reserve at their own risk. An indemnity form is a mandatory requirement and must be signed by every guest when entering the The Kruger National Park or any of the other Parks and Reserves used by Safaria. By acceptance and payment of any Safari offered by Safaria Trading Pty Ltd and its staff, Safaria cannot be held liable for any circumstance or situation that is beyond our control that may influence or negatively affect the quality of Wildlife Sightings and the general Safari experience. Examples of this may be extreme or adverse weather conditions, road closures in the park as well as the surrounding communities, disruptive and unprofessional behavior from outside guests or patrons. Safari has always been an exciting but inherently risky adventure. For this reason any guest traveling with Safaria Trading (Pty) Ltd enters the Kruger National Park or any other of the Private Game Reserve at their own risk. An indemnity form is a mandatory requirement and must be signed by every guest when entering the The Kruger National Park or any of the other Parks and Reserves used by Safaria. By acceptance and payment of any Safari offered by Safaria Trading Pty Ltd and its staff, Safaria cannot be held liable for any circumstance or situation that is beyond our control that may influence or negatively affect the quality of Wildlife Sightings and the general Safari experience. Examples of this may be extreme or adverse weather conditions, road closures in the park as well as the surrounding communities, disruptive and unprofessional behavior from outside guests or patrons.
We will endeavor to seek out the finest wildlife sightings and create the most memorable experiences but sadly Safaria cannot guarantee that we will successfully track or locate the Big 5 or any specifically requested species. What is certain is that our guides will use there their knowledge and experience to bring our guests as close as possible to the unforgettable memories that Africa and the Kruger National Park is able to provide.

We strongly advise that our guests bring with them the typical Safari gear to see and capture those unforgettable sightings but sadly we cannot be held liable for and damage or loss caused to any personal items particularly photographic equipment and binoculars. This also includes any personal luggage held whilst on Safari. Should any of our guests personal items be left in the vehicle we will endeavor to have it returned however the owner will be liable for any costs incurred.

Please note that a booking is only considered 100% confirmed once payment, in full, for the individual or Safari group has been received and acknowledged by Safaria.

Cancellation policy: (Day Safari)


  • We require full payment 2 days prior to going on Safari
  • Should there be a cancellation received after payment has been made and within 3 workings days of going on Safari, this will incur a 50% cancellation fee.
  • Any booking that is cancelled within 24 hours of departure will incur a 100% cancellation fee.
  • In the case of a cancellation where a 3rd party, Lodge, Destination or Operator is involved, such as accommodation, flights, transfer shuttles or coaches, the prevailing Lodge, destination or Operators cancellation policy will apply.

On acceptance and payment of your Day Safari you willingly acknowledge and accept the following conditions:


1. I voluntarily agree to participate in the afore-mentioned activity arranged and provided by Safari Trading Pty Ltd and conducted in the Kruger National Park and surrounding areas. 2. My general health is good and there is nothing that renders me unfit to participate in the afovementioned activity. 3. I acknowledge that there are risks and danger involved in the aforementioned activity. 4. I understand that I will be transported by an Open Safari vehicle, which is exposed, and subject to the natural elements and road conditions. 5. I am aware of the hazards and distribution of malaria in Southern Africa and acknowledge that I will be entering a malaria area. 6. I am aware of the potential dangers of exposure to the sun - directly or indirectly - and that serious sunburn may result from unprotected exposure. 7. I accept Safaria Trading Pty Ltd as well as SANParks conditions of participation and I voluntarily assume the risk inherent in taking part in such a tour. I together with my heirs, executors and administrators hereby release Safaria Trading Pty Ltd, its officers, servants, agents and representatives, from any liability, in connection with my participation in any tour, and from any liability or claims that could accrue to me or my heirs, executors and administrators arising out of my participation in the tour or in any related activities irrespective of whether such claim or claims arose through the negligence of any person, or from any of the risks, dangers or hazards inherent in an African Safari tour, or of any loss of, or damage to, any property from any cause whatsoever and I further indemnify and hold harmless Safaria Trading Pty Ltd.

For Lodge Bookings:


Provisional bookings:


Provisional bookings will hold for a maximum of 7 days after which there will be an automatic release of the space.

Safaria Reserved Rights


In the event that Safaria, at any time, receives another firm enquiry, accompanied by the payment of a 25% deposit, seeking available accommodation being held by any of the lodges in its collection for the Guest, then Safaria reserves the right to request the Guest to immediately release the said accommodation; or Pay a non-refundable deposit to the relevant lodge in the sum equivalent to 25% of the full account, so as to secure the reservation.

Refunds


In the event of a refund, the final refund payment will exclude bank charges / currency fluctuations incurred when payment was received by Safaria. This however, does not include credit card merchant charges.Safaria. This however, does not include credit card merchant charges.

Travel Cancellation Insurance


Guests are obliged to ensure that they have taken out (or the travelling guest has taken out) adequate travel insurance to cover the financial implications of Safaria and its Lodges Cancellation Terms and Conditions. The Guest will bear the sole and absolute responsibility therefore.implications of Safaria and its Lodges Cancellation Terms and Conditions. The Guest will bear the sole and absolute responsibility therefore.

General Accommodation Cancellation Policy:

(Please note that the prevailing Lodges Cancellation Policy will apply)
Birding Safari Kruger National Park: Birding the Southern Region
With the Southern region of the Kruger National Park representing some of the most bio-diverse flora within the 20,000sqm kilometers, it is a particular productive area to go in search of the Kruger Parks 520 recorded birds species. Naturally this is season dependent but following the Sabie River (from the Swazi word Sabisa meaning “to be careful” because of the slipper rocks and crocodiles) between Skukuza and Lower Sabie, a Birding Safari can be richly rewarded as the savanna provides diverse systems to explore. The main road although busy, straddles many different eco-zones providing an interesting mixture of flora.
North of Lower Sabie on the eastern bank of the Sabie River lies an extensive range of sweet grasslands proving ample opportunity to go in search of the many grassland non-passerine species ranging from spur fowl to bustard and korhaans. There is also the possibility of spotting the rarer quails and button-quails.
North of Lower Sabie on the eastern bank of the Sabie River lies an extensive range of sweet grasslands proving ample opportunity to go in search of the many grassland non-passerine species ranging from spur fowl to bustard and korhaans. There is also the possibility of spotting the rarer quails and button-quails.
Staying along the Sabie River front and following the riparian zone of large trees, this is a great vantage point to view some of typical water birds and waders in the Park. There is also the likely chance of viewing many of the larger raptors and aerial scavengers within the river bed or perching in the large trees. These include Vultures, Eagles and Storks.
Within the near vicinity of Skukuza Camp the bush thickens into a deep acacia thorn thick and this provides wonderful habitat for many of the smaller and more colorful birds from waxbills to bush-shrikes, eremomela, pytilia’s and twinspots. A particular favorite of ours is to visit Lake Panic , the Skukuza Golf Course as well as nursery. This gives us the opportunity to leave our vehicle and go on foot in search of some of the species that dominate the thickets. Of particular interest in these areas are the ever elusive Gorgeous Bush Shrike and Narina Trogon. In the summer months one can spend an entire day just in these specific areas. With many large fruiting and flower trees and bushes there is a tremendous foot supply for both the frugivours and insectivorous species. A Birding Safari in the Kruger National Park wouldn’t be complete without visiting Lake Panic. This rather famous location provides all year round water and offers a respectable number of birds even in the winter months. Whilst searching out many of the smaller more elusive bird species guests are also treated to regular large mammal sightings and quite often a short visit from the resident Leopard .
Here is a recent account of a Safaria Birding Safari in the Kruger National Park.
Kruger National Park
Birding Safari with Safaria: February 2018

Our inspiring Guests from The United Kingdom & New Zealand
We welcome all levels of birders from dedicated to occasional as well as true beginners. On this specific Birding Safari our guests had recently fallen in love with this past time and would safely say that they regarded themselves as amateurs looking to learn about Southern African Birds and capture as many new lifers as possible. This made for a very fun and informative day with 96 Species of birds been sighted.
Birding Safari Overview: Guests: (3) From United Kingdom and New Zealand. Level: Amateur Season: Summer (February) Area: Southern Kruger National Park POI: Sabie River frontage, Lake Panic, Golf Course & Nursery
Guests where collect our Safaria Open Safari vehicle from Paul Kruger Gate to ensure convenient and quick access to the Sabie River area. Collection time was at 05h30am.
Area of focus:

Guided Route:
We follow a very simple formula of staying close to water and following dense foliage that we could either be accessed by vehicle or foot. Breaking these destinations into time frames as follows:
  • Section 1: From 05h30am to 09h30am
  • Section 2: From 10h00am to 12h30am

  • Lunch Break
  • Section 3: From 14h00 till 15h00am
  • Section 3: From 14h00 till 15h00am

  • List of Sightings
    We managed to capture 96 confirmed sightings for the day. These were confirmed in pairs and documented in duplicate. All sightings were visually confirmed with many species also providing vocal confirmation. Below is the confirmed list of species recorded within a 12 hour period.:

Optional transfers available


We offer guests transfer options in luxury airconditioned SUVs from Johannesburg to the Thornybush Private Nature Reserve as well as from Hoedspruit Airport, KMIA (Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport) and O.R.Tambo International Airport.

Need a transfer, drop us your information here


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Tel: +27 (0) 83 556 7249 or +27 (0) 83 593 8184

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