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Although we are now working from home, if you are due to travel shortly we will be in touch to support and guide you in either postponing or cancelling your trip, based on Foreign Office advice and your insurance arrangements.
 
When you feel ready to do so, we are here to help you plan your next holiday, knowing availability in many key destinations is already tight for next year. To help you move forward with confidence, our booking conditions have been relaxed in case you are unable to travel due to COVID-19 issues beyond your control (eg a new wave of infections; visa restrictions; mandatory quarantine; or cancellation of your international flight).
 
Thank you for your ongoing kindness & support in these difficult times. And remember that all our holidays are fully financially protected, wherever in the world you live.

Warm regards

Claire Farley, Managing Director
KwaZulu Natal Holidays Tours South Africa Battlefields Durban Safari

Private Birding Tour: Kruger Park to KwaZulu Natal


SPI14C
14 NIGHTS
FROM £3,293
Per person sharing
International flights quoted separately
Birding Holidays South Africa Kruger Park Wakkerstroom Mkuze St Lucia

Our tailormade birding holidays to South Africa combine the famous Kruger Park, with the grassland birds of Wakkerstroom & the birding hotspots of Mkuze and the iSimangaliso St Lucia Wetlands in the Zulu Kingdom, as well as Cape Vidal. You can end your holiday relaxing on a warm Durban North Coast beach. English speaking birding guide, all park fees & transfers included.

Birding Holidays South Africa Kruger Park Wakkerstroom Mkuze St Lucia
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Kruger Park, South Africa
• 
Birding & Game Viewing
• 
Wakkerstroom Grasslands
• 
Mkuze Game Reserve
• 
Hluhluwe Game Reserve
• 
St Lucia Wetlands
• 
Cape Vidal
• 
Dlinza Forest
• 
Durban North Coast
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Birding Holidays, South Africa
• 
Kruger Park, South Africa
• 
Birding & Game Viewing
• 
Wakkerstroom Grasslands
• 
Mkuze Game Reserve
• 
Hluhluwe Game Reserve
• 
St Lucia Wetlands
• 
Cape Vidal
• 
Dlinza Forest
• 
Durban North Coast
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Birding Holidays, South Africa
Day 1
You will be met at Skukuza Airport by your birding guide, who will transfer you to your rest camp in the world famous Kruger National Park.
 
Birding and game viewing opportunities should present themselves almost immediately and hopefully you will see several species of antelope, zebra, wildebeest and maybe even giraffe before you reach your rest camp.
   
The Kruger National Park offers a choice of self-catering rest camps, each situated in a different section of the park with its own unique flora and fauna - e.g. Skukuza, Letaba, Olifants, Lower Sabie, Pretoriuskop, Satara and Berg-en-Dal. Accommodation is in simple but comfortable thatched bungalows, with your guide having an allowance to purchase breakfast at the camp restaurant each day.
 
After checking in, settle in and relax in the atmosphere that only the African bushveld can provide..
 
Note: You will need your passport to enter the Kruger National Park.
Days 2 To 3
Today is devoted to bird watching and game viewing in the Kruger National Park. As you will have the services of a private driver/guide, you will have the flexibility of discussing preferred routings and travelling times with him each day. However we recommend setting off early each morning as the camp gates open (04h30 to 06h00 depending on the season), to take advantage of the best game viewing conditions of the day. All game drives will be in your guide's closed air-conditioned vehicle.
   
Explore this vast 2-million hectare game sanctuary that is the size of Wales and offers magnificent birding, as it is home to over 500 species – more than half of all those found in South Africa. This includes over 200 migrants that arrive from Europe and North Africa in mid-November after the first summer rains, departing again in early April. This is the best place in South Africa to see birds of prey with almost 80 different species - including 15 different eagles and many vultures, kingfishers and storks. The rest camps, waterholes and dams tend to be the best birding hotspots, as they have a high concentration of trees, shrubs and water.
 
Species you can hope to see include the Saddle-billed stork, African spoonbill, African finfoot, Kori bustard, Pel's fishing owl, Martial eagle, White-headed vulture, Lappet-faced vulture, Southern ground hornbill, Tawny eagle, Goliath heron and Black crake. You can also look out for the Crowned lapwing, Lesser black-winged lapwing, African jacana, Three-banded plover, Green-backed heron, Brown-headed parrot, Greater blue-eared starling, Thrush nightingale, Thick-billed cuckoo, Eastern bearded scrub-robin and Yellow-billed oxpecker.
 
With the highest concentration of lion in the whole of Africa, you can also hope to see many large mammals, including several of the Big Five - lion, elephant, buffalo, leopard and rhino - before returning to your rest camp for breakfast (or buy provisions at camp and cook breakfast at a picnic spot).
 
The rest of the morning is free to relax at your rest camp, before setting out again at the time of your choice - usually the late afternoon - for another birding drive. With nearly 150 different species of mammals and over 100 species of reptiles in the Kruger National Park, you can also hope to see cheetah, giraffe, hippo, kudu, crocodiles, sable antelope, waterbuck, warthogs, baboons, wild dogs and much more.
 
After a beautiful African sunset, enjoy the balmy evening and pristine stars of the Milky Way as you have never seen them before – as well as the spectacular Southern Cross.
   
Note: Vehicles are not allowed to drive off-road in any national park in South Africa.
Day 4
Enjoy some final early morning birding in the Kruger National Park, before we drive 5.5-hours through the scenic Eastern Transvaal to the small farming town of Wakkerstroom, which means 'lively stream'.
 
Situated on the border of KwaZulu Natal and Mpumalanga province, this region offers some of the best grassland birding in South Africa.
Day 5
Spend today bird watching in Wakkerstroom, nested in a valley on the edge of a spectacular wetland.
 
This is one of South Africa’s most rewarding birding areas, with over 370 different bird species. Because of its wide variety of habitat, you can see 9 of South Africa's 13 endemic species here, as well as many other seldom-seen high-altitude grassland birds.
 
Although mostly wetland and grassland, there are also gorges and cliffs, mist-belt forests and dams to be explored. There are also several bird hides to help you spot grassland species such as the critically endangered Rudd’s lark, Botha’s lark, Bald ibis, Eastern long-billed lark, Blue korhaan, White-bellied korhaan, Red-chested flufftail, Yellow-breasted pipit and much more.
Day 6
After some early morning birding in Wakkerstroom, we travel 3.5-hour to Mkuze in far northern Zululand.
 
Check into your lodge and enjoy the warm weather and vast landscapes of plains and mountains in this beautiful region that is renowned for its birdlife.
Day 7
Today is devoted to birding in Mkuze Game Reserve with your guide.
  
With diverse habitats ranging from the eastern slopes of the Lebombo Mountains, to broad stretches of acacia savanna, wetland, woodland, riverine forest and grassland, this bird sanctuary is home to over 420 different species, making it one of the best birding "hot spots" in Southern Africa. Fish eagles swoop over the pans to snatch prey spotted from their perches in the fever trees and the reserve is home to pinkbacked and white pelicans, and a diversity of ducks and geese which gather in the spring (September to October).
 
Patches of sand forest are the habitat of many rare species including the Neergaards sunbird, Crested guineafowl, African broadbill and Pink-throated twinspot. You may also see the Purple-crested turaco,  Grey-hooded kingfisher, Brown-hooded kingfisher, African black-headed oriole, Greater honeyguide, Blue waxbill, Emerald-spotted wood dove and Crested barbet.
 
The network of waterholes with hides can also reward patient viewers with sightings of mammals such as giraffe, kudu, nyala, blue wildebeest and impala. Other animals found in the reserve include hippo, crocodile, black and white rhino, elephant, leopard, buffalo and warthog. Rare species include cheetah, hyena and suni.
Day 8
Enjoy a full morning of birding in and around Mkuze with your birding guide.
 
In the afternoon we drive 1-hour to Hluhluwe National Park in Zululand, renowned for its outstanding wildlife. Check into your rest camp, where birding and game viewing opportunities should present themselves almost immediately in this famous game sanctuary.
 
Hopefully you will see several species of antelope, zebra, wildebeest and maybe even giraffe or one of the Big Five, before reaching camp. B&B accommodation is provided in simple self-catering bungalows, with other meals available from the camp restaurant (pay locally).
Day 9
Today is devoted to birding in Hluhluwe National Park with your birding guide.
 
With over 300 different bird species, Hluhuwe is one of South Africa’s most beautiful game parks and offers outstanding birding . It is also home to all the Big 5 - lion, elephant, buffalo, leopard and rhino - as well as the subcontinent’s largest population of endangered rhino, which this park saved from extinction. You can also hope to see giraffe, hippo, kudu, crocodiles, waterbuck, warthogs, baboons and many other interesting animals.
 
The rest of the morning is free to relax in camp, before setting out again at the time of your choice (usually the late afternoon) for another game drive. After a beautiful African sunset, enjoy the balmy evening and pristine stars of the southern hemisphere.
 
Note: Vehicles are not allowed to drive off-road in any national park in South Africa.
Day 10
After some final birding in Hluhluwe National Park, we travel 30-minutes to the small town of St Lucia on the Zululand coast.
 
Situated inside the Isimangaliso Wetlands, this whole area has been declared a RAMSAR Wetland of international significance because of its great biodiversity and importance as a breeding site for waterbirds. Over 520 different species have been recorded in this vast wetland that is surrounded by mangrove swamps and dense reed beds, with birds ranging from permanent residents to tropical and altitudinal migrants, regional nomads and long-distance migrants. These include a variety of storks, pelicans, flamingos, kingfishers, spoonbills, fish eagles, gulls, herons, terns, ducks and geese.
 
On arrival enjoy a boat ride on the Lake St Lucia estuary, where you may see hippo, buffalo and crocodiles as well as abundant bird life.
Day 11
Today enjoy exploring the iSimangaliso Wetlands with your birding guide, where you can see many species including the African jacana, Goliath heron, African openbill, Woolly-necked stork, Whiskered tern, Grey-headed gull, Kittlitz’s plover, African wattled lapwing and numerous kingfishers, ducks and geese.
 
Along the western shores of Lake St Lucia there is dense vegetation with frequent patches of forest that hold populations of breeding Bateleurs, African goshawks, Long-crested eagles, Lizard buzzards as well as many smaller birds such as Gorgeous bushshrikes, African paradise flycatchers, Pale flycatchers, Yellow-bellied greenbuls, Narina trogons, Red-capped robin-chats and Eastern nicators. There are usually good sightings of African pygmy kingfisher, Pied kingfisher, Malachite kingfisher, Bearded robin, Brown scrub robin, Green twinspot, Green malkoha, Grey waxbill and Red-backed mannikin. Colourful butterflies, spiders and insects are also prolific.
 
The open grasslands are dotted with raffia and wild date palms, which offer excellent opportunities to spot White fronted bee-eaters, Little bee-eaters, Yellow-fronted canaries, African stone chats, Rattling cisticolas, Crowned hornbills, African pied wagtails and Brown-crowned tchagras amongst many others.
 
Particularly sought-after species include the Pel’s fishing owl, Palm nut vulture, Southern-banded snake eagle, Pink-backed pelican, African broadbill, Neergaards sunbird, Broad-billed roller, Rosy-throated longclaw, Swamp nightjar, Rosy-throated longclaw, Black coucal and Rudd’s apalis.
 
Note: The wet summer months (November to March) are generally the best months for birding, as this is when the migrants arrive.
Day 12
Today we venture further into the Isimangaliso Wetlands and travel to the remote beaches of Cape Vidal Nature Reserve, where you will see thousands of ghost crabs scurrying around for food.
 
Birdlife is prolific with habitats ranging from grassland to swamp, sand and coastal lowland forest. There are also a variety of aquatic habitats including rivers, marshes, lagoons, estuaries and the beach. Here you can hope to see Great white pelicans, Marabou storks, Yellow-billed storks, African spoonbills and African fish eagles, whose calls can be heard along the shoreline. Sometimes after a storm, seabirds such as the Yellow-nosed albatross, Giant petrel, Tropicbird, Frigatebird, Sooty tern and Noddy tern are blown closer to shore, allowing for some wonderful close-up sightings.
 
With over a hundred miles of pristine coastline and the tallest forested dunes in Africa, these titanium-rich beaches are an important breeding ground for giant loggerhead and leatherback turtles, who nest and lay their eggs under cover of darkness from November to January, with the hatchlings emerging and running the gauntlet of ghost crabs from February to March. If you climb up one of these steep dunes, you will be rewarded with magnificent views of both the lake and the ocean.
 
Pods of dolphins are often seen in these waters and from June to November, you may be fortunate enough to see humpback whales, who migrate from Antarctica to mate and calve in these warm waters. In Cape Vidal Nature Reserve you can also hope to see rhino, waterbuck, kudu, zebra, reedbuck, porcupine and many other smaller animals.
Day 13
Today we leave St Lucia and travel 3-hours to the Durban North Coast, renowned for its wonderful beaches.
 
Along the way we stop at Dlinza Forest, a beautiful coastal scarp forest that covers over 250 hectares. It has an excellent aerial boardwalk and is one of southern Africa's prime forest birding spots, best known for providing the opportunity to see the elusive Spotted ground thrush, scratching for earthworms on the forest floor. The viewing tower gives a unique glimpse into the leafy canopy and the orchids and other plants growing high above the forest floor.
 
Dlinza Forest is home to the Eastern bronze-naped pigeon, Green malkoha, Olive woodpecker and Green twinspot, for which a hide has been erected. Other species include the African crowned eagle, Narina trogon, Trumpeter hornbill, Crowned hornbill, Chorister robin-chat, Terrestrial brownbul and Lemon dove. The Olive sunbird, Collared sunbird, Yellow-bellied greenbul, Cape batis, Square-tailed drongo, Dark-backed weaver and Purple-crested turaco are also common here. In the forest canopy, throughout the summer months the Delegorgue's pigeon can be heard, making its loud ascending and then descending call.
 
We continue to the Durban North Coast, where you will be dropped off at your hotel situated close to the shores of the warm Indian Ocean.
Day 14
At leisure to relax on the warm golden beaches of the Durban North Coast.
 
Many optional activities are available such as a marine cruise to search for dolphins, turtles, sharks, whales (in season) and other fascinating sea life. Championship golf, horse riding and deep sea game fishing are also available.
Day 15
Transfer to Durban Airport for your flight home.
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