Birding South Africa 2001
Cape Town - Garden Route - West Coast - Kalahari
© by Stefan Tewinkel and Brigitte
11.11. - 4.12.2001
Although the September and October are said to be the best months November is still a good season to visit the Southern African Wildlife.
We chosed this month also because there is little to miss in European Birdlife at this time of the year, whereas in South Africa summer just started.
Travelling to South Africa from Germany is no problem since you easily get non-stop-flights e.g. from Munich to Cape Town. We booked a rental car in
advance to an affordable price and although we had a "very normal car" without 4-wheel-drive or anything like that, we had no problems with the roads
in the parks. The only luxury was air condition in the car.
The weather was okay besides little rainfall we had to face in nearly every region we visited, on the other hand the temperatures weren't that high, not
even in the Kalahari.
For us the prices in South Africa for accomodation, food etc. were relatively low. Nevertheless we often did camping, especially in the nature reserves
and parks this turned out to be the best way to stay close to the wildlife. We always felt safe in this country and had no bad experience. All the people
were very friendly and it was no problem to travel on our own.
With the help of Suzette and Peter Silbernagl who showed us around on the first day and introduced us to the birds we soon got used to African bird
identification. Most of the birds are easy to tell apart although some of them were very skulky. We had special problems with some of the "mountain
species" like Cape Rock Jumper which took us some time and Ground Woodpecker on which we tried very hard but without success. Others like the
Larks, Pipits and Cisticolas are hard to identify since they look all the same. Nevertheless we are very happy with the species we found, including the
mammals with for us impressive species like Brown Hyena and Caracal.
Altogether we had a very wonderful trip and therefor we would like to thank Silbernagls who helped us a lot, especially in the beginning. Many thanks
also to Callan Cohen whose knowledge about where to go birding helped us a lot in preparing our tour. Thank you also to our guides Alvin Cope, Jim
Enticott and Ian Sinclair on the pelagic. Last not least special thanks to all the gentle people we met while travelling.
Literature and Links
Bücher, CDs, Videos u.a. von unserem Partner Christ-Media-Natur
I. Sinclair, P. Hockey, W. Tarboton, SASOL Birds of Southern Africa, Struik Publishers
There are some other comparable fieldguides, we used this one.
C. Cohen, C. Spottiswoode, Essential Birding, Western South Africa, Struik Publishers
This "where to watch..." offers probably the best information about birding in the region.
C. & C. Stuart, Field Guide to Mammals of Southern Africa, Struik Publishers
Photographic guide to the mammals
B. Branch, Field Guide to Snakes and other Reptiles of Southern Africa, Struik Publishers
Photographic guide to the reptiles
There are also many brochures and maps in the National Parks and Nature Reserves which give lots of useful information.
Globetrotter, Road Atlas of South Africa, New Hollwand Publishers
AA Travel Service, Western and Northern Cape
Comments, Remarks, Questions, Postcards to the Authors:
Dr. Stefan Tewinkel