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A Report from

Zimbabwe, Botswana & South Africa, 11 – 20 Oct 2010,

Mark Easterbrook


This trip report consists of 13 pages – Species lists are at the end of each country section.

My wife and I had been invited to join our friends to celebrate his 40th Birthday on a mini tour of Africa, taking in Zimbabwe to see Victoria Falls, a quick trip to the border with Zambia in order for my friend to undertake a bungee jump (crazy), onto Botswana for safaris and finally finishing off with 4 days in Cape Town.  We agreed and so off we set on 11th Oct from Heathrow with South Africa airlines to Johannesburg where we changed for a flight to Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe.

We arrived at Victoria Falls at about 1330 on 12th Oct.  I usually say that all went without incident; however, on this occasion my wife's bag had been lost at Joburg and didn't turn up for 3 days.  This turned into a bit of a logistical disaster in Zimbabwe, where as you can imagine shopping for women's clothing proved problematic. In an event it did show up before we departed for Botswana, with little harm done, the holiday continued and proved to be well worth the money we'd spent.

Day 1 – 11 Oct – UK – Victoria Falls

We flew from Heathrow via Joburg to Victoria Falls and arrived on 12th Oct. 

Day 2 – 12 Oct - Zimbabwe

Arriving at Victoria Falls we were a bit shocked at the price of a visa which cost 55 USD each.  We purchased a single entry, which was a mistake, as we left Zimbabwe for Botswana and had to re-enter for our return flight.  However, with most things in Africa, if you throw some money at it the problems are quickly resolved and it didn’t cause us any difficulties during our return trip.  After giving up my wife's bag for lost and filling out the necessary paperwork we proceeded to the hotel (The Kingdom Hotel and Victoria Falls).

Several birds were seen flying overhead as we drove to the hotel, including Sacred Ibis, African Openbill and a lone Hamerkop.

We arrived at the hotel, checked in and quickly made our way to the border with Zambia so as my friend could undertake one of his 40th birthday presents – a bungee jump from the bridge forming the border with Zambia and crossing Victoria Falls.  Whilst watching him from the Zambia side of the bridge, I saw my first lifer which was a Trumpeter Hornbill closely followed by the second – several Red-winged Starlings.  I also saw the only Short-toed Eagle of the trip and a Dark-capped Bulbul.

We returned to the hotel for a few well earned beers and a few more good birds including White-fronted Beeaters, a pair of Pied Kingfishers, a couple of Golden Weavers, a solitary Black-collared Barbet and a surprise Schalow's Turaco.

We ate dinner and turned in for the night.

Day 3 - 13 Oct

I rose early and began to walk around the grounds of the hotel and the area which led to the Victoria Falls NP.  The area was very productive with birds being very active as is usual for Africa before the sun gets up and they seek the shade.  The first bird of note was a White-browed Scrub Robin.  As I walked around the area several Black-backed Puffbacks were obvious and a single Rattling Cisticola.  A rustling in the leaf litter alerted me to the presence of what turned out to be several Terrestrial Brownbuls along with a pair of Yellow-bellied Greenbuls.  Perhaps more surprising were a pair of Natal Spurfowl that ran off and wouldn't pose for the camera.  Once the yellow area on the bill was seen, identification became straight-forward.

As my friend had decided to embark on his second act of recklessness (white water rafting down the Zambezi – surely a mid-life crisis?), I walked to the falls with the ladies, birdwatching as I went.  The entrance fee to the falls was £20 or 30 USD per person.  It was worth the money as the falls are spectacular although very different to Niagara with the natural beauty being preserved as opposed to a tourist fiasco.  At least 5 more Schalow's Turaco were noted here despite the entrance board suggesting that they were Livingstone's.  A few Rock Martins and Wire-tailed Swallows were seen around the falls, with another Black-collared Barbet and a single White-browed Scrub Robin that showed well.

We returned to the hotel via the now very irritating and persistent street vendors.  An element of Africa that you become accustomed to, however, nonetheless still annoying.  Whist they are persistent, as long as you meet them with solid resolve and a liberal amount of abruptness, they tend to leave you alone eventually.

Later at the swimming pool, I managed to photograph some very close White-fronted Beeaters and saw a pair of White-winged Black Tits.  A Hooded Vulture drifted overhead, accompanied by the ubiquitous Yellow-billed Kites and Red-winged Starlings were very vocal around the pool.

I once again decided to brave the vendors and go for a walk.  On this occasion, I wanted to get beyond the Falls NP and proceed to an area above the falls that had looked interesting in the morning.  I eventually found a road that skirted the park where I noted a Little Beeater and I ended up in vegetation looking out over a fast flowing area of the Upper Zambezi just before the falls.  A little patience was rewarded; a Malachite Kingfisher was seen flying upriver with several Little Egrets and Long-tailed Cormorants.  About 100 metres in front of me I noticed a small movement on the rocks in the river, as I focussed my bins, it became clear that the 2 beautiful birds in front of me were what I had hoped to find – a pair of pristine Rock Pratincoles.  Very pleased with the walk I returned to the hotel for a beer.

As I skirted the hotel, what looked like a Woodpecker landed in a tree to my left.  I searched for it and found what I initially thought was a Woodland Kingfisher.  Carefully noting its features, with rufous flanks and a plainish head it was obvious that I was looking at a Brown-hooded Kingfisher which I was extremely pleased with.

Species List for Zimbabwe and Zambia

Long-tailed Cormorant

Terrestrial Brownbul

Little Egret

White-browed Scrub Robin

Cattle Egret

White-browed Robin Chat


Rattling Cisticola

African Openbill

Yellow-breasted Apalis

Sacred Ibis

Grey-backed Camaroptera

Egyptian Goose

Icterine Warbler

Yellow-billed Kite

Long-billed Crombec

Hooded Vulture

Willow Warbler

Short-toed Eagle

Ashy Flycatcher

Natal Francolin

African Paradise Flycatcher

Helmeted Guineafowl

Black-backed Puffback

Rock Pratincole

Brown-crowned Tchagra

Laughing Dove

Tropical Boubou

Emerald-spotted Wood Dove

Sulphur-breasted Shrike

Schalow's Turaco

Fork-tailed Drongo

Grey Go-away-bird

Pied Crow

African Palm Swift

Red-winged Starling

Brown-hooded Kingfisher

Amethyst Starling

Pied Kingfisher

Southern Grey-headed Sparrow

White-fronted Beeater

Holub's Golden Weaver

Little Beeater

Red-billed Quelea

Trumpeter Hornbill

Green-winged Pytillia

Black-collared Barbet

Red-billed Firefinch

Rock Martin

Jameson's Firefinch

Wire-tailed Swallow

Blue-breasted Cordonbleu

Lesser-striped Swallow

Common Waxbill

Dark-capped Bulbul

Bronze Mannikin

Yellow-bellied Greenbul


Day 4 – 14 Oct - Botswana

We were due to depart for the 100Km or so drive to Botswana after breakfast which left me enough time to walk around the hotel area once more.  The presumed same pair of Natal Spurfowl scuttled around whilst I quickly saw an Ashy Flycatcher and an African Paradise Flycathcher.  A pair of lovely Sulpher-breasted Bush shrikes were very vocal, as was a Tropical Boubou.  Several Southern Cordon Bleus fed amongst the Jameson's and Red-billed Firefinches and a pair of Green-winged Pytillias fed actively.  A Long-billed Crombec was very obvious and vocal as were the five or so Grey Go-away Birds that lived up to their names.

We departed the hotel at about 1015 via the airport to retrieve my wife's case which was a real relief as life was becoming difficult to say the least.

We headed to the border, a journey that was fairly uneventful although we did encounter our first family group of African Elephants before exiting Zimbabwe.  As we dealt with the Botswana immigration which was painless and easy, I noted a pair of White-browed Sparrow Weavers in a tree opposite the offices.

As we proceeded to Chobe (Kasane), suddenly Lilac-breasted Rollers became numerous on the telegraph wires.  We arrived at the Chobe Marina Lodge, received a warm welcome and checked into our rooms prior to our first safari at 1530.  The usual commoner birds were present in the hotel grounds and overlooking the River Chobe, my first Darter and Grey-headed Gulls were seen.

We departed on our first Safari and we were fortunate that there were only 6 of us in a 10 man 4x4 vehicle.  I was also fortunate that our driver, Simon was very interested in birds, which made stopping for them easy and he was constantly on the lookout for anything interesting.  Simon also new many of the calls - which proved very useful as we traversed the park.

As we entered the park the first Southern Red-billed Hornbill was seen, a bird that was very numerous in the park.  We saw our first elephants and Water Buffalo and below a bush nearby was a very still Spotted Thick Knee which posed nicely for the camera.  We stopped for a number of Francolins that were identified as Crested and Red-billed.  In a dead tree above them was an outrageously coloured and looking Crested Barbet.  It was fantastic to see so many Southern Carmine Beeaters with Blacksmith Plovers running around beneath them.

We approached the Chobe River and I quickly spotted several large Tern like birds which were obviously African Skimmers that performed as they should do and skimmed the water with their grotesque bills.  A single Three-banded Plover was a lifer and as I had missed the bird earlier in the year in Uganda, I was extremely pleased to catch up with it.  Closely followed by a White-crowned Plover with another Francolin catching my attention and closer inspection ensured that I had another tick with a Swainson's Francolin.

We watched Olive Baboons, Elephants, Giraffes, Banded and Slender Mongoose and a Kori Bustard sauntered by which was photographed and was a great site.  We stopped for refreshments and I noted Tinkling Cisticolas and a fantastic pair of White-bellied Sunbirds.  A number of commoner birds were seen along the river with a pair of Arrow-marked Babblers being the highlight.

Kori Bustard                                       Southern Carmine Beeater

Day 5 – 15 Oct

The early morning safari took place and we had booked a private vehicle at minimal extra cost with Simon as our driver so as we could stop where we wanted.   A good tip the previous night ensured that we received the premium service from Simon - who was proving to be an excellent guide and driver.

We entered the park and Simon quickly alerted me to a calling Swamp Boubou, which obliged and I saw it sat up on a bush.  An Amethyst Starling caught in the early morning light looked resplendent and a Hippo on the land was rare enough but I was delighted that it was accompanied by a back full of Red and Yellow-billed Oxpeckers.  Many common birds were seen this morning, however in quick succession 2 Southern Yellow-billed and a Bradfield's Hornbill flew close to the vehicle.  2 more Kori Bustards walked by and by the river the first African Jacanas and a flock of about 40 Wattled Starlings accompanied a herd of Water Buffalo. 

We retuned to the hotel and I spent a few hours in the grounds watching a flowering tree which was attracting many Sunbirds.  I was rewarded with 2 Amethyst Sunbirds whilst White-bellied Sunbirds appeared to be the most numerous.  An African Harrier Hawk drifted by whist Southern Masked Weavers joined the other feeding birds in the flowering tree.

This evening we took the Chobe River safari on a large boat that the lodge owned.  Before departing the hotel a Giant Kingfisher perched up in front of us and gave great views.  This was excellent with a good number of waterbirds and Herons being seen.  The highlight was a Slaty Egret amongst the Openbills and Storks.  2 Saddle-billed Storks and numerous Marabous were amongst the more numerous Yellow-billed and the extravaganza was completed with a Goliath and Black Egret.  The only Black-crowned Night Heron was also seen from the boat trip.  Collared Pratincoles were numerous and a pair of Water Thick Knees with a chick rounded the day off nicely.

Day 6 – 16 Oct

The morning game drive bought the excitement of a group of 4 female Lions and although the same birds were seen, new species were becoming difficult to find.  In fact the only new species of the safari were a group of 4 Kittlitt's Plover which were a welcomed find and a Chinspot Batis with a pair of African Hawk Eagles and a Tawny Eagle being notable.

We departed on the evening safari which proved to be the most memorable experience of the holiday – truly fantastic.  As we drove around the area we asked Simon to attempt to find Zebras, which are difficult in the park as they are migratory and quite shy.  As we searched by the River, I saw a Falcon shape which looked very odd.  As it flew closer and passed us, it's pale grey head and rump with yellowish face made the identification of a fantastic male Dickenson's Kestrel easy – what a great bird and start to a memorable safari drive.  We eventually caught up with 4 Zebras that were fairly secretive and were then treated to a herd of about 700 Water Buffalo migrating right passed the vehicle.  As we watched them, I saw a small flock of birds feeding under a bush.  As I worked my may through the Jameson's Firefinches and Southern Cordon Bleus, I spotted a single larger Common (Violet-eared Waxbill) Grenadier.  As we were exiting the park, I stopped the vehicle to photograph a group of Double-banded Sandgrouse that fed by the track and were undisturbed by our vehicle.  Suddenly, there was an exchange between our driver and another and we were quickly moving with great purpose.  We asked Simon "What was happening"? he replied "Leopard".  We reached an area where several vehicles had gathered and there under a tree looking unperturbed and nonchalant was a Leopard, not 20 yards away - A truly unbelievable and surreal encounter with a majestic creature.  As we left the park 2 Yellow-throated Sandgrouse flew passed the vehicle - the end of a perfect day!


Day 7 – 17 Oct

I walked around the village of Kasane, photographing some Arrow-marked Babblers and noting a final lifer in the form of 4 Red-faced Mousebirds which I thought were going to be easier.

Sadly, it was time to leave Botswana – A fantastic, well governed country where the people are polite, helpful and very enthusiastic about their country.  Unfortunately, we were unable to undertake this morning's safari due to our departure time.  Due to this we did miss 2 male Lions feeding on a young elephant.  Which goes to prove animals don’t' perform to requests and you can't win them all.  However, it does mean that we will have to return – which is no bad thing.

We crossed the borders with few difficulties despite our Zimbabwe visa fiasco but the exchange of some dollars solved the problem relatively easily.  I again noted a number of White-browed Sparrow Weavers, whilst some White-rumped and Little Swifts were overhead.

We proceeded to Lake Victoria airport and caught our delayed flight to Johannesburg.  Due to its lateness, we missed our connection to Cape Town, so had to catch a later departure without too many problems however our transfer at the airport in Cape Town had departed, which we then had to pay for again.

Top Tip:  If using connecting flights in Africa, ensure that you have at least 2 – 2 and a half hours separation between flights as not many flights appear to depart on time.

Eventually, we arrived at the City Lodge V&A Waterfront Hotel in Cape Town.  We checked in quickly to this well situated, clean and efficient hotel.

Species List for Botswana

Long-tailed Cormorant

Helmeted Guineafowl

White-breasted Cormorant

Black Crake

African Darter

Kori Bustard

Slaty Egret

African Jacana

Black Heron

Black-winged Stilt

Little Egret

Water Thick-knee

Grey Heron

Spotted Thick-knee

Goliath Heron

Collared Pratincole

Purple Heron

Ringed Plover

Great White Egret

Kittlitz's Plover

Cattle Egret

Three-banded Plover

Squacco Heron

Long-toed Lapwing

Black-crowned Night Heron

Blacksmith Lapwing


White-headed Lapwing

Yellow-billed Stork

Marsh Sandpiper

African Openbill

Common Greenshank

Saddle-billed Stork

Wood Sandpiper

Marabou Stork

Common Sandpiper

Glossy Ibis

Little Stint

Sacred Ibis


African Spoonbill

Grey-headed Gull

White-faced Whistling Duck

African Skimmer

Egyptian Goose

Yellow-throated Sandgrouse

Spur-winged Goose

Double-banded Sandgrouse

Yellow-billed Kite

Laughing Dove

African Fish-eagle

Ring-necked Dove

African White-backed Vulture

Red-eyed Dove


Emerald-spotted Wood Dove

African Harrier Hawk

Grey Go-away-bird

Gabar Goshawk

Senegal Coucal

Tawny Eagle

African Palm Swift

African Hawk-eagle

Little Swift

Dickinson's Kestrel

Red-faced Mousebird

Crested Francolin

Malachite Kingfisher

Red-billed Francolin

Giant Kingfisher

Swainson's Francolin

Pied Kingfisher

White-fronted Beeater

White-breasted Sunbird

Southern Carmine Beeater

African Yellow White-eye

Lilac-breasted Roller

Black-backed Puffback

Green Woodhoopoe

Brown-crowned Tchagra

Southern Red-billed Hornbill

Swamp Boubou

Southern Yellow-billed Hornbill

Suphur-breasted Bushshrike

Bradfield's Hornbill

Chinspot Batis

Trumpeter Hornbill

Fork-tailed Drongo

Black-collared Barbet

Greater Blue-eared Glossy Starling

Crested Barbet

Amethyst Starling

Wire-tailed Swallow

Wattle Starling

Dark-capped Bulbul

Yellow-billed Oxpecker

Yellow-bellied Greenbull

Red-billed Oxpecker

Terrestrial Brownbul

White-browed Sparrow Weaver

White-browed Scrub Robin

Holub's Golden Weaver

White-browed Robin Chat

Southern Masked Weaver

Grey Cisticola

Green-winged Pytillia

Grey backed Camaroptera

Jameson's Firefinch

African Paradise Flycatcher

Southern Cordonbleu

Arrow-marked Babbler

Common Grenadier

Amethyst Sunbird


Day 8 – 18 Oct – South Africa

Before departing the UK, we had booked a Cape Peninsula tour online.  It could have probably been cheaper to do it in country but we simply didn't have the time and needed to maximise our time in Cape Town and be able to leave immediately this morning.  I used Springbok Atlas Tours ( and our guide, Chris was excellent company being very knowledgeable, friendly and well organised.  Outside the hotel in the morning were several White-throated Swallows and numerous Hartlaub's Gulls which are everywhere.  Some more Red-winged Starlings and their European counterparts put in an appearance before we departed.

We headed for Hout Bay and a boat to see the Cape Fur Seals.  Stopping on route to see several very close Southern Right Whales and Dusky Sided Dolphins also resulted in my first sighting of a Jackal Buzzard being harassed by a Pied Crow and 2 Cape Canaries.  The boat trip from the Harbour rewarded me with views of Cape Gull, Hartlaub's Gull, Cape Cormorant and several Common Terns.

As we neared the Seal Colony the smell revealed their presence before we could see them, a few more Cape Gulls were noted and at least 2 Bank Cormorants flew by joined by a single Sandwich Tern and many Swift Terns.

As we drove along the coast I noted a close African Oystercatcher that proved to be the only one of the trip.  We entered the Cape of Good Hope NP and were greeted by 2 Ostrich and a cracking Malachite Sunbird.  As we posed for photographs at the Cape, Cape Cormorants, Swift Terns and Cape Gannets were much in evidence.  We next visited Cape Point where White-naped Ravens, Cape Bulbuls, Cape Robin Chats, Buntings and Karoo Prinias were all very obvious.

Departing for an enjoyable lunch at Simonstown, allowed the opportunity to photograph African Penguins at Boulders Beach, whilst at the restaurant Speckled Pigeons, Cape White-eyes and a Southern Grey-headed Sparrow were noted.

After lunch we proceeded to Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens.  The gardens are fantastic in their own right, however, as a birder, let no possible opportunity pass.  The gardens are spectacular with many endemic plants and birds to go with them.  A fairly hasty walk through the gardens gave me an opportunity to catch up with at least 8 Southern Double-collared Sunbirds and many Cape White-eyes, 2 Olive Thrush, 3 Cape Canaries and numerous Hadada Ibis.  It was clearly not the best time of day to visit as it was very busy with much disturbance.  As we were leaving the gardens, the guide commented that there was a pair of Spotted Eagle Owls breeding in the park.  I looked up and there in a tree was indeed a Spotted Eagle-owl, which sat quietly as we photographed it.

Spotted Eagle Owl

Before departing the UK, a guide in Cape Town had been recommended to me.  I booked Brian Vandervalt for a full day's birding in the Cape area.  His brief was to attempt to find as many Cape endemics as possible with Cape Rockjumper being a must.  As I was unable to undertake a pelagic as I wasn't in Cape Town over a weekend, I decided to concentrate on the land based endemics prior to any future visits.  It is worth saying at this stage that Brian has a great sense of humour, is very good company and I would unreservedly recommend him to anyone travelling the Cape area or wider in Africa where he has a wealth of experience.  He can be contacted via his email at or .

We visited the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens once more and it goes to show that if you visit early in the morning with no disturbance the birds perform much more obligingly.  Brian knew where a pair Lemon Doves were nest building and sure enough the 2 birds were found close by roosting under trees.  Another pair of Spotted Eagle Owls was seen with a chick close by and some good Cape endemics were seen including Cape Sugarbirds, Forest Canary, Orange-breasted Sunbirds, Sombre Greenbuls, Cape Francolins and with a supporting cast of African Goshawk, Southern Boubou and Olive Pigeons the day had started well.

We continued to the Royeils area in search of Cape Rockjumper.  However, before reaching the well known area a number of good birds were seen on the various telegraph wires and buildings including Familiar Chat, Cape Rock Thrush, Rock Kestrel, a couple of stunning Grassbirds and Yellow Bishops.  We continued along the track seeing Cape Buntings, Cape Robin Chats and then our quarry a female Cape Rockjumper followed by a confiding male and what were thought to be 2 immature birds.  As I photographed the birds, 2 Cape Siskins flew in next to me and Grey-backed Cisticolas were present.  As we left the valley, A Verreaux's Eagle soared above and a Jackal Buzzard loafed.

Cape Rockjumper                             Cape Bunting

We progressed to Harold Porter Water NP for lunch and to look for some more endemics.  After an enjoyable lunch that was interrupted by passing White-throated, and Greater Striped Swallows along with Alpine and African Black Swifts we proceeded to search the rest of the park.

Brian was alerted by the song of a warbler.  He explained that we were looking for a Victorin's Warbler, an arch skulker and more often heard than seen.  With patience and following the moving vegetation the gorgeous warbler was seen extremely well with long black tail, orange wash to the front and indeed the orange eye-ring – what a cracker.  As we moved around the park we also had excellent views of a male and female Cape Batis and 2 Dusky Flycatchers.

Brian then drove to an area near Bot River and farmlands that were crossed by "Transporter" roads.  In the fields adjacent to the roads many Blue Cranes were seen and soon at least 3 Fiscal Flycatchers, with Common Fiscals becoming common place.  As we proceeded along the road we stopped to look at numerous birds including a stunning male Cape Sparrow, several Cape Weavers and Capped Wheatears.  The only Crowned Plovers of the trip were noted along with 2 stonking Orange-throated Longclaws.  Red-capped Larks were common and a solitary Pied Starling was noted amongst the commoner European Starlings.  Other notable birds were an African Hoopoe, Alpine and Black Swifts and a large colony of Southern Red Bishops.

Our final stop of the day before returning to Cape Town was the Cape Town Water Treatment Works.  Everywhere in the world these sorts of locations never cease to turn up good birds.  The only Black-headed Heron was seen along with numerous Sacred Ibis; however the attraction was the wildfowl.  Cape and Red-billed Teal were present in good numbers along with Southern Pochard, and Cape Shoveller.  Hundreds of Black-necked Grebe and Greater Flamingo were present and a single White Pelican.  Levaillant's Cisticolas were very vocal and 2 Purple Swamphen were seen with many Red-knobbed Coots.  As we were departing a real bonus came in the form of a drake Maccoa Duck.  Outside the works 2 House Crows were seen, which, soon to be eradicated may not be on the South African list for too much longer.  We returned to the hotel after a very enjoyable and productive day thanks to Brian's local knowledge – Many Thanks.

Day 10 – 20 Oct

An early morning walk around the Cape Town Waterfront allowed me to photograph Cape Fur Seals, Hartlaub's and Cape Gulls and to catch up with the Cormorant I had previously missed – Crowned Cormorant with at least 3 being seen amongst the Cape Cormorants.  Another male Cape Sparrow and several Cape Wagtails were also present.  Later in the morning, a trip to Table Top Mountain bought photographic opportunities for Familiar Chat with another Grassbird, several Karoo Prinias, 2 more Cape Siskins and Canaries were seen.

All too soon it was time to depart for the airport and reflect upon what a great time we had experienced whilst taking a lengthy long-haul back to Heathrow.

Day 11 – 21 Oct

We arrived in Heathrow early in the morning and felt very, very cold, retuning home to muse our experiences, enjoy the photos and update the life list.

Species List  for South Africa

Southern Ostrich

Verreaux's Eagle

Little Grebe

Rock Kestrel

Great Crested Grebe

Peregrine Falcon

Black-necked Grebe

Cape Francolin

African Penguin

Helmeted Guineafowl

Cape Gannet

African Swamphen

Long-tailed Cormorant

Common Moorhen

Crowned Cormorant

Red-knobbed Coot

Bank Cormorant

Blue Crane

White-breasted Cormorant

African Oystercatcher

Cape Cormorant

Black-winged Stilt

White Pelican

Pied Avocet

Grey Heron

Three-banded Plover

Black-headed Heron

Blacksmith Plover

Purple Heron

Crowned Lapwing

Intermediate Egret

Ruddy Turnstone

Cattle Egret

Curlew Sandpiper


Cape Gull

Glossy Ibis

Grey-headed Gull

Hadada Ibis

Hartlaub's Gull

Sacred Ibis

Swift Tern

Greater Flamingo

Sandwich Tern

Maccoa Duck

Common Tern

Egyptian Goose

Speckled Pigeon

Spur-winged Goose

African Olive-pigeon

Cape Teal

Lemon Dove

Yellow-billed Duck

Laughing Dove

Red-billed Teal

Ring-necked Dove

Cape Shoveller

Red-eyed Dove

Southern Pochard

Namaqua Dove

Black-shouldered Kite

Spotted Eagle-owl

Yellow-billed Kite

Alpine Swift

African Marsh Harrier

African Black Swift

Jackal Buzzard

Little Swift

White-rumped Swift

Southern Double-collared Sunbird

African Hoopoe

Malachite Sunbird

Red-capped Lark

Cape Sugarbird

Plain Martin

Cape White-eye

Rock Martin

Southern Boubou

Eurasian Swallow

Cape Batis

White-throated Swallow

Common Fiscal

Greater Striped-swallow

Fork-tailed Drongo

Black Sawwing

House Crow

Orange-throated Longclaw

Cape Crow

African Pipit

Pied Crow

Cape Wagtail

White-necked Raven

Cape Bulbul

Red-winged Starling

Sombre Greenbul

Pied Starling

Cape Robin Chat

Eurasian Starling

African Stonechat

Common Mynah (Joburg)

Capped Wheatear

House Sparrow

Cape Roch-thrush

Cape Sparrow

Olive Thrush

Southern Grey-headed Sparrow

Victorin's Scrub Warbler

Cape Weaver

Cape Grassbird

Red Bishop

Grey-backed Cisticola

Yellow Bishop

Levaillant's Cisticola

Common Waxbill

Karoo Prinia


Fiscal Flycatcher

Cape Canary

African Dusky Flycatcher

Forest Canary

African Paradise Flycatcher

Cape Siskin

Cape Rockjumper

Cape Bunting

Orange-breasted Sunbird


Other Sightings Throughout the Trip


Zimbabwe & Botswana


Zimbabwe & Botswana

Olive Baboon

Zimbabwe & Botswana

Roan Antelope

Chobe NP Botswana


Chobe NP Botswana


Chobe NP Botswana


Chobe NP Botswana


Chobe NP Botswana

Black-backed Jackal

Chobe NP Botswana


Zimbabwe & Chobe NP Botswana

Nile Valley Crocodile

Chobe NP Botswana

Monitor Lizard

Chobe NP Botswana

Banded Mongoose

Chobe NP Botswana

Slender Mongoose

Chobe NP Botswana

Green Vervet Monkey

Zimbabwe Chobe NP Botswana


Chobe NP Botswana

Water Buffalo

Chobe NP Botswana


Chobe NP Botswana




Chobe NP Botswana


Chobe NP Botswana

Striped Ground Squirrel

Chobe NP Botswana

Tree Squirrel

Chobe NP Botswana

Sable Antelope

Chobe NP Botswana

Cape Fur Seal

South Africa


South Africa


Who could possibly forget the encounter with the Leopard!  An unforgettable holiday, that covered a number of differing habitats in several countries.  A return to Botswana or South Africa is very likely; however, I would probably not chose to go to Zimbabwe again unless travelling onwards to Botswana.  Some excellent birds were seen and the travel arrangements and guides went relatively smoothly.  We had no stomach problems and generally the people we met were friendly and welcoming.  I would once again recommend Brian Vandervalt in South Africa for a very professional approach to birding.

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