GAUTENG ONE DAY BIRDING TRIPS
Day trips in the area know by local birders as the Wider Gauteng area, focused on a geographical area a 100km radius from the city centers of Johannesburg and Pretoria provide a diverse array of habitats, which in turn produce a diverse array of bird species, some 500 species have been recorded. In an 8 hour trip during summer, over 100 species can be recorded, and winter 80 or more. See the bottom of the page for cost and booking details.
Borakalalo Nature Reserve
Borakalalo Nature Reserve provides the visitor with a large diversity in a relatively small area. The reserve is centred around Klipvoor Dam, and has a mixture of Acacia and broad-leaf woodland, as well as the waterbirds and waders around the dam and river. Bushveld and Striped Pipit, Violet-eared and Black-faced Waxbills, Shaft-tailed and Long-tailed Paradise Whydahs, Yellow-billed Stork, Whiskered, White-winged and Caspian Terns – these are just a few of the possibilities.
Kgomo-Kgomo and Zaagkuildrift Rd.
This rural area north of Hammanskraal is a real birding hotspot, the roadside thickets attract a variety of bushveld birds, Crimson-breasted Shrike, Barred Wren Warbler, Cape Penduline Tit, Bennett’s Woodpecker, the ever present Pearl-spotted Owlet, to mention a few. Traveling from Pienaarsrivier, along some 24km of dirt road until one reaches the floodplain at Kgomo-Kgomo, a summer’s day birding should easily produce well over 100 species.
Mabusa Nature Reserve
A fairly seldom visited reserve by birders, this is a relative hotspot for some tough to find species in the Wider Gauteng region. Specials include Shelley’s Francolin, White-bellied Bustard, Bushveld Pipit, Fawn-coloured Lark, Green-capped Eremomela and Short-toed Rock Thrush. The rivers often produce Half-collared Kingfisher and occasionally White-backed Night Heron and African Finfoot have been seen.
Marievale Bird Sanctuary
This is a popular spot with birders and photographers. Over the years it has produced some great rarities, the image here of the twitch for Spotted Crake in 2016. Black-tailed Godwit regularly turns up, then of course the resident species are a real attraction too: Skulkers such Red-chested Flufftail, African Rail, Baillon’s Crake & Greater Painted Snipe can be found with a bit of patience, waterbirds abound, Cape Shoveler, Red-billed and Hottentot Teals, Great Crested Grebe, Greater and Lesser Flamingoes are just some of the species on offer. The surrounding mine dumps are also a reliable spot for Horus Swift where they breed during the summer.
Mkhombo Nature Reserve
Mkhombo Nature Reserve borders the southern and northern shores of Mkhombo Dam, the southern side being a real hotspot for migrant waders and waterbirds in the summer, the northern side a mixture of broad-leaf and acacia, giving a good mix of species, such as Barred Wren Warbler, Olive Tree Warbler, Burnt-necked Eremomela, Kalahari Scrub Robin and so forth. Some great rarities have been produced here, such as Caspian Plover (as pictured), Red Phalarope, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Grey Plover and Black-tailed Godwit.
Suikerbosrand Nature Reserve
South of Johannesburg, this destination is popular with hikers and cyclists as a 60km loop road goes through the reserve, which apart from holding some special birds, is well stocked with mammals, such as Black Wildebeest, Red Hartebeest, Eland, Burchell’s Zebra etc. Some bird species found here are found no-where else in the Wider Gauteng region, such as Yellow Bishop. Grey-winged Francolin, Eastern Long-billed Lark, Cape Canary and Sentinel Rock Thrush are also not known from many other localities in the region. It too turns up some specials such as African Rock Pipit and Sickle-winged Chat from time to time. One of people’s favourite winter visitors is the busy little Fairy Flycatcher, as pictured.
Our Gauteng day trips depart from Johannesburg or Pretoria, with up to three guests travelling per vehicle. The trips generally last 8 to 10 hours and cover between 200 and 500km. Mineral water and snacks are provided.
1 person @ R3,500
2 people @ R4,000
3 people @ R4,500
Contact one of the Bustards Team to book.