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Special Announcement

Birdwatch magazine voted Birding Africa as one of the TOP 5 most recommended bird tour companies in the world. (See www.birdingafrica.com for more survey details.)

Close views of African Green Broadbill on Uganda birding tour

July 6, 2018

Some of the best photographs ever of the often-elusive African Green Broadbill? Seen yesterday in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park on our Uganda Specials tour, led by Michael Mills and photographed by Mayur Prag.

African Green Broadbill photographed on a Birding Africa tour to Uganda

African Green Broadbill photographed on a Birding Africa tour to Uganda

African Green Broadbill photographed on a Birding Africa tour to Uganda

First photographs of Niam-niam Parrot, not seen for almost 40 years

December 4, 2017

In February 2017, we undertook an expedition to Chad, central Africa, to search for this species which had no documented records for almost 40 years. The Niam-niam is one of the world’s most poorly-known parrots, with little known of its conservation status, and was one of the last unphotographed birds in Africa until now. The survey was carried out jointly by the tour company Birding Africa and the FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology, both based in Cape Town. Based on discussions with colleagues at Birdlife International and the Word Parrot Trust, we have decided not to disclose the exact location as this species is not known in captivity could be threatened by unscrupulous collectors. We will be publishing our scientific and conservation findings shortly, but scroll down for more info in the photo captions.

The first-ever photograph of Niam-niam Parrot. A shrill call while searching a remote area in central Africa drew our attention to this bird.

This chunky parrot is identified by its green belly and upperparts, grey-brown head and breast, green underwings, pale lower bill and orange eye.

The lack of any yellow under the wings is distinctive. The only yellow in the plumage of Niam-niam is on some of the feather-bases to the body feathers, as also noted in museum specimens.

The differences from Meyer’s Parrot can be easily seen in this image: Meyer’s (top left) is smaller, has a deep red eye, yellow patches on the shoulder and under the wings, and a completely black bill.

The Birding Africa – FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology expedition team consisted of (left to right) Julian Francis, Callan Cohen & Claire Spottiswoode (Michael Mills was a critical part of the planning but was unable to join). The area was sparsely inhabited but we’d like to thank those local community members that we did meet while searching in the area for their friendliness towards some eccentric visitors who must have seemed rather crazy!

Ethan and Joe helping Arjan to break 6000!

May 30, 2016

Birding Africa guides Ethan Kistler and Joe Grosel helping Arjan Dwarshuis yesterday near Polokwane in his quest to break the world birding record! Read more about Arjan’s challenge here: http://arjandwarshuis.com/#biggestyear

Arjan Dwarshuis birding in South Africa with Ethan Kistler, Joe Grosel, Billi Krochuk and Camilla Dreef.

Orca Whales and Spectacled Petrel – Monday 12 January 2015

January 16, 2015

A pod of Orcas (Killer Whales) was one of the highlights seen during our very first Cape Town Pelagics trip of the year.


Orca Whales photographed during this trip by our guide Barrie Rose.

On Monday 12 January the wind had abated and we were able to depart Simon’s Town harbour and head for the trawling grounds beyond Cape Point. We soon located a long-liner and enjoyed watching and photographing various pelagic species, including a few rarities such as this Spectacled Petrel photographed by foreign visitor and trip participant Michiel van den Bergh.

 

For information about Cape Town Pelagic trips please look at our website : http://www.capetownpelagics.com.

To enquire or to book, please email Amanda Kropman at info@capetownpelagics.com

or call Amanda on mobile: +27 83 270 7452

Wandering Albatross (immature)

September 25, 2014

Our guide Rob Leslie took this photo of a beautiful immature Wandering Albatross during our pelagic trip on Saturday 20 September. Other highlights include a Flesh-footed Shearwater and Humpback Whales.


Wandering Albatross ( immature)

Click here to go directly to the pelagic trip report.

For information about Cape Town Pelagic trips please look at our website : http://www.capetownpelagics.com.

To enquire or to book, please email Amanda Kropman at info@capetownpelagics.com

or phone +27 83 270 7452

 

Birding Africa and Cape Town Pelagics at the British Birdwatching Fair

August 25, 2014

A huge thanks to everyone who came to visit us at our stand, and hope to see you in Africa soon or again at Rutland Water for our 15th birdfair next year!

Cape Town Pelagics – Claire Spottiswoode

August 21, 2014

We were delighted to have Cape Town born Claire Spottiswoode, co-founder of Cape Town Pelagics and Birding Africa, and her husband Tim, join us on board a pelagic trip Sunday past. Claire is currently based in Cambridge where she completed her PhD and now pursues her academic career.

1000’s of pelagic birds behind an active trawler. © Claire Spottiswoode

Black-browed Albatross on a trip with Cape Town Pelagics © Claire Spottiswoode

Indian Yellow-nosed Albatross on a trip with Cape Town Pelagics © Claire Spottiswoode

For details about Cape Town Pelagic trips from Cape Town please see our website : www.capetownpelagics.com.

To enquire or to book, please email Amanda Kropman at info@capetownpelagics.com

or phone +27 83 270 7452

Pel’s Fishing Owl on last day of Uganda birding tour!

August 14, 2014

Our Uganda birding tour ended yesterday and here is a quick photo from the last day: one of two Pel’s Fishing Owls along the Nile River, taken by Birding Africa guide Tertius Gous on a boat trip in Murchison Falls National Park.

Pel’s Fishing Owl on a Birding Africa tour to Uganda

British Birdwatching Fair 2014

August 14, 2014

It’s hard to believe it’s our 14th year at the British Birdwatching Fair at Rutland Water and this year there’ll be 5 of us. On Friday at 13h00 Callan will be giving a lecture on how to combine the wildebeest migration in Tanzania with great birding, and on Saturday afternoon embarrassing himself at the Bird Brain of Britain quiz where he’ll be representing the African Bird Club (specialist subject is Endemic Birds of Madagascar). Marje will be on the stand with Tertius Gous (just back from a Uganda tour) and Ethan Kistler (who represented us at The Biggest Week in American Birding earlier in the year). Marje’s husband Jon, a keen birder, will also be supporting us. Hope to catch up with many of you this weekend (15 – 17 August)– we’ll be in our usual spot at the entrance of Marquee 3 (28/29).

Update from the Biggest Week

May 16, 2014

Birding Africa guide Ethan Kistler stands in front of Birding Africa’s booth during The Biggest Week In American Birding – the largest birding festival in the USA! On the final day of the festival, Ethan reports that the festival has been a blast, the birding was incredible and that it’s been great to be back in his home state and see all of his birding friends. We hope to see a lot of those who attended the festival join us in Africa soon!

For more details about Birding Africa trips email us at info@birdingafrica.com

Visit us at The Biggest Week

May 12, 2014

For our American followers attending The Biggest Week In American Birding (until May 15), be sure to say hello to Ohio-native and Birding Africa guide, Ethan Kistler.

As Birding Africa is a festival partner, Ethan will be manning our Birding Africa booth. He’ll also be guiding festival field trips, birding the trails and give a free talk on birding South Africa.

The fair is hosted by the Black Swamp Bird Observatory in Northwest Ohio.

For more details about Birding Africa trips, please chat to Ethan at the fair, or email us at info@birdingafrica.com

Hottentot’s Holland Day Trip

March 5, 2014

Birding Africa guide Ethan Kistler reports back on an excellent day birding around the Hottentot’s Holland mountains, finding 95 species.

Birding the Hottentot's Holland

On this beautiful and sunny midsummer’s morning, we met in Camps Bay and headed east along the scenic ocean drive. It promised to be windy but we were keen to see our target species.

We started at Rooiels and ticked off every species we had hoped for, including Cape Rockjumper, Ground Woodpeckers and a pair of magnificent Verreaux’s Eagles.

Orange-breasted Sunbird

In Betty’s Bay, Harold Porter Botanical Gardens provided excellent views of showy birds such as Blue-mantled Crested-Flycatchers, African Paradise Flycatchers, Swee Waxbills and this Orange-breasted Sunbird.

At the Stoney Point penguin colony we saw all coastal cormorants, African Oystercatchers, Cape Gannet and a surprise Giant Kingfisher.

African penguins at Stoney Point

Finally, at Strandfontein Water Works we added flamingos, various ducks and waders and an African Fish-Eagle, boosting our trip list to 95 species.

For details about Birding Africa day trips from Cape Town, please click here.

To enquire or to book, please email Amanda Kropman or phone +27 (0)83 270 7452.

The kids of Nyungwe Bird Club

January 1, 2014

Some of you may remember last August at the British Birdfair, when Marje Hemp & Callan Cohen of Birding Africa hosted a presentation of binoculars and East African field Guides to Narcisse Ndayambaje. (Click on this blog)

Narcisse is a specialist bird guide who set up the Nyungwe Kids Birdwatching Club five years ago.

He wanted train the guides of the future, so they could make their own sustainable income. And he wanted to prompt the local community to conserve and protect their forest.

Narcisse does this out of his generosity and passion for birds and education.

On Boxing Day, Marje and Jonathan Hemp met Narcisse Ndayambaje and 18 members of the club at the Gisakura Guesthouse to find out how they were getting along.

These excited young birders arrived kitted out with their backpacks, binoculars and East African field guides and keen to go on a bird outing.

Narcisse quickly arranged with the Nyungwe Park Manager so the group could join Marje and Jonathan on a field trip to Kamiranzovu Marsh.

They hired a taxi from the local village for a great afternoon birding at Nyungwe. This is Rwanda’s world famous montane forest with 26 Albertine Rift specials.
Red-faced Woodland Warbler (c) Narcisse Ndayambaje

The kids had to come to terms with difficult words: Cinnamon Bracken Warbler, Grauer’s Rush Warbler, Ruwenzori Batis and Mountain Masked Apalis! And they recorded these sightings in their notebooks.

Guided by the ever patient Narcisse, they could observe these birds from the hide. What a great afternoon!

Thanks to the RSPB and African Bird Club who sponsored the binoculars and Nigel Redman for the East African Field guides. The club members very much appreciate these items.

Their dearest wish now is to visit other national parks in Rwanda such as Akagera and Volcanoes.


To like the bird club on Facebook, please visit https://www.facebook.com/nyungwekbw.club

New Trip Report: Ethiopia by Michael Mills

December 10, 2013

Michael Mills reports on our jam-packed 14-day Ethiopia tour: ‘ We found 515 bird species, including every Ethiopian and Eritrean endemic. We saw more than 20 Ethiopian Wolves, plus Mountain Nyala and Gelada Baboon and soaked up the dramatic scenery of East-Africa’s dazzling Rift Valley. Join us next April, just two places are left.’

Bird highlights included Blue-winged Goose near Addis; White-cheeked Turaco at Debre Libanos, Black-winged Lovebird at Jemma Valley and the localised Ankober Serin at Gemassa Gedel.

Boran Cisticola, Half-collared Kingfisher and Yellow-throated Seedeater entertained us in the lowlands. While Arabian and Hartlaub’s Bustard, Abdim’s Stork, Lichtenstein’s Sandgrouse, Dusky Nightjar, perched Barbary Falcon and Somali Ostrich showed in around Awash.

The Rift Valley immersed us with thrilling scenery and Wondo Genet with likes such as Abyssinian Woodpecker, Thick-billed Raven, Narina Trogon, Ethiopian Oriole and Yellow-fronted Parrot, until Spot-breasted Lapwing and Abyssinian (Long-eared) Owl welcomed us in the Bale Mountains.

In the Bale Mountains Ethiopian Wolf stole the show, featuring more than 20 animals. We also watched Abyssinian Catbird, Ayres’s Hawk Eagle, Crowned Eagle, Saker Falcon, Moorland Francolin, Rouget’s Rail and Chestnut-naped Francolin.

Prince Ruspoli’s Turaco (photo) and Abyssinian Ground Hornbill excited us en route to Negelle, where we had great views of Donaldson-Smith’s Nightjar and Sidamo Lark.

En-route to Yawello, some of the most memorable birds included White-tailed Swallow and Stresemann’s (or Ethiopian) Bushcrow (photo).

Click here to continue to the trip report to find out what else they saw.

Join Michael Mills in Ethiopia from 5 to 20 April 2014. Two places left.

Email Marje Hemp info@birdingafrica.com or phone +27 21 531 6405 to enquire or receive the tour details.

A quick update from our three Madagascar bird tours

November 24, 2013

Callan has just finished an incredible two-week natural history tour of Madagascar and his next birding tour starts tomorrow! He met up with Michael Mills and the other Birding Africa group at Andasibe a few days ago where we shared some good stake-outs, including a Madagascar Sparrowhawk nest — and this Madagascar Crested Ibis too. Will post more pics later, but here’s a Jewel Chameleon and a Painted Gecko from a night walk last week.

Madagascar Crested Ibis on a Birding Africa Madagascar tour

Jewel Chameleon on a Birding Africa Madagascar tour

Painted Gecko on a Birding Africa Madagascar tour

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