Greater Limpopo Birding Route
Did you know?
You’ll find 35 South African endemic birds in the Greater Limpopo Birding Routes area.
If you were to ask a serious South African birder about the most productive area for birding in the country, he would most likely recommend the “Greater Limpopo Birding Route”.
In this upper crescent of South Africa, roughly north-west, north and north-east of Johannesburg up to the Limpopo river, the birding list stands at an awe-inspiring 600, of which 420 birds are resident.
The terrain, of course, is the reason. Here you’ll find a series of mountain ranges, plus floodplains where thousands of birds gather every year, as well as lowland riverine forests and bushy savannahs.
There are bird specials here that are far easier to find than anywhere else in the country. You’ll probably be able to tick off lifers like grey-headed parrot, African broadbill, short-clawed lark, Shelley’s francolin and crested guineafowl.
Others, like Arnott’s chat and the Senegal coucal, are central African birds at the southern edge of their range here.
So prolific is the variety that the Greater Limpopo Birding Routes (expanded from the previous Soutpansberg-Limpopo Birding Route) are split into four distinct sections.
They are: the Waterberg-Nylsvley Birding Route, the Capricorn-Letaba Birding Route, the Kruger to Canyons Birding Route as well as the original Soutpansberg-Limpopo Birding Route.
Each route has its own project manager who runs it in partnership with BirdLife South Africa.
Another reason for the prolific birdlife here is that the region is home to no less than 3 national parks and several provincial parks. Many landowners have also turned to ecotourism.
Because several ornithological studies are on the go in the region, birders are encouraged to report their sightings, especially of southern ground hornbills, short-clawed larks, raptors and the Kalahari scrub-robin.
There’s another reason to be especially alert. Parts of the Great Limpopo Birding Routes area have not been fully explored, and intrepid birders stand a good chance of making new discoveries.
Travel tips & Planning info
Who to contact
Greater Limpopo Birding Routes
Tel and fax: +27 (0) 15 276 1131
Cell: +27 (0) 82 200 4596
Tours to do
Length of stay
What to pack
Birding paraphenalia: relevant bird book, binoculars, scope (if you have one), comfortable walking shoes and hat.