BIRD AND MAMMAL SAFARI
GARDEN ROUTE TO PORT ELIZABETH
This itinerary serves as a guide only. Aperture Wild will gladly tailor the safari to suit your specific needs and time restraints.
Use the information below to plan your own customised safari with Aperture Wild:
7 DAY SAFARI
The Garden Route is one of the most popular areas to visit in South Africa – and many visitors are attracted to its serene beauty alone. It’s a lush, verdant region with predominant forest and wetland vegetation.
This safari follows the coastal belt from Mossel Bay through the picturesque towns of George, Wilderness, Sedgefield, Knysna, Plettenberg Bay and the Tsitsikamma region into the southern parts of the Eastern Cape. For the wildlife enthusiast, the main attraction is the array of forest birds of the area. Many of these venues offer bird watchers’ and bird photographers’ alike easy and pleasant access to these and many other colourful avian beauties:
• Wilderness National Park offers coastal lakes between the shoreline and the forest-covered mountains of the escarpment where some of the best water and forest birding can be found;
• Robberg Nature Reserve is the perfect habitat for fynbos specials;
• Boating trips up Keurbooms River estuary and along the forest-lined waterways offer exciting birding;
• Nature’s Valley lies within the Tsitsikamma National Park and has abundant forest trails around the Groot River lagoon, where bird watching and bird photography opportunities are excellent.
Species one can expect to see are: Knysna Turaco, Narina Trogon, Eastern Black-headed Oriole, Grey Cuckooshrike, Scaly-throated Honeyguide, Black-bellied Starling, Half-collared Giant, Malachite and Pied Kingfisher; Paradise, Blue-mantled Crested and Dusky Flycatchers, Terrestrial Brownbul, Sombre Greenbul, Chorister Robin-chat, Olive and Knysna Woodpecker, Olive Bush-shrike, Forest Canary; Half Collared, Greater and Southern Double-collared Sunbirds. Water birds such as Darter, White-fronted and Reed Cormorant, Little Egret, Grey and Purple Heron, Little and Great-crested Grebe, assorted duck, Lesser Swamp and Little Rush Warblers, Red-chested Flufftail and African Rail. Migrant waders in summer months include, Grey Plover, Common Whimbrel, Curlew Sandpiper and Common Greenshank. Raptors to look out for include; African Fish-Eagle, Osprey (summer), African Marsh Harrier, Jackal and Forest Buzzard, Steppe Buzzard (summer).
The safari then enters the Eastern Cape Province. The area between Tsitsikamma and Port Elizabeth has many pockets of dune forest as well as a number of estuaries that are renowned bird watching sites. At Humansdorp, there is an isolated population of the vulnerable White-bellied Korhaan which would be of interest to most bird watchers. Shorebirds are present along the coast with the Cape Recife Nature Reserve being one of the more popular sighting venues.
The safari then heads for the luxurious Shamwari Private Game Reserve and/or Addo Elephant National Park (the third largest national park in South Africa). Although birding in these parks is excellent, the shift of focus of the safari naturally turns more towards mammals. These reserves are malaria-free and offer the unrivalled thrill of Africa’s Big Five as well many of the other big game species. Lion, Cheetah, Buffalo, Elephant, Black Rhinoceros, Hippopotamus, Giraffe, Zebra, Greater Kudu, Eland, Spotted Hyena and Springbok, are a few of the popular targets. Although Leopard is present, sightings of this cat are rare. Photographic and viewing opportunities are superb.
Guests can be met at George Airport to commence the safari or, alternatively, they may prefer to fly into Port Elizabeth and do the itinerary in reverse.
This safari may also be coupled with the South Coast Overberg Safari and start in Cape Town.
Aperture Wild will arrange the itinerary according to your personal requirements. Please feel free to discuss your particular preferences with us.