South African Birding Tours

South Africa Bird tours. Birding Ecotours.

Avitourism – South Africa’s nature and birding sites. Birding Ecotours.

Ekala Birding Ecotours
Avitourism – South Africa – birding destinations par excellence – Birding Ecotours​.
Photographic experience paired with comfortable accommodation and a great overall birding and nature experience.

Birding enthusiasts actually wish to spend more time at a sighting to get the perfect pictures.

As our birding eco tours are private, you can take all the time needed to get that photo. Ekala will thus position the vehicle in the best manner to allow you to get that bird photo.

Birding eco tours in our national game parks:

Indeed some of the best birding experience are in our National parks as Pilanesberg and Kruger.

Guests are enthralled by Ekala’s passion and enthusiasm to explore the nature and bird life of our National game reserves.

Ekala Birding Ecotours

Private, professional and reliable tailor made birding eco tours.



This area offers spectacular birding diversity. Over 420 regularly species with 68 endemic species or near endemics are present in the region.

Accordingly the perfect nature area for a short birding tour and very worthwhile for birders with limited time.

Rondebult Bird Sanctuary.

Mainly water birds in a series of large ponds.

Kloofendal Nature Reserve.

150 ha Reserve, 30 minutes west of Johannesburg, consisting of typical Highveld vegetation and rocky outcrops and ridges.


Circular walking trails take you around the reserve, past a dam and then a bird hide.

Indeed birds encountered include Malachite Sunbirds, Black Cuckoo shrike, Spotted eagle and Barn Owl, Lesser and Greater Honeyguides, Klaas’s cuckoo, Diedericks cuckoo, Bokmakierie and Fairy flycatcher.

Walter Sisulu Botanical Gardens

Excellent birding location with a bird list of over 220 species. Including a breeding pair of Verreaux’s’ Eagles, African Black Duck, Cape Rock-Thrush, Half-collared Kingfisher, Mocking Cliff-Chat, Rock Kestrel, Cinnamon-breasted Bunting and Cape Bunting.

Blesbokspruit Nature Reserve

Key wetland system of international importance running from Kempton Park and flowing into the Vaal River. Bird list of over 250 species additionally substantial numbers of waterbirds.


Accordingly acting as a sanctuary for many species in an extremely industrialized urban environment.

Marievale Bird and Nature Sanctuary

Part of the Blesbokspruit wetland, a modified high-altitude wetland consisting of a large pan and then home to many water birds.


A bird list of over 280 species including the Painted Snipe, Slaty Egret, Grass Owl, Baillon’s Crake, Cape Shoveller and Yellow Canary.

Suikerbosrand Nature Reserve

Gauteng’s largest nature reserve, 45 minutes South East of Johannesburg with a huge diversity of habitats. Over 13 000 hectares with excellent hiking trails and a bird list of over 260 species.


Including Yellow-tufted Pipit, Sentinel Rock Thrush, Red-capped Lark, Black Harrier, Ground Woodpecker, Black Eagle, Red-throated Wryneck, Grey-winged and Red-winged Francolins, Orange River Francolin, Striped Pipit and Black-throated Canary.

Bullfrog pan

While one of the most natural and attractive looking pans in the area, birding is quite unpredictable.


Over 140 species can be found at different times of the year. However a bonus is the appearance of the giant bullfrog after heavy rains.

Steward’s Pan

Excellent site for the grey headed gull.

Korsman Bird Sanctuary

Natural pan bounded by a residential area. Good urban bird watching site.

Ezemvelo Nature Reserve and Bronkhorstspruit Dam

A 10000Ha Nature Reserve of excellent grassland habitat, riverine bush and acacia veld. A bird list of over 200 species and then a haven for waterfowl.

Species include Buffy and Plain backed Pipits, White backed Duck, Great Crested Grebe, White-bellied Korhaan, Blue Korhaan, Orange River Francolin and Red breasted Swallow.

Dinokeng (Northeastern Gauteng)

A wide variety of grasslands and woodland habitats and then the 12 500 ha Dinokeng Game Reserve.


Dinokeng is a bird watcher’s paradise, with the highest species diversity in the country besides the Pilanesberg and Zululand – Northern KwaZulu-Natal Natal.

Austin Roberts Memorial Bird Sanctuary

11 hectare bird sanctuary. Wetlands attract over 160 birds species. A bird hide then makes for excellent bird watching.

Best ability to contact Ekala for birding tours:

Then will respond within 24 hours. Actually in most cases less. However depend on time differences.

Additionally Cell phones do create some problems. Due to time difference or because we may all be on tour and thus unable to answer your call at that time. Thus email works perfectly.

Furthermore difficult to deal with tour specifics on a cell phone.

North West Province:
Vaalkop Dam and Borakalalo Nature Reserve.

Wide diversity of water, bushveld and woodland birds. 300 plus species, a high raptor count and then with a summer list of 120 species.

Pilanesberg National Park:

One of the largest Game Parks in South Africa covering an area of 55 000 hectares with approximately 200km of well-maintained roads while having the greatest variety of animals per square km in Southern Africa.

All dams in the park, the largest being Mankwe dam, have bird hides, indeed perfectly suited for bird watching. Over 300 bird species with 120 being easily found in a summer morning tour.

This is indeed the best birding option if travelling from Johannesburg or in the city for a short time.

Tailor made eco-tourism and birding tour experiences that thus cater for solo travellers, couples, families and group birding tours.

Mpumalanga Province

Kruger National Park

Covering an area of over 20, 000 square km. Is approx 60 km wide and 350 km long. More than 500 bird species, 146 mammals, then with more than 190 species of reptiles, fish and amphibians.


Over 23000 plant species have been recorded in this conservation area. Kruger is the Flagship national game park of South Africa and indeed a conservation area of unparalleled diversity.


Graskop – through the spectacular Blyde River Canyon and panorama route to Kruger National park.


Always best to travel to the Kruger through this area with some of the most spectacular scenery in South Africa.


An extensive and varied range of habitats providing a home to over of 74 bird families with an astounding bird list of over 500 species, 8 of these are endemic to the region. 85% of South Africa’s raptor species are additionally found in this area.

Drakensberg Mountain range – Awe inspiring birding setting with amazingly dramatic scenery.

South Africa’s highest mountain range (3,482 metres) and then most prominent geological feature stretching for some 1,000 kilometres.

The mountain range divides the coastal plain of savannah woodland from the high-lying grasslands of the interior.

This broad variety of habitat ensures a remarkable species diversity, with the total current bird count of over 400 species. Some 150 are common and 30 are endangered or highly endangered.

Appreciation of South Africa’s natural diversity

Ekala’s birding eco tours can then be adapted to the client’s individual needs.

Accordingly we accommodate specific and personal requirements.


All the following nature sites are considered to be of South Africa’s best birding sites.
Pongola Bush Nature Reserve and Vryheid Hill Nature Reserve

This region provides the birdwatcher with about 340 species, while 50 of these endemic or near-endemic. With grasslands in the west and bushveld to the east.

A large catchment area with additionally many wetlands and mountains, ideal birders location.

Amatikulu Nature Reserve

A 2100ha coastal reserve of forested dunes and grasslands. Situated at the convergence of the Amatikulu and Nyoni rivers and is thus one of the few coastal (Indian Ocean) forested reserves in South Africa.


Numerous diverse habitats with a bird list of over 300 species.


Unique habitat diversity, bordering on the St. Lucia Wetland Park. These and then the ability to walk within the reserve, make this a birders paradise.


With a list of over 360 species, including a number of Southern African endemic species and additionally 4 east coast endemic or near-endemic species.

Dlinza Forest – Eshowe

A prime South African forest birding spot of 250ha.

Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park

 A varied landscape and habitat diversity, with a bird list of over 360 species. With daily summer time lists of 100 birds indeed being possible.

Ithala Game Reserve

Variable altitudes and diversity have thus resulted in an excellent range of birds.

Mkuze Game Reserve

Covering 40 000 ha, Mkuze is one of Kwazulu Natal,s top birding sites. A protected area with a wide diversity of habitat, then with a bird list of over 450 species.


Coastal and swamp forest, mangroves, lagoons and grasslands. All thus making for excellent birding opportunities.

Ndumo Game Reserve

Bordering Mozambique with the Usuthu River and additionally has the Pongola River flowing through the reserve.


These and then an extensive wetland has resulted in an amazing range of aquatic bird life. Acacia Savannah, thick bush and extensive forests have resulted in a bird list of close to 420 species.

Ongoye Forest

3900ha of stunning coastal forest stretching for about 20 km overlooking the Indian Ocean Richard’s Bay – One of South Africa’s largest estuaries and thus a top water bird area and an attraction to migrants down South Africa’s east Coast.


In spite of increasing industrialization in the area, birding is excellent with a diverse range of habitats. A summer day can produce a bird list of 100 plus species.

St Lucia Isimangaliso Wetland Park

South Africa’s most definitive Eco-tourist experience. Covering a land area of about 240,000 ha and a Marine eco system of 84,000ha – accordingly South Africa’s third largest National Park.


A wetland park with exceptional species diversity. Over the course of the year over 500 different birds species can be counted.

The Greater St. Lucia Wetlands Park can actually be described in five recognized ecosystems.

Marine System. 280 km of Indian Ocean coastline and marine ecosystem. Endangered leatherback turtles return to the area year after year to lay their eggs on the beach.

Eastern Shores. Lying east of Lake St. Lucia, consisting of grassy plains, wetlands and coastal dune forests extending the full length of the reserve.

These dunes then form a natural barrier between the wetland and the Indian Ocean.

Lake St. Lucia. Largest Estuarine system in the world.

Extensive lake with an average depth of 1 metre, 85 kilometers long, and home to numerous life forms.

Mkuze Swamps Expansive reed and papyrus wetland on the northern end of Lake St. Lucia.

Western shores. This is the driest part of the wetland park- comprising savanna and thornveld.


Each of these ecosystems offering a diverse range of birds and St Lucia is then an important breeding area for water birds.


Supporting large numbers of flamingos pelicans and storks. Summer day lists of over 100 are achievable.

Tembe Elephant Park

30000Ha reserve of thornveld, scrub bush and sand forest habitat with a bird list of over 345.


Various habitat types however mainly includes woodlands with thorn and dune forests.

Different birding options available – structured around your requirements and timing to create a multi day local wildlife tour package:

If only one day is available in Johannesburg, then best birding experience would be the day in the Pilanesberg.

One night minimum would be best, however as a single day birding experience does work.


Game reserves

Ekala’s guides are well spoken providing interesting detail and clarity while on tour.

While active engagement between guide and guest is encouraged.

Ekala Birding Ecotours

Private – Professional – fully guided tours – 7 days a week.

Different tour/safari options available - historical/cultural/wildlife - structured around your requirements and timing to create a multi day local tour package:

Wildlife experiences - Sanctuaries - South Africa Bird tours:
Cultural Tours:
Historical tours
Other Professional tours:
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Superior bird watching photographic opportunities, paired additionally with highly experienced professional guides.

Thus providing a unique birding experience.

Giant Egret - Pilanesberg
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Ekala Family & Guides

Ekala family & tour/safari guides

We pride ourselves on our extensive knowledge of South Africa’s nature, history, culture and wildlife.

Thus we focus were our experience and expertise lies – in South Africa only.

Highly Experienced Guides

Accordingly with our vast experience and expertise, we will bring the historical and cultural tours to life.

Additionally sharing our love and knowledge of South Africa’s nature, wildlife and national game parks.

Ensuring as a result, you leave full of the best memories.


Thus Ekala will endeavor to personalise your tour package according to individual requirements/interests as well as available time .

Personal touch

Furthermore Ekala personally conducts and organises all our tours and safaris.

As highly experience and professional guides.

Consequently you get an enhanced understanding of South Africa’s wildlife, history and diverse cultures.

Thus the best South African Experience

South Africa is a country known for great hospitality, colourful people and indeed fantastic food.

Then let Ekala Eco Tours provide the gateway to your discovery of South Africa.

Come with us and experience the rhythm of South Africa as well as our birdlife.

South Africa’s breathtaking beauty and then the unforgettable hospitality of your hosts.

Ekala Birding Ecotours

Our safari/bird tours are non-invasive

No wildlife interactions

Focusing on the national game reserves – naturally wild.

Promote conservation and education.

As Kruger and Pilanesberg National Game reserves.

An experience that will be remembered for the right reason

We do not support private – commercially based “parks”

Ekala Birding Ecotours

Enjoying and respecting South Africa’s national assets.

A Birding eco tour to remember for the right reason

Kingfisher with fish - birding tours

Ekala's safari vehicles

Vehicles provide advantageous views of scenery and additionally are all air-conditioned.

Private ‘small group’ safaris are enjoyed in all-weather 4x4 vehicles.

Furthermore our vehicles provide a more intimate and exclusive safari experience.

Ekala’s vehicles are thus easily maneuvered for outstanding photography opportunities.

Moreover individual interests can be met within small private tour groups.

Accordingly our vehicles are comfortable, practical and suitable for South Africa’s variation in weather and seasons.

Birding tour prices

No prices on our website as a result of the unique, individual and specialised requirements for each tour we supply.

Thus Ekala structure our birding tours/safari’s around our client’s individual requirements.

So if time is limited

We thus structure the tour from arrival to departure – including airport collection and drop off.

Accordingly using all time available as a fully guided professional tour.

Consequently not simply a point to point mixed group drive around.

As a result, tour quote based on your specific requirements.

 Responsible and ethical tourism/consumerism.