Birding in the Eastern Cape: Enjoying South Africa’s Bountiful Birdlife

Knysna TuracoSouth Africa is blessed with a diverse and prolific population of birds. We’re home to over 750 different species, many of them endemic to our country, meaning that there are very few places outside of South Africa you’ll find them.

Birdwatching is a rewarding and healthy way to get out into nature, enjoy some exercise and admire our abundant wildlife and South Africa is widely considered one of the best locales in Africa to do it. It takes a lot of skill, patience and energy to catch even a glimpse of some of the more reclusive species but the wonder of witnessing something firsthand that very few people get to experience makes it worth the effort. Along the way you’ll share some amazing experiences with your fellow adventurers and have plenty of stories to tell when you get back home.

The Eastern Cape is home to a broad range of species, around 450, inhabiting a variety of terrain and biomes. It’s has over a dozen recognised Important Bird Areas or IBAs. So whether you’re interested in seabirds, forest dwellers or the species living in a semi arid region there’s something to tickle your fancy. From Green Fountain Farm Resort it’s a short drive to any number of a wide variety of terrains and environments.

African has an excellent overview of the entire province as well as instructions on how and where to spot one of EC’s rarest birds the Roseate Tern. There’s also an amazing list of excellent birding locations on

If you’re not sure where to start and would appreciate someone to help you out then drop Anne Williams a line. Anne is a locally based FGASA registered guide with over a decade of experience and intimate knowledge of the area spanning from Port Alfred to Bathurst and the Fish River. She knows her stuff and will guide your group to see exactly what you want.

If you’re looking for a handy online guide to identify the species you want to see or have seen go check out Sasol’s E-bird Guide, based on the bestselling bird spotter’s book of the same name, or check out more info about the various categories and sub categories here.

Whatever you do, don’t forget the essentials: Good walking or hiking boots, drinking water, binoculars and sunblock. Nothing ruins a day out birdspotting faster than blisters, sunstroke and dehydration! And remember to pack that camera!