Sasol Birds of Southern Africa, 5th edition

10,000 Birds

And so, back to political entities, this field guide covers Namibia , Botswana , Zimbabwe , the southern half of Mozambique (south of the Zambezi River), South Africa , Lesotho and Eswatini ( Swaziland ).

Sani Pass – a Drakensberg birding gem

10,000 Birds

Albeit currently a rugged 4×4-only road, Sani Pass is the most accessible route from KwaZulu-Natal into the Mountain Kingdom of Lesotho. The final southern African stronghold of this species is the high Drakensberg mountains in Lesotho. Destinations Birding Lesotho Sani Pass South Africa“In 80 birding tours to more than 100 countries, that was definitely the best day of birding I have ever had in my life!’

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South Africa’s endemic birds

10,000 Birds

Drakensberg (or Orange-breasted) Rockjumper is a Drakensberg Mountain species whose range is shared with the tiny landlocked kingdom of Lesotho. One of the Drakensberg Rockjumper ’s most reliable stake-outs is Sani Pass, a winding 4×4 track from the village of Himeville into the mountain kingdom of Lesotho. Another near-endemic, shared only with tiny Lesotho and Swaziland is the bizarre Southern Bald Ibis.

Birding Botswana’s Borders

10,000 Birds

But I have visited Guatemala, Lesotho and Zimbabwe to actually visit them and count them, even though I spent less time in them than I did Zurich. I’ve never been one to be overly concerned about whether a bird “counts” People, and organisations, have complex and elaborate rules about whether a bird you saw or heard actually is a bird you saw or heard, which seems a very unnecessary way to add complexity to an already complex hobby.

Top 10 from Home

10,000 Birds

This was tough because this excluded species that occur in two countries within South Africa’s geographical area, Lesotho and Swaziland. I must be home-sick because last weekend I found myself browsing through my “SASOL Birds of Southern Africa&#. This prompted me to compile a list of my Top 10 birds from home. Initially I came up with a list of 64 favorite birds, certainly not a Top 10, and no matter how hard I tried I could not whittle this down further.

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Birding and Safari-ing South Africa with the ABA

10,000 Birds

The trip itself gave me a chance to experience rural areas of South Africa, bird the tiny country of Lesotho, see a lot of larks and cisticolas (small brownish birds whose identification challenges make sparrow identification look simple), three turacos in one day, and this incredible Narina Trogon (which I had also seen on the Safari, but not half as clear or close). I wanted Penguins. And Sunbirds.

The Storks of Africa

10,000 Birds

A large flock of resting Abdim’s Storks along the Nile, Uganda by Adam Riley A White Stork in its favored short grass habitat, Sani Pass, Lesotho by Adam Riley The White Stork is the most strictly migrant of all our storks. Africa has more than its fair share of storks, with 8 of the world’s 19 species gracing the continent. Furthermore we have another very special stork-like bird, the regal Shoebill , previously known as the Whale-headed Stork but now placed in its own family.