The Kruger National Park is the finest area for bird watching in Southern Africa. Home to more than 500 species the park and its neighbouring reserves are the ideal destinations for bird watching enthusiasts. As is the case with the animals the birds in the area are not confined by fences, they are free to move between the park and all the surrounding reserves.
So whether you're in the Sabi Sands, Lions Sands or Timbavati Private Game Reserve you will have access to some of the most spectacular bird watching the Kruger Park has to offer.
Birding Safari Information
While the best time for game viewing in the Kruger Park is during the winter months (April to September) the best time for birders to visit is during summer (October - March) when the vegetation is lush and everything is green thanks to the summer rains. Before embarking on your birding safari in the Kruger National Park don't forget to go for Malaria vaccinations; pack lots of sunscreen, a hat, sunglasses, cool clothing and a few warmer items and a pair of binoculars.
The Big Five and Birding Big Six
African safaris are renowned for the opportunity they present to witness the mighty Big Five in their natural habitat. The Elephant, Lion, Leopard, Buffalo and Rhino are the crème de la crème of an African safari. There are very few reserves that are home to all five of the animals but the Kruger National Park and its surrounding private game reserves are renowned for the excellent opportunities they present to visitors looking to spot all five of the animals on their holiday.
While animals may be the main attraction the birdlife in Kruger Park and its surrounding reserves is astounding. In fact, it is one of the few places that visitors will have the chance to see South Africa's birding Big Six. Not as well known as their animal counterparts the six feathery species are a hit amongst safari enthusiasts to the park from around the world.
The Big Five are the five species that were once considered the most trophy worthy by hunters and have become the most popular animals to sight while on safari. The birding Big Six represent the birds the visitors to Kruger Park most want to see. They are all very easily identifiable which makes a birding safari highly rewarding even for inexperienced birders. Most of the members are restricted to the Kruger Park, its surrounding reserves and other conservation areas as their numbers have reduced over the last few decades. A birding safari in Kruger Park presents travellers with the rare chance of seeing all six of the species in one area. Five of the six are easily spotted: the Lappet Faced Vulture, Martial Eagle, Saddle Billed Stork, Kori Bustard and the Ground Hornbill. It's the Pel's Fishing Owl that can be a little difficult to see as it is a nocturnal animal that has an affinity for water.
Birding Safari Accommodation
There are a variety of safari accommodation offerings from which to choose. Whether you prefer luxurious lodges or rustic bush camps you'll be spoilt for choice. The rangers at the lodges and camps are highly experienced and will spot birds that you would never have seen with the naked eye. While your group is looking for birds your ranger will inform and delight you with stories about the creatures - everything from their eating habits to how it is said that they got their names.
Birdwatchers from around the world are attracted to the Timbavati Private Game Reserve which shares its imaginary borders with the Kruger National Park both because of the exceptional wildlife and the fantastic accommodation offerings.
Bird watching at Umlani Bushcamp
When it comes to birding in Kruger Park there are fewer locations more spectacular than the Umlani Bushcamp in the nearby Timbavati Private Nature Reserve. Located in the western central part of the Kruger National Park bird watching at Umlani Bushcamp rarely disappoints due to the many excellent vantage points and the vast number of species associated with birding in the Kruger Park and the surrounding private reserves like Timbavati.
In preparation for your birding safari why not stroll outside look up into the trees in your garden or in your local park. Bird watching is not something that you need to travel halfway across the world to enjoy.
The Umlani Bushcamp was founded in 1989 in the Timbavati Private Nature Reserve, now part of the Kruger National Park. This simplistic luxury game lodge combines 5-star service with the adventure of an African safari – the perfect location for a birding safari in the Kruger National Park [http://www.umlani.com/birding.q].
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