Africa - South Africa - Gauteng


Gauteng is the smallest province of South Africa, and, as the industrial heartland of South Africa, much habitat is degraded. The province does however offer high bird diversity, as it straddles the transition between several different biomes. Approximately 350 species of birds are regularly present, and many more have been recorded. Gauteng province offers the visitor 60 endemic species or near endemics to the Southern African Region, which can make a short birding foray very worthwhile for global twitchers with limited time.

For large mammals and particularly predators you will need to visit one of the less urbanised provinces.

Red-throated Wryneck Jynx ruficollis ãHugh Chittenden Birding Ecotours

The province lies on the continental watershed, and much of it is at relatively high altitude (1000 - 1600m). This is part of a wider region known as the highveld. The east and south is largely grasslands, with the Suikerbosrand range being a key feature of the southern section. These grasslands are largely degraded through agriculture, but a range of grassland endemics and specials are still present, especially in the Suikerbosrand reserve, and to a lesser extent along the eastern border of the province. The Magaliesburg is a prominent ridge that runs westwards from Pretoria-east. North of the Magaliesburg range, and in the valleys of the west and north-west part of the province, it is much warmer and woodlands and wooded valleys prevail.

Pririt Batis Batis pririt ãStephen Hammer Birding Ecotours

The best woodlands are the acacia thornveld of the northern parts of the province and broadleaved woodlands in the northeast. A number of significant wetlands and large water bodies provide for a good range of water birds, and up to 17 species of herons are possible! The most important of the wetlands is the Blesbokspruit – an extensive wetland near Nigel in the southeast of the province.

While there is no reason for birders to restrict themselves to birding just in the Gauteng Province, it does contain a number of excellent birding localities, so is well worth a visit.

Gauteng is a common stopover for business travellers or conference-goers, and while the localities below can provide a fine birding interlude, it is best to venture a little further into neighbouring North-west Province for really excellent bushveld birding.

Small mammals and deer are still found in the province but larger predators can only be seen in places like the Ann van Dyk Cheetah Centre.

Cheetah Acinonyx jubatus  ãJohn Tinkler Birding Ecotours

Top localities nearby include Vaalkop Dam (Northwest Bird Sanctuary); Borakolalo National Park and Pilanesburg in the North-West Province, Nylsvley Nature Reserve and Zaagkuildrift in the Northern Province, and Loskop Dam Nature Reserve in Mpumalanga. There is also superb highveld birding some three hours’ drive away in the Memel or Wakkerstroom areas – both of which offer a range of grassland endemics.

 

Text Source: Fatbirder

Photo Source: Birding Ecotours

Map Source: Google Maps


Companies Offering Services to this Destination


Company Type Company Name
Tours Birding Ecotours


Trip Reports for this Destination


Company or User Destination Sub destination Description Trip Start Date
Birding Ecotours South Africa - Gauteng Suikerbosrand Nature Reserve SOUTH AFRICA: 2-DAY SOUTHERN GAUTENG TO DULLSTROOM BIRDING TRIP December 16, 2015 Download Report
Birding Ecotours South Africa - Gauteng Gauteng, Mpumalanga, Western Cape TRIP REPORT SOUTH AFRICA: GAUTENG, MPUMALANGA, AND WESTERN CAPE July 20, 2016 Download Report
Birding Ecotours South Africa - Gauteng Suikerbosrand Nature Reserve; Marievale Bird Sanctuary SOUTH AFRICA: SUIKERBOSRAND NATURE RESERVE AND MARIEVALE BIRD SANCTUARY September 04, 2016 Download Report
Birding Ecotours South Africa - Gauteng Suikerbosrand Nature Reserve and Marievale Bird Sanctuary SOUTH AFRICA: SUIKERBOSRAND NATURE RESERVE AND MARIEVALE BIRD SANCTUARY September 12, 2016 Download Report


Checklist of birds for Africa - South Africa - Gauteng
Birding hotspots for Africa - South Africa - Gauteng