Our South African wildlife holiday report

How can anyone visit South Africa and not fit into their travel itinerary either an ascent of Table Mountain, a visit to Nelson Mandela’s former prison on Robben Island or a Big Five Animal Safari? All once in a life time things to do.

Well, we managed it! Hopefully this holiday account explains how as well as providing some useful travel information for others contemplating a South African holiday.

PLEASE NOTE that although we believe this to be an accurate account of events errors can occur and these are only our opinions, others may have different experiences and things change. If travelling to South Africa it is recommended that you contact official tour operators, travel companies and professional guides for advice.

Letters on map represent approximate locations of wildlife sites
Holiday Introduction
A – Holiday accommodation
B – Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens
C – Strandfontein
D – Paarl Bird Sanctuary
E – Paarl Mountain Reserve
F – Cape Of Good Hope
G – Cape Point
H – Darling Farmlands
I – Langebaan Lagoon
J – Boulder’s Beach
K – Rooi Els
L – Simon’s Town
More Cape birds
Summary of holiday and travel experiences

South Africa’s Cape Peninsular

In February 2006 we enjoyed a fantastic two weeks exploring South Africa’s Cape Peninsula and wildlife sites within an hour and half’s drive of Cape Town and within two hours of our fabulous apartment on the Cape Peninsula. A two week visit to a part of the world containing so many endemic species of birds and plants found in such diverse and spectacular landscapes was never going to be sufficient. And so it proved.

South Africa’s wildlife

As ever this was yet another holiday where we set out with the best intentions – to relax and leisurely enjoy the weather, wildlife and sites of a foreign country, whilst taking a few photos along the way.

We really should have known better! The planes wheels hadn’t even touched the runway at Cape Town airport when the glimpse of a Red-winged Starling flying over the airport perimeter fence had me fumbling for my listing notebook. And by the time we’d arrived at our holiday accommodation to find endemic bird species lining up on the balcony the holiday had already become a quest to see and photograph as much wildlife as we could in an impossibly short time frame.

Fortunately, this approach also lead us into to some of South Africa’s most spectacular landscapes – not to mention one of the worlds greatest sewage works!. It would also take us very close, almost too close, to one of the most lethal snakes in Africa during a visit to the Cape of Good Hope Reserve

We hope to return soon in the spring and early summer to experience what else this very special country has to offer and in particular the whale watching, wild flowers and big game.

Wildlife tour operators, wildlife guides and holiday accommodation providers

We are presently working on wildlife holiday reports from many parts of the world and drawing up a travel itinerary for future trips. If you have some wonderful wildlife tours you’d like to promote please contact us. Hopefully we may be able to visit you and include your accommodation, wildlife and guided tours in a future report.
Table Mountain lift Cape Town South Africa

Recommended South African bird identification and guide books

We found the following books very useful –
Essential Birding Western South Africa – Key routes from Cape Town to the Kalahari- Callan Cohen and Claire Spottiswoode.

Birds Of Southern Africa – Sasol – Ian Sinclair, Phil Hockey and Warwick Tarboton

Summary and other travel information

DAY 1 our holiday accommodation on the Cape Peninsular