The Western Cape is a truly remarkable piece of land. Hemmed in by the Atlantic Ocean to the south and west and an intricate system of Fold Mountains on the inland side, it is possibly as un-African it gets without leaving the continent. The winter rainfall regime, strong summer winds and unique topography have contributed to a high degree of endemism and a singularly unique floral kingdom, described originally by the Dutch settlers as Fynbos, or ‘Fine Bush’. This floral uniqueness also results in a unique bird component and the Western Cape is the place for the endemics-seeker. Throw in breathtaking scenery, warm and welcoming people, a long and interesting history and superb tourism infrastructure and the result is an unforgettable birding, wildlife and cultural experience. Our itinerary has been honed over the years to include the top birding spots while keeping travel and car-time to a minimum. Two nights per stop ensures an unhurried pace and lots of time to seek out the specials and endemics. Southern Right Whales are virtually guaranteed between September and November, while the onset of spring is the beginning of the famous Cape flower season. Indeed, once you’ve experienced it, you’ll understand just why it has long been dubbed as the fairest Cape of them all.
6 – 15 November 2020 (9 nights / 10 days)
5 – 14 November 2021
Starts in Cape Town on the morning of the 6th November 2020 / 5th November 2021. Ideally participants need to overnight in Cape Town the night before the tour starts. We are happy to arrange this accommodation. Alternatively participants need to arrive on early morning flights on the day the tour starts. Tour ends in Cape Town on the 15th November 2020 / 14th November 2021 in time for evening departure flights. Please check with us before booking any flights.
2020: ZAR 34 400 per person sharing, ZAR 2 950 single supplement
2021: ZAR 37 350 per person sharing, ZAR 3 200 single supplement
Price may be subject to change based on factors beyond our control.
• All breakfasts and dinners
• Ground transport
• Bottled water in vehicles whilst travelling
• Entrance fees
• Personalised checklists
• Specialist guide fees
• All airfares
• Travel and medical insurance
• All drinks
• Optional excursions where applicable
• Items of a personal nature
• This itinerary is subject to change due to weather conditions at the time and other factors beyond our control.
• The species mentioned in the itinerary represent only some of the possible ones we may see on the tour, however, none of these can be guaranteed even though every effort will be made where possible to locate them. A full list of possibles appears on your checklist.
*Visit Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens, one of the world’s great gardens.
*Visit Cape Point and the south-western tip of Africa.
*See African Penguins up close.
*See Blue Cranes, South Africa’s national bird.
*See the ‘Fynbos endemics’ – Cape Sugarbird, Cape Rockjumper, Cape Siskin & Orange-breasted Sunbird (and many other South African endemics and near-endemics).
*Marvel at the Fynbos vegetation, a unique and incredibly rich habitat full of wonderful flowers.
*See Southern Right Whales offshore.
*See the endemic Bontebok and Cape Mountain Zebra.
*Go on a ‘wader bash’ in the West Coast National Park.
*Taste some of the famous wines of the Cape.
Group size: maximum of 12 participants, 1 guide per 6 participants.
Areas visited: Cape peninsula, Swellendam, Ceres and Langebaan.
Expected weather conditions: the Cape’s weather is notoriously variable and while November is out of the traditional winter rainy season, some rain can be expected, while fine and warm conditions are also expected.
Tour tempo: medium to medium-plus, optional mid-day breaks on non-travelling days.
Accommodation standards: medium plus: lodges and guest houses.
Birding in brief: excellent variety, forest, marine, coastal, Karoo and mountain habitats covered.
Top birds: Cape Rockjumper, African Penguin, Cape Sugarbird, Black Harrier, Orange-breasted Sunbird, Cape Siskin, Knysna Woodpecker, Bank Cormorant, Cape Gannet, Karoo Korhaan, Karoo Eremomela, Cinnamon-breasted Warbler.
Mammal viewing: Southern Right Whales in season (August to December); antelope species such as the endemic Bontebok, Chacma Baboon, Rock Hyrax and other smaller species. No Big Five.
Other wildlife and attractions: Table Mountain and the Cape Peninsula, the scenic drive between Gordon’s Bay and Pringle Bay, the Fold Mountains of the interior, the desolate scenery of the Karoo.
Add-ons: This trip can be combined with an extension to the Kruger Park region. Contact us for more information.
“Thank you for organizing a great trip to the Western Cape region with a very good bird guide… All in all we have seen 197 species of birds (seen only!) including 143 (!) lifers”.
Rob and Alice Frijns, Netherlands, after Western Cape Highlights 2018