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South Africa (August 2019)

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Old Monday 21st October 2019, 21:05   #1
arodris
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South Africa (August 2019)

Hello everyone:

Last August I used my vacations to visit South Africa. Undoubtedly a country with an incredible variety, where I could enjoy with up to 240 species of birds and about 40 of mammals. The trip had two distinct parts. The first one was centered around Cape Town, an area whose predominant ecosystem is known as fynbos, a shrubby plant formation with an abundance of proteas and ericas. In addition, because it is a coastal area, one can find birds corresponding to that environment. Boat trips leave from this area both to see pelagic birds and to see white shark or southern right whale. Unfortunately, bad weather prevented all those boat trips, but in return we were able to visit other equally interesting areas.

The second part of the trip was focused on the eastern part of the country, from Isimangaliso, a wetland that is a World Heritage Site, passing through Esuatini (formerly Swaziland), until reaching the well-known Kruger National Park. Of course I left large areas without visiting, from the Karoo area, almost deserted, to the one known as the Garden Route, on the south coast of the country, each with their own endemisms. Without doubt, both ecosystems deserve a future visit.

To organize the trip I regularly used the highly recommended blogs (sorry, in spanish) from Paco Chiclana (for both areas) (http://elblogdepacochiclana.blogspot...el-cabo-y.html) and Daniel García (mainly for Kruger, with an impressive description of all the days they were there; here I leave only his last entry, but you can easily search for the remaining ones) (https://avistadepajaros. wordpress.c...os-de-interes/).

From my part, and for the moment I have made a series of entries corresponding to the area around Cape Town. Here, I leave you them in case anyone can be interested to organize future trips. Later I will add those corresponding to the eastern part of the country.

1. Cape Town and West Coast National Park
2. Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden and west coast of Cape Peninsula
3. Boulders Beach
4. Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve (Table Mountain National Park)
5. Sir Lowry's Pass
6. Stony Point Nature Reserve (Betty's Bay)
7. Hermanus
8. De Hoop Nature Reserve
9. Agulhas Plains

Below you can see some pictures of a blue crane, fiscal flycatcher, african penguin, common eland and orange-breasted sunbird. More pictures can be found in the above links, together with the locations of the visited areas.
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Old Sunday 27th October 2019, 04:23   #2
Lanhua
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Very informative report. I'm waiting for the next step.

Mietek
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Old Sunday 27th October 2019, 09:25   #3
andyadcock
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Nice,
can't believe you didn't see Cape Vulture at De Hoop?
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Old Tuesday 29th October 2019, 21:03   #4
arodris
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You are right, Andy,

I was not lucky with cape vultures in the reserve itself. However I saw some of them in the road that leads to the reserve, few km before the entrance.

This is the list in ebird for that road (and the approximate location): https://ebird.org/checklist/S58968408

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Old Tuesday 19th November 2019, 19:33   #5
arodris
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Hi again,

Next step was iSimasalingo Wetland Park, a really nice place, and not a very busy one:

10. iSimasalingo Wetland Park.

iSimangaliso is the third largest protected area in South Africa, and was the first World Heritage Site in this country, declared in 1999. It is located on the east coast of the KwaZulu-Natal province, about 250 km north of the city of Durban. The variety of habitats is very wide, and includes about 220 km of coastline, the estuary of the iMfolozi River and the mouth of St. Lucia Lake, lake areas such as the one mentioned or the Kosi Lake, wooded savannas and jungle and swampy areas. All this makes the wildlife variety impressive. More than 530 bird species have been described in iSimangaliso and mammals include antelopes, rhinos and hippos. We stayed two nights, and we visited the area closest to the town of St. Lucia, which contains a multitude of accommodations and other services. Specifically we moved through both shores of Lake St. Lucia, known as Eastern and Western Shores, respectively, as well as through the mouth of the lake. We also did a boat trip through the St. Lucia Lake to see hippos and crocodiles.

Below you can find some pictures. If you are interesed in a more complete description, please click on the link above.
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Last edited by arodris : Tuesday 19th November 2019 at 20:21.
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