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South Africa Recommendations

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Old Saturday 21st January 2006, 22:38   #1
pmmorrison
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South Africa Recommendations

Hi all,

I'm off to South Africa later this year, anyone got any recommendations on the best books, field guides etc. Also if anyone knows of where to obtain detailed topographical maps etc (online or paper) I would be grateful.

Many thanks

Pete Morrison
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Old Sunday 22nd January 2006, 09:20   #2
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Hi Pete

We are also going to SA, in August. We're going to Kruger and Kwa-Zulu Natal. The best birding book for the whole country (and beyond) is Sasol Birds of Southern Africa, by Sinclair, Hockey and Tarboton, published by Struik. As a back-up, Newman's Birds of Southern Africa, published by MacMillan.

Get your maps from http://www.stanfords.co.uk/

I've found the following sites very useful:

http://www.ecoafrica.com/saparks/
http://www.go2africa.com/south-africa/map.asp
http://www.birdlife.org.za/
http://www.kznwildlife.com/bird_dest.htm
http://www.kznwildlife.com/
http://www.sabirding.co.za/

Have a great trip.
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Old Sunday 22nd January 2006, 09:21   #3
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PS The Rough Guide to South Africa is really excellent.
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Old Sunday 22nd January 2006, 09:23   #4
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Hi Pete,

I used the SASOL guide by Sinclair et al when I was there a few years ago. I think that was the best at the time and I suspect it still is. The illustrations are decent and there's plenty of detail, particularly about the trickier groups.
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Old Sunday 22nd January 2006, 11:23   #5
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I found the Sasol "Birding map of southern africa" a very useful thing to have,with all the major sites marked on,and the best areas covered in greater depth,with details of habitat,species etc,not sure which part you are visiting,but id recommend a pelagic trip from Simonstown,an experience never to be forgotten..
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Old Monday 23rd January 2006, 10:24   #6
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Originally Posted by sparrowbirder
but id recommend a pelagic trip from Simonstown,an experience never to be forgotten..

Wholeheartedly seconded. We ended up tailing a Longliner. Our crew were gaffing Kingklip which had come adrift and then proceeded to take them Aft to gut them beside some poor sods who were heaving up! Thoughtful Crew or what? But Birds and Whales were stunning. SASOL was the only Fieldguide we had with us and it was fine.

Wes

Last edited by Wes Hobarth : Monday 23rd January 2006 at 10:35. Reason: Typo
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Old Wednesday 17th May 2006, 14:05   #7
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May be of help

Quote:
Originally Posted by pmmorrison
Hi all,

I'm off to South Africa later this year, anyone got any recommendations on the best books, field guides etc. Also if anyone knows of where to obtain detailed topographical maps etc (online or paper) I would be grateful.

Many thanks

Pete Morrison
Hi Pete, we love birding and to help visiting birders around. We live in the Limpopo Province near the Kruger Park. We are not a service or a bussiness, just birders who would like to help other birders, our house is open if you are coming to this part of the country.

Regards,
Casper
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Old Wednesday 17th May 2006, 23:17   #8
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I have both the SASOL field guide, and Kenneth Newman's Field Guide. Both are good, although The SASOL guide looks a bit more comprehensive. That's not to say there aren't areas where Newman's may be better. I've never birded southern Africa, so I cannot say which would be more helpful. But both are worth a look.

Furthermore, I know there are some photographic guides available. One covers the region with 850+ (in an older edition) or 900+ (newer edition) phototgraphs. It is a field guide by Sinclair (also the author of SASOL, which uses two artists, Hayman and Arlott). The other photographic guide is by Davidson and Sinclair. Supposed to be an expensive book...but it looks beautiful. I think this link may help:
www.wildpicture.com
check out bird book reviews...both in the field and for at home.
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Old Thursday 18th May 2006, 01:11   #9
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Both Sinclair's SASOL and the Newman's are good.I preferred Newman's generally but did use both.In the current editions,SASOL's 3rd and Newman's 8th, I rate the SASOL as the better guide.The real "bible" for SA birds is Robert's but a little large to take into the field.Look at the Southern African Birdfinder by Callan Cohen & Claire Spottiswoode, and Jonathan Rossouw as a location guide.You may also want to take a look at South Africa in the "Country Resources section" of the African Bird Club site http://www.africanbirdclub.org/ .
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Old Thursday 29th June 2006, 05:45   #10
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Newman's is the one I use (and like), but my brother
carries the Sasol. Between the two you have the bases
covered. My only complaint with the Newman guide is that
the range maps don't line up with the descriptions, which
can (and has) lead/led to some confusion, but you get
used to it. A feature that I really like is that it gives you
space to in the index at the back to write in date and place
of sightings.

Last edited by killik : Thursday 29th June 2006 at 06:21.
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