Birding South Africa Sept - Oct 2017

In September/October 2017, Terry and I experienced a marvelous 22 days touring and birding in South Africa.  We joined good friends, Cathy and Harold Zappe who introduced us to their home country including family and friends. They gave us a personally guided week-long tour along the southern Garden Route west of East London that runs along the Indian Ocean coast.  From there we drove up through the semi-desert region and on to wine country vineyards before finally reaching Cape Town.  In Cape Town, Cathy arranged for a private tour of the incredible UNESCO World Heritage Site, Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden, which displays plants from all the diverse regions and biomes of southern Africa.  Our final two weeks included a professionally guided birding tour led by Birding Africa. We birded around the Cape Town area, the Western Coast along the Atlantic Ocean, the Eastern Cape on the Indian Ocean, and the interior arid Karoo before flying to Johannesburg and driving to Kruger National Park seeing over 300 bird species in all.  We saw many wonderful sights, birds and animals exemplified by the following facts:  “South Africa is full of wildlife. The country takes up only about one percent of Earth's land surface, but is home to almost 10 percent of the world's known bird, fish, and plant species and about 6 percent of its mammal and reptile species.”