Limpopo Birding Routes

Birding in Limpopo

Mixed woodland and Limpopo River Riparian Zone – Joe Grosel

Limpopo Province is an ideal destination for both the beginner birder and experienced twitcher. Diverse habitats offer spectacular scenery and host an incredible variety of birds. The North-eastern Escarpment and Soutpansberg mountain range create relief in the landscape which allows for the persistence of Afromontane forest and grassland. The lowland rivers such as the Limpopo, Luvuvhu and Letaba rivers form corridors for species normally associated with coastal forests. Nylsvley is one of the best-known wetlands in South Africa and is a declared RAMSAR site due to its importance for birds.

Over 600 bird species have been recorded in the province, of which 420 are resident. The area boasts 35 Southern African endemics and 48 Southern African near-endemics. There are a number of species that are easier to find in the Limpopo Province than in the rest of the country. These include Short-clawed Lark, Shelley's Francolin, Grey-headed Parrot, African Broadbill and Crested Guineafowl. In addition, many Central and East African bird species reach their southern-most distribution here and are not found anywhere else in the country. These include species such as Black-fronted Bush-Shrike, Arnot's Chat, Blue-spotted Wood-Dove, Racket-tailed Roller, Senegal Coucal and Tropical Boubou. Other sought-after specials include Narina Trogon, Bat Hawk, Cape Parrot, Pel’s Fishing Owl and Taita Falcon.

The province has three National Parks and numerous Provincial and Municipal Reserves within its borders. Kruger, Mapungubwe and Marakele National Parks are visited by hundreds of birdwatchers every year. Marakele National Park and Blouberg Nature Reserve are home to the largest and second largest Cape Vulture breeding colonies in South Africa. BirdLife South Africa has identified 10 Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas in Limpopo, these are priority sites for conserving birds and their habitats.

Our Birding Routes describe four regions in the province: Capricorn-Letaba, Soutpansberg-Limpopo, Waterberg-Nylsvley and Kruger-Canyons. We provide valuable information on how to access many of the special birding areas and sites and give details about birder-friendly accommodation establishments for all budgets. If you are chasing species, see the lists of regional birding specials with our ‘Big 10’ hit-list for each area.

Limpopo Province offers much more than exciting birding and dramatic scenery: you can also see the Big 5, go hiking, fishing, golfing, mountain biking, tubing and abseiling. There are incredible archaeological and rock-art sites, cultural experiences and arts-and-crafts establishments - something for everyone.

We invite you to explore our amazing province and experience our special attractions!