Limpopo Birding Routes

Soutpansberg Limpopo Recommended Routes


Luvuvhu River - Marianne
Eastern Route (5 Days)

This route will take you along the Eastern Soutpansberg Mountains, through Levubu, past the Albasini Dam and into the northern part of the Kruger National Park. This area has a very high diversity of bird species; some of the specials are African Broadbill, Blue-spotted Wood-Dove, African Finfoot, Grey-headed Parrot, Green Twinspot and Scaly-throated Honeyguide.

Day 1: Travel to the Louis Trichardt / Makhado area for your first night. A recommended option, which needs to be booked in advance, is to do an evening boat trip and dinner on the Albasini Dam from either Luonde or Shiluvhari Lakeside Lodge.

Day 2: Start the day with an early morning visit to Roodewal Forest; it is worth spending at least two hours there. Go on to the Muirhead Dams, Levubu, Jacana Dam and Albasini DWAF. End the day at Entabeni Forest to pick up some of the forest specials before returning back to your base.

Day 3: Depart very early and enter Kruger National Park at Punda Maria Gate when it opens. Do the various loop drives around Punda Maria Camp and then consider booking a night drive to see nightjars and owls. Remember to tell your guide that you are interested in birds! Spend the night at Punda Maria.

Day 4: Leave as soon as the camp gate opens and drive to Pafuri Picnic Site, then bird along the Luvuvhu River from Levubu Bridge to Crooks Corner. Have lunch at the Picnic Site, then return to Punda Maria.

Day 5: Spend the early morning travelling along the H1-7 road towards Shingwedzi, calling in at Babalala Picnic Site for a birding and breakfast stop, before heading for home.

Blouberg - Lisa Martus
Western Route (5 Days)

This route will take you to the Limpopo River, then into the Western Soutpansberg and the North Western Flats. The mountains offer Afromontane Forest and high cliffs with dramatic scenery; in contrast the North Western flats offer good viewing for game and bird species typical of drier areas. Some specials are Narina Trogon, Crested Guineafowl, African Crowned Eagle, Verreaux´s Eagle-Owl, Kori Bustard, Southern Pied Babbler, Kalahari Scrub-Robin and Violet-eared Waxbill.

Day 1: Travel to Louis Trichardt / Makhado and from there to your accommodation destination of choice in the Western Soutpansberg area.

Day 2: Spend the day birding on the property where you are staying, perhaps doing one or two of the trails offered. Accommodation will be in the same establishment.

Day 3: Leave early and stay over at Blouberg Nature Reserve.

Day 4: Spend the day in the Reserve to do some of the trails and drives.

Day 5: Depart for home via Vivo and Polokwane, or Spies Dam and Louis Trichardt / Makhado.

African Mourning Dove - Joe Grosel
Limpopo Valley Route (5 Days)

This route will take you along the Limpopo River from east to west. The Limpopo River is flanked by gallery forest with abundant birdlife; a variety of habitats away from the river also offer great birding. Some of the specials for this area are Pel's Fishing Owl, Green Sandpiper, Dwarf Bittern, Saddle-billed Stork, Senegal Coucal and African Mourning Dove.

Day 1: Travel north through the Soutpansberg; and turn onto the R525. Spend the night at an accommodation establishment of your choice in the Eastern Limpopo Valley.

Day 2: Spend the day birding in the area.

Day 3: Drive to Musina, continue north and then turn left to Pont Drift. Spend the night at an accommodation establishment of your choice in the Western Limpopo Valley.

Day 4: Visit Mapungubwe National Park and if possible arrange with the Warden a visit to Samaria Farm, where irrigation dams provide good habitat for a variety of waterbirds.

Day 5: Depart for home, driving back via Vivo and the North and South Western Flats.