In assocciation with Kalahari Wildlife Tours

Tour 5: 5 Day Kgalagadi Birding Tour

MALARIA FREE AREA!

5 Days
4 nights

DAY 01 Upington – Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park / Twee Rivieren DAY 02 Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park / Nossob DAY 03 Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park / Mata Mata DAY 04 Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park / Twee Rivieren DAY 05 Upington – Departure

ADDITIONAL ADD-ON
DAY 05 Augrabies Falls National Park
DAY 06 Augrabies Falls National Park
DAY 05 Upington – Departure

DETAILED ITINERARY

Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park is one of the more popular birding destinations in Southern Africa and one of the best places to see raptors. This tour covers a substantial part of the park and covers the Nossob and Auob River Valleys, with many camelthorn trees, which is favourable environment for many species and the Kalahari Duneveld where different species are found.. The tour can be extended to Augrabies Falls National Park, where the Orange River riverine vegetation and adjacent rocky desert is home to a variety of species.

DAY 01 Upington – Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park
Time of departure will depend on clients’ travel schedule to Upington. Flight schedule to be finalised. (Flight not included)

Depart from Upington on a 03-hour drive through the Kalahari duneveld (“veld” means natural vegetation), passing various pans (dry lakes), to the Kgalagadi Trans Frontier Park.

The word Kalahari derives from the word Makgadigadi, meaning salt pans (salt lakes) in the language spoken by the Kgalagadi people living in the Kgalagadi Region in south-western Botswana. The word Kgalagadi means salt pans too in their language. More than 1 000 pans are scattered throughout the park. The Kalahari is the largest area of sand in the world, covering 2.5 million square kilometres from the Orange River in South Africa in the south to slightly north of the equator. The area referred to as the arid Kalahari covers some 900 000 square kilometres in the south and covers parts of South Africa and Namibia and most of Botswana. The Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park is situated in the southern part of the arid Kalahari in South Africa and Botswana and is jointly managed by South Africa National Parks (Sanparks) and Botswana Wildlife.

The Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park covers 37 000 square km, which is one of the largest conservation areas in the world and one of the last truly unspoilt ecosystems.

The Park is a bird watcher’s paradise and two thirds of SA’s raptor species can be found here. The wide, open riverbeds with scattered acacia trees and dune areas, gives one the opportunity to have excellent views of the birds.

Common residents are Martial -, Tawny – and Booted Eagles, Black Breasted Snake Eagles, Jackal Buzzard, Pale Chanting – and Gabar Goshawks, Black Shouldered Kites, Pygmy – and Lanner Falcons, Rock – and Greater Kestrels. Lappet Faced – and White Backed Vultures. Common Owls to see and hear are Verreax’s (Giant) – and Spotted Eagle Owl, Barn Owl, Southern White-faced Scops-owl, Pearl Spotted Owlet and African Scops-owl.

Kori Bustard and Secretary Birds patrol the dry riverbeds, while the Northern Black – and Red Crested Korhaan and Black-headed Heron prefer the dune areas. Huge flocks of Namaqua – and Burchell Sandgrouse visit the waterholes in the mornings, flying 60-80 km to get there. Nine Lark and three Finchlark (Sparrowlark) species are found here.

Colourful species to be found in Kgalagadi are Lilac-breasted – and Purple Roller, Striped Kingfisher, Swallow- tailed Bee-eater, Crimson-breasted Shrike, Cape Glossy – and Burchell Starling, Southern Masked-weaver, Shaft-tailed Whydah, Yellow Canary and Violet-eared Waxbill. Of the 264 species recorded in the Park, 78 are residents, 16 species are seasonal migrants, 18 are nomads and 152 species are vagrants.

Game such as giraffe, gemsbok, springbok, blue wildebeest, and red hartebeest are seen very often. The Park is well known for good sightings of lion, cheetah, leopard and many small mammal species.

Afternoon birding drive if time allows.
Optional 3 hr sunset drive and 3 hr morning guided walk with Park rangers available at all camps
Overnight: Twee Rivieren
Meals: B, L & D (Full Board on all days)

DAY 02 Kgalagadi Trans Frontier Park
Bird watching drive along the Nossob River Valley to Nossob Camp. Huge sociable weaver nests are in the Nossob Valley and many raptors, vultures, secretary birds and Kori bustards are normally sighted along this road. Leeuwdril, Rooiputs, Kij-Kij earth dam and Cheleka waterholes have less salty water and are more frequently visited by birds, including tawny eagle, bateleur and black-chested snake eagle, flocks of Namaqua – and Burchell’s sandgrouse, Cape turtle – and Namaqua Dove and their main predators, pale chanting – & Gabar goshawk and lanner – & red-necked falcon

Afternoon birding drive north of Nossob. Cubietjie Quap and Kwang Waterholes are good birding sites.

The hide overlooking Nossob Waterhole is a popular birding spot. Barn owls, white-faced scops-owls and pearl spotted owlets as well as many small species are residents in Nossob Camp.
Overnight: Nossob
Meals: B, L & D

DAY 03 Kgalagadi Trans Frontier Park
Bird watching drive along the Nossob River Valley, the Upper Dune Road and the Auob River Valley to Mata Mata Camp. Northern black korhaan, black-headed heron, pale chanting goshawk, greater kestrel, lark and sparrow-lark are common sightings on the Upper Dune Road. Along the Auob Valley towards Mata Mata the chances are good to see white-backed vultures, Verraux’s – and spotted eagle owl, various raptor species, crimson-breasted shrike and swallow-tailed bee-eater.

Afternoon birding drive in the upper Auob River Valley. Mata Mata Camp is home to many species including resident white-faced scops-owl and pearl spotted owlets.
Overnight: Mata Mata
Meals: B, L & D

DAY 04 Kgalagadi Trans Frontier Park
Continue south on a bird watching drive along the Auob River Valley. This is a very rewarding birding drive. Except for species mentioned along the Auob Valley on Day 03, pygmy falcon, tawny eagle, black chested snake eagle, bateleur (short-tailed eagle) and martial eagle are common sightings on this route.

Afternoon birding drive in the southern Nossob River Valley.
Overnight: Twee Rivieren
Meals: B, L & D

DAY 05 Kgalagadi – Upington
Game drive until noon. Duration of game drive will depend on clients’ travel schedule from Upington.

Depart to Upington. En route stop at the last indigenous San tribe in South Africa, the Khomani. Today these earliest residents of the Kalahari, living here for 40 000 years, consist of only 400 people and are resident in an area between 40 and 70 km south of Twee Rivieren. Clients will have the opportunity to view and purchase their handcraft at one of the roadside stalls. The presence of the San at the roadside stalls can’t be guaranteed.

Continue to Upington to be in time for departing flight. Flight schedule to be finalised. (Flight not included.)
Meals: L

It is expected from clients on camping tours to assist with pitching and packing up camp and with general camping duties on request. Accommodation can vary from the itinerary depending on availability. This tour can be extended with an extra 02 nights to Augrabies Falls National Park

EXTENDED OPTION – 02 DAY AUGRABIES FALLS NATIONAL PARK BIRDING TOUR

DAY 05 Kgalagadi – Augrabies Falls National Park
Depart back to Upington. En route stop at the last indigenous San tribe in South Africa, the Khomani. Today these earliest residents of the Kalahari, living here for 40 000 years, consist of only 400 people and are resident in an area between 40 and 70 km south of Twee Rivieren. Clients will have the opportunity to view and purchase their handcraft at one of the roadside stalls. The presence of the San at the roadside stalls can’t be guaranteed.

Continue to Augrabies Falls National Park, which covers 60 000 ha. En route we visit Tierberg Nature Reserve in Keimoes, from where one has a beautiful view of the lush green Orange River Valley, stop at Kakamas for wine tasting at the second largest cooperative wine cellar in the world, the Orange River Wine Cellar (on request)

Visit the Augrabies Falls, which is the sixth largest waterfall in the world when South Africa’s largest river, the Orange is in flood. The word Augrabies derives from the Khoi meaning ‘place of great noise.

Although Augrabies is essentially a scenic park it is rich in bird life due to various habitats. Fish eagles, black eagles are common residents. The gorge below the fall is perfect habitat for peregrine falcon and rock kestrel. Common moorhen, black crake, red bishop and giant -, pied -, and malachite kingfishers are residents in the reed thickets and streams. Pale-winged starlings, southern masked weavers and Cape white-eye are common in the rest camp.

Game such as giraffe, springbok, gemsbok, eland, kudu red hartebeest, Hartman’s zebra and klipspringer survive in this unique riverine ecosystem. Smith’s red rock rabbit are endemic to the area and can be seen on the sunset drive

The fall is illuminated until 10:00 p.m. Clients can re-visit the fall at their own time and pace.

Optional 02-hr sunset drive with park rangers
Overnight: Augrabies Fall National Park
Meals: B, L & D

DAY 06 Augrabies Falls National Park
Do a relaxed 2km morning walk to a beautiful viewpoint on the Augrabies gorge, Arrow Point.

Do a scenic game drive in this moon landscape-like land to awesome viewpoints such as Ararat, Oranjekom on the Orange River Gorge and the “Swartrante” (Black Hills) from where one has a great view of this arid rocky desert landscape. The chances are good to see Verraux’s eagle at Oranjekom.

Continue on a circular drive to the Western Section, where the chances are good to see Hartmann’s mountain zebra and eland. Various lark species are seen along the route. There are many quiver trees with sociable weaver nests along this route.

Afternoon at leisure. Birding in the Rest Camp. Augrabies Falls can be explored in full along the stilted walkways and viewpoints.
Overnight: Augrabies
Meals: B, L & D

DAY 07 Augrabies – Upington
The duration of the birding walks and drive will depend on the clients’ travel schedule from Upington.

Continue to Upington to be in time for departing flight. Flight schedule to be finalised. (Flight not included)bAccommodation may vary from the itinerary depending on availability.

Rates on request:
E-mail: dantes@kalahari-tours.co.za or click on CONTACT US.

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KALAHARI TOURS & TRAVEL
Upington 8801

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