Birds In The Spotlight

News update: 18th November

As birdwatching becomes more and more popular around the world, Sabi Sabi is becoming a mecca for avid “twitchers” who flock to this birding paradise. The area in and around Sabi Sabi is justly famous for its variety of birds- there have been over 350 species recorded, all attracted by the biodiversity of habitat in our reserve. Brightly coloured bee-eaters, orioles and starlings flit through the acacia thornveld; herons and storks move stealthily through the waters of the seasonal pans and streams, francolins rustle through the grasses, and lucky guests may spot a narina trogon in the riverine forest. At night the distinctive calls of owls and nightjars punctuate the darkness, and by day an unparalleled range of raptors large and small, many of which are seldom seen outside of game reserve areas, hunt their prey.


Safaris are always exciting and informative, filled with thrills and drama and the most interesting stories. As well as searching for the Big 5 mammals, rangers will try and find the Big 6, a grouping of birds which are easily identifiable even by the most inexperienced birdwatchers. These really impressive birds are; the Ground Hornbill, Martial Eagle, Saddle Billed Stork, Pel’s Fishing Owl, Kori Bustard and Lappet Faced Vulture.


A new innovation, greatly appreciated by bird lovers, is the monthly bird sighting list. The list is compiled by our resident bird specialist, Darren Roberts-York, ably assisted by the full Sabi Sabi guiding team. There were approximately 170 distinct species recorded in October, a figure that will rise substantially as the last of the summer migrants return from their Northern climes.


It is hard not to be excited by the beauty of the birdlife in the bushveld. Our rangers are immensely gratified when their newly enthused guests start scanning the trees and skies for birds, as avidly as they search the bushveld for animals. As the seasons change, migrant species come and go, but whether it is summer or winter, spring or fall, Sabi Sabi is a constant birdwatchers delight.

Click here to view the Sabi Sabi monthly bird list.