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Do you know that 2018 is the year of the bird? Also that twitchers, aka bird-watchers, are more numerous than you might expect when it comes to travel. In fact, avid bird-watchers will travel far and wide for the pleasure of birding, and the trend is growing. While pretty much every destination in the world can offer bird-watching, South Africa, with its diverse habitats, and the crucial role birds play in the ecosystem, is a natural choice. It’s also home to 10 per cent of the world’s bird species, so the bird watching is good at any time of year.
That being said, the best season for birding in Southern Africa is in the summer wet season from December to March. Bird watching over this period is incredible, as the rains renew life across the country. Species that have flown south for the northern winter are on full display here, and many are sporting their colourful breeding plumage, putting on a spectacular display. Incidentally, many ground-dwelling animals give birth over this period, so it’s a great time to see baby animals too. The scenery is green and lush thanks to the rains, but there’s no need to be worried about the weather. Rains are mostly short afternoon showers and seldom interfere with a trip (besides washing the summer humidity out of the air).
All rangers in South Africa have expertise in birding as its part of their training. If you do have clients though whose main interest is in birding, it’s worth booking a specialist guide for their safaris.
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