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Tips for your Twitcher Clients Travelling to South Africa

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.

Hottentot Buttonquail

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).

Layard’s Tit-Babbler

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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Moira Smith

From a young age, Moira had the passion to travel. South African born, she has lived in San Francisco and Toronto, and her travel map includes over 55 countries. Moira’s heart still swings toward all things African, particularly Zambia’s Lower Zambezi National Park, the Grumeti Reserves in Tanzania, and Botswana’s Okavango Delta. Her first excursion outside of her African continent was at the age of 18 when she travelled through 16 countries in Europe, another destination that also pulls on her heart strings. Coming from Apartheid South Africa meant that every country required a visa. To this day Moira has never had an expired passport – space runs out before the validity does!

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