The beautiful mountains and forests of the Drakensberg are one of the best places in South Africa for twitchers. Home to an abundance of birdlife (more than 500 species are found here), even non-birders can while away a few hours in these mountains just listening to the majestic calls as they echo into the valley. Here are a few of our tips and tricks for birding in the Drakensberg.
Visit in Autumn or Spring
The autumn and spring months are a fabulous time to visit the Drakensberg if you want to see some of the birds. There is just enough rain without being too cold and the change in season means the flowers are in bloom, attracting more birds to the region. May and June is aloe season in the Drakensberg and these beautiful red flowers not only turn the region into a fiery display of orange and red but help to attract sunbirds, particularly around the Treks, Trips and Trails pool area! All this and with a 15% discount for stays of two or more nights for June you really don’t want to miss out.
Enjoy a hike into the mountains
The Drakensberg mountains are home to some bird species not found anywhere else in the world. The boulders of the mountains are where you are most likely to find endemic rock thrushes, chats and woodpeckers. The best way to catch a glimpse of some of these beauties is with a hike into the Drakensberg. Read our blog on the 5 best hikes in the Drakensberg to start planning your next adventure!
Book in advance
The Drakensberg is well-known for its thriving populations of jackal buzzard and cape and bearded vultures. To see these birds and photograph them in all their beauty it is necessary to book one of the hides in the national park. However, they can book out up to a year in advance and require a bit of work to reach so make sure you do your homework and book early. If you miss out, you may also get a chance to see some of these birds in action at one of the rescue centres nearby.
Choose your accommodation wisely
If you really want to enjoy the peace and tranquillity of the Drakensberg, be sure to choose your accommodation wisely. The bigger resorts may have great facilities like golf courses and kids clubs but all that action can mean you won’t get as close to nature as you like. Here at Treks, Trips and Trails our specially constructed Bahati Tree Lodge and cosy Bergvlei Cottage get you as close to the birds as can be. And with just your family beside you and the Berg as an endless backdrop, you can really reconnect with nature and the environment around you.