Best Birding Times and Tips
Kruger Park Birding

© Yellow-billed Oxpecker
Make the most of your birding sortie in Kruger Park by being aware of of these few simple tips. Time of day, time of year, geography and climatic conditions will dictate what you will see, (or miss). So if you are looking for some specific species, be sure to read the Birding Calendar.
  • The best birding time in Kruger is between October and March when all the migrants are in the Park and the species list tops 500;
  • Don't try and cover too wide a geographical area during your visit - it's often better to concentrate on one area over several consecutive days;
  • Include as many big dams, lakes and riverine forest drives in your programme;
  • Some of the best birding is in the camps, especially those with river views - one may see more in a few hours at a camp than during a whole day's driving;
  • Get up half an hour before sunrise to experience the dawn chorus and the avian morning rush hour which starts winding down when the heat sets in;
  • Mid-morning is the time to look out for raptors as the heat thermals provide them with a natural lift to get into the skies;
  • At lunch-time, find a shady spot under big trees, particularly those in flower or fruit - fruiting trees offer food and attract insects which in turn draw lots of birds;
  • Vultures often bathe at lunchtime or during the afternoon in rivers and water holes to wash off the remains of the last meal;
  • The avian afternoon rush hour gets underway as the afternoon heat recedes;
  • Make a point of stopping on long-span bridges - swallows, swifts and bats often nest here and this attracts raptors;
  • Stop at any Red-billed Quelea nesting site - all manner of raiders will try their luck;
  • Include grassland drives in late summer as these become centres of activity when the grasses are in seed;
  • After rainstorms, look out for termite emergences as raptors and other insect-eaters will be out in force;
  • Look out for birding parties in the bush and for birds displaying anxiety calls as this often means there are predators about.
Best Birding Guide to Kruger Park