Birding In HoedspruitA guest post by CASPER BADENHORST - BIRDING & WILDLIFE SAFARIS
BIRDING IN HOEDSPRUITA GUEST BLOG CONTRIBUTION BY CASPER BADENHORST - BIRDING & WILDLIFE SAFARIS
Hoedspruit is strategically situated in an area that encompass several biomes: the surrounding savannah biome of the greater Kruger National Park, the grassland biome of the nearby Drakensberg escarpment, the riverine biome of the Blyde and Olifants river, the Afro-montane forest biome of the Drakensberg valleys and ravines and the Fynbos biome of the Mariepskop summit. Having such an incredible variety of biomes on our doorstep provide us with the unique opportunity and access to some of the most enigmatic and sought-after bird species of Southern Africa.
Top international birders seek out Hoedspruit for species such as the Pel’s Fishing Owl, African Finfoot, Half-collared Kingfisher, Crowned Eagle, Green Twinspot, Narina Trogon, species that occur along the Olifants and Blyde rivers and in the Blyde River Canyon. A visit to Mariepskop Forest Reserve is where the shy forest species like the Orange Ground Thrush, White-starred Robin, Yellow-streaked Greenbul, Black-fronted Bushshrike, Cape Batis, Scaly-throated Honeyguide, Yellow-throated Woodland Warbler, Knysna Turaco and many more can be seen. On the Drakensberg escarpment the grassland biome is accessible on a day trip to Graskop and Pelgrimsrest where Lazy Cisticola, Wing-snapping Cisticola, Gurney’s Sugarbird, Cape Rock Thrush, Buff-streaked Chat, Mocking-cliff Chat, Southen Bald Ibis, Common Buzzard and Drakensberg Prinia plenty of others occur. The Kruger National Park is host to over 500 species and a day trip can reward birders with up to 120 species in summer which can include Kori Bustard, Violet-eared Waxbill, Burnt-necked Eremomela, White-headed Vulture, Saddle-billed Stork, Martial Eagle, Monotonous Lark, Stierling’s Wren-warbler, Yellow-billed Oxpecker, Southern Carmine Bee-eater and a list to long to mention.
With Hoedspruit as your base you won’t only be surprised by the birdlife in and around town but the surrounding areas, all accessible on day trips, are well-known top notch birding spots!