Kruger National Park Birding Packages
The Rustic Birding Package – US$4,540.00
We offer a variety of Kruger National Park birding packages, and maybe this one will suit your needs perfectly! Enjoy 4 nights and 5 days in the Kruger National Park as we embark on a trip of a life time in search of the various bird species of the Kruger National Park. We cater for up to 3 people in this package, and the price is all inclusive, with more details below.
The Rustic Birding Package is one that has 3 options of where you choose to make your base camp. Be it North, South or Central, we have the best bird watching areas in the Kruger National Park covered. Your preference on where you would like to stay all depends on what kind of accommodation you would like and what birds are on your lifer or bucket list. We will go into more detail about each area below, but for now here is what this Kruger National Park bird watching guided tour package includes:
- 4 nights Accommodation (Different options, please see more below)
- Price inclusive of up to 3 people
- Conservation fees
- Pick up and drop off at Skukuza Airport
- Still mineral water
- Guided bird drives through the Kruger Park
- Protective insurance
- Birding expertise
- Photographic opportunities
- 1 night Braai dinner (Barbecue)
- 1 morning breakfast
- 1 guided Night Drive
- Breakfast, lunch, dinner
- Alcoholic beverages, snacks and soft drinks
This guided bird watching tour covers you for 4 nights in the beautiful Kruger National Park, and we can guide you by yourself, in couples or in three’s! Our aim is to find the Kruger National Park’s Birding Big 6 – Lappet-faced Vulture, Martial Eagle, Saddle-billed Stork, Kori Bustard, Southern Ground Hornbill and the elusive Pel’s Fishing Owl. Of course we will be in search for all the other 500 species of birds that have been recorded in the Kruger National Park too!
If you would like to organise a package with more than 3 people please contact Stories Of The Kruger and we will tailor make a bird watching tour for you!
Options To Choose Where You Want To Venture On Your Kruger Park Birding Safari
The northern Kruger National Park is well known for being one of the best birding destinations in South Africa. The Punda Maria and Pafuri areas are teeming with birdlife. You can see birds in the north that you won’t see anywhere else in the Kruger National Park, or South Africa for that matter.
Accommodation For Your Bird Watching Trip
Our base camp here is Punda Maria Rest Camp (Find out more by clicking the link), where you will be staying in either safari tents or thatched bungalows. The accommodation is a bit dated, which is why we have other options for this package as well as the other two bird watching packages.
Please see some of the photos and more information of Punda Maria Rest Camp accommodation options below.
Punda Maria Rest Camp Accommodation: Safari Tents
- 7 x 2-bed permanent furnished canvas tents on stilts, fully equipped, with shower, fridge, cooking and braai (Barbecue) facilities.
Punda Maria Rest Camp Accommodation: Bungalows (Chalets)
- 18 x 2-bed units, equipped with en-suite ablutions (all with showers), air-conditioning and communal braai (Barbecue) area. There are no cooking utensils, crockery or cutlery, but a communal kitchen with scullery and electrical hotplate stoves is available.
- 4 x 3-bed units, equipped with en-suite ablutions (all with showers) and air-conditioning. All have sinks and hotplates with kitchenette and communal braai (Barbecue) area.
Option 1 For Your Birding Safari
Bird Watching In And Around Punda Maria
The north is a great place to bird in the Kruger National Park, probably the best by far in the entire Kruger. The camp itself has 2 great attractions that should be explored as much as possible: The Flycatcher Trail and the Bird Hide in camp.
The birds of the north are incredible and to try and see some of them are a true joy. A few bird species we will be looking for especially, because they are rare, include the Broad-billed Roller, Racket-tailed Roller, Narina Trogon, Meve’s Starling, Arnot’s Chat, Bat Hawk, Steppe Eagle, Spinetail species, and also various Bee-eaters, Parrots, Owls, Bush Shrikes, and the list will go on and on, there are over 500 species of birds in the northern Kruger National Park.
This was named, I presume, because it is great place to see the African Paradise Flycatcher and Ashy Flycatcher, fairly uncommon birds. It is a walk best done in the morning and takes about 30-45 minutes, and goes up a hill, with a few rocky parts, but is not a hiking trail, it is a good walk. There is a bench about halfway along the fence of the camp where you can sit and let the birds come to you! Other birds that can be seen along the walk (besides the more common species) are: Crested Guineafowl, Bearded Scrub-robin, Sombre Greenbul, Terrestrial Brownbul, Purple-crested Turaco, Red-billed Firefinch. When you arrive at the bench, take some binoculars with and scan the close by mountain for White-necked Raven and Verreaux’s (Black) Eagle.
Punda Maria Bird Hide
This is a relaxing place to sit down at during the late afternoon and into the evening, and if you are up to it, into the night. The waterhole that the bird hide overlooks has a floodlight and Spotted Eagle Owl and Verreaux’s (Giant) Eagle Owl can be seen hunting rodents using the light here at night. During the late afternoon there are a variety of waterbirds and more common “bushveld” birds that can be seen, like Egyptian Goose, Blue Waxbill, Cape Starling and Marabou Stork.
Birding Around Punda Maria Rest Camp
This is a great place to view a variety of bird species, in the summer months there are over 500 bird species that can be sought after. Let’s list some speciality birds that can be seen around Punda Maria and further north to Pafuri, and then south to Shingwedzi.
- Grey-headed Parrot
- Arnot’s Chat
- Broad-billed Roller
- Bat Hawk
- Bohms Spinetail
- Mottled Spinetail
- White-breasted Cuckoo Shrike
- Grey-headed Kingfisher
- Eastern Nicator
- Stierling’s Wren-warbler
- Yellow-billed Oxpecker
- Southern Hyliota
- Dickinson’s Kestrel
And a lot more!
Option 2 For Your Birding Safari
The central Kruger National Park is very underrated for birding, and there are a variety of habitats we will be working out way through to find all the birds we possibly can.
Our base camp here will be the stunning Olifants Rest Camp, with some of the best views and camp birding in the Kruger National Park.
We have posted some photographs and accommodation options below.
- 2, or 3 bed units, equipped with en-suite ablutions (showers and toilet) and all units with air-conditioning. Some units have kitchenettes while others have communal kitchens. Some are located on the perimeter edge with a wonderful vista of the river below. Please state your preferences of kitchen or view when booking. (Please contact us about this – BD3ZU) Barbecue facilities (braai) available as well.
Birding Around Olifants Rest Camp
Birding in this area is very rewarding, and we will be spending our time driving along 2 river systems and exploring the open plains for birds l
ike the Ground Hornbill, Kori Bustard, Secretarybird, various smaller ground birds like Pipits and Larks. The Olifants River has a breeding population of the extremely rare Pel’s Fishing Owl, and driving slow along the river will hopefully present a photographic opportunity. There are also a variety of Kingfishers, Storks and other water birds, including the Little Bittern, Greater Painted Snipe and even the possibility of seeing an African Finfoot.
In Olifants Rest Camp itself, the birding is spectacular, and you can easily tick off 50 different bird species just watching from your bungalow (chalet). There are a variety of beautiful birds you might not see while we are driving. Birds like the White-bellied Sunbird, Greater Double-collared Sunbird, Brown-headed Parrot, Red-billed Firefinch, Golden-tailed Woodpecker, Bearded Woodpecker, Mocking Cliff-chat, Trumpeter Hornbill, Acacia Pied Barbet, Orange-breasted Bush Shrike, Grey-headed Bush Shrike, Violet-backed Starling, Red-winged Starling and African Paradise Flycatcher.
Driving along the Olifants River, especially close to the Balule area, can be especially rewarding. And we will drive slowly around here. All sorts of unusual bird species can be seen here. Such as the following (mainly waterbirds):
- Pel’s Fishing Owl
- Greater Painted Snipe
- Woolly-necked Stork
- Woodward’s Batis
- African Green Pigeon
- White-crowned Lapwing
- White-fronted Plover
- White-crowned Night Heron
- Rufous-bellied Heron
- Black Heron (Egret)
- Pied Avocet
- Purple Heron
- Goliath Heron
- Striated Heron
Obviously many more, but we will be looking out for these beautiful bird species of the Kruger National Park.
Option 3 For Your Birding Safari
The south of Kruger is well known for its big game Safari experiences, but is a very good birding area as well. It is the busiest part of the Kruger, but is very enjoyable and you won’t feel overwhelmed.
Our base camp here will be Skukuza Rest Camp, which is the biggest camp in the Kruger National Park, and we will select the perfect accommodation for you. It is very well kept and is almost like a small town in certain ways. It is on the banks of the Sabie River, and there are nearly 300 species of birds that have been recorded in the camp itself. Birds like the Orange-breasted Bush Shrike, Collared Sunbird, Ashy Flycatcher, African Goshawk, Green Camoptera, Golden-tailed Woodpecker and Yellow-rumped Tinkerbird should be looked out for inside Skukuza Rest Camp; amongst many, many others.
Birding in the southern Kruger National Park offers many opportunities. There are a number of large dams, rivers and bird hides for us to explore and see all sorts.of waterbirds all throughout the year. Lake Panic Bird Hide and Sunset Dam are especially well known and we will spend a lot of time here as these are two absolute hotspots for birding.
We will also be on the lookout for birds like the African Golden Oriole, Black Coucal, Diederick Cuckoo, Retz’s Helmet Shrike, Trumpeter Hornbill, Striped Kingfisher, Black Cuckooshrike, Red-eyed Dove, Squacco Heron and in the reaches of the Sabie River, sometimes at Lake Panic where I saw my first one, the shy African Finfoot. And a host of other fascinating birds.
Here are some photos and additional accommodation information.
Now To Choose?
It’s all up to personal preference, but please do not hesitate to consult us for any additional information or if you have any queries. We are happy to help and we want to make this the most memorable birding Safari of your life. Whatever you choose, you will not be disappointed.
About Your Bird Guide In The Kruger National Park
My name is Gareth Roocroft, founder of Stories Of The Kruger, you can read more about us as a collective here. I live in Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa, and travel to the Kruger National Park a number of times each year.
“I have been going to the Kruger National Park since 1999, and birding is my main passion, although I love all the wildlife that the beautiful Kruger has to offer while on safari! Kruger National Park guided bird tours has always been something I want to get involved in, and since I have a passion for digital marketing (My remote working online business is called Straw Hat Digital), I have used this and finally got to the point where I am ready to take guests from all over the World to the Kruger National Park in search of birds.
I was born in 1989, and have been a lover of the bush since I can remember. I have written thousands of articles on the Kruger and other wild areas since the early 2000’s. I am not a qualified guide (disclaimer), but I am a passionate, friendly and social person who wants to share the beauty of the birds of the Kruger National Park with everyone. My aim is to make you happy, and remember what a birding safari tour would be like and have you longing for more. I know my birds extremely well, and I know where to find certain birds in the public areas of the Kruger National Park, where we will be exploring. If you want to talk to me a bit more, I am free for a WhatsApp call or a chat via email (email firstname.lastname@example.org). I cannot wait to take you birding!”
When Is The Best Time To Book Your Kruger National Park Birding Safari?
The time of year all depends on your comfortability levels. The Kruger National Park is hot all throughout the year, but the summer months (October to March) are especially hot with average day time temperatures being anywhere between 30 and 40 degrees Celsius. This is the best time for birding in the Kruger National Park as all the migratory bird species are around. Winter birding in the Kruger, April to September, is very rewarding too, although you won’t see as many bird species, there are still around 350+ bird species to seek.
Easter is very busy and generally the 15th of December until the 9th of January is jam packed in the Kruger national park, unless you choose to go north, where it is more quiet and border orientated. It is best to avoid these times if possible.
In our opinion, the best months to visit the Kruger National Park for birding purposes are:
What Should You Bring With On Your Guided Birding Trip?
Here is an essential list of what to pack for your bird watching safari in the Kruger National Park:
- A bird field guide or app (We can suggest a great App)
- A spotting scope and tripod or window mount
- Any other birding equipment
- Photography equipment
- Spare batteries for photographic and other gear
- Flashlight/torch/headlamp with spare batteries
- Personal medication (where applicable including anti-malaria medication, please consult us regarding if this is necessary)
- Alarm clock (Your mobile/cellular phone will suffice)
- Copies of passport, medical insurance policies, and other important documents, such as identity documents or drivers licenses should you be driving a vehicle for any reason
- Cash/card for drinks, gifts, curios, dining out or anything else you might want to purchase. Visa and Mastercard are widely accepted (Amex less so), including for drawing local currency (South African Rand – ZAR) at ATMs. But it’s essential to always have cash as a backup.
- Hiking boots plus another pair of shoes and sandals
- Swimming gear
- Cap/hat and sunglasses
- Sunscreen and lip sun protection
- Mosquito repellent
- Long-sleeved clothes as a precaution against biting insects, especially if you are going on a guided late evening/night drive
One thing to bear in mind is that you will be flying on a domestic flight to from Johannesburg/Durban/Cape Town to Skukuza, and often baggage allowances for checked-in and carry-on luggage may be less than your international flights. Please just let us know the details of your domestic flight and we will confirm the finer details for you.
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