Trip report from Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park - April 2019

Posted on the 23rd April 2019

Trip report from Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park - April 2019
by Steve & Lee Peck

This April saw Lee and I visiting the Kgalagadi Park for the first time, and what a trip we had!
88 different birds (17 ‘lifers’ for me) and 24 different animals!

We started at Twee Rivieren camp and soon had the gorgeous Crimson-breasted Shrike for company, along with the White-browed Sparrow-Weaver, Cape Sparrow and Acacia Pied Barbet all making a swift appearance.

Early the next day, we set out for Mata Mata and soon had connected with a low flying Martial Eagle, Drongos everywhere and Black-chested Prinias bouncing around the scrub bushes. Mata Mata produced African Grey Hornbill, Brubru, Familiar Chat, Groundscraper Thrush and Marico Flycatchers. A special treat was a Southern White-faced Scops-Owl in the tree outside our chalet sleeping the day away!

Crimson-breasted Shrike
Namaqua Dove








Onwards to the Kalahari Tented Camp (tenting at its best) and now the birds really start to appear! Long-billed Crombec, Yellow-bellied Eremomela, Red-headed Finch, Green-winged Pytilia, Chestnut-vented Tit-Babbler, Black-faced & Violet-eared waxbills and Shaft-tailed Whydah all were seen without leaving our stoep! Seen walking along the dried river bed was a Secretarybird, and Gabar Goshawks checked out the Turtle Doves at the water-hole.

Gabar Goshawk
Waltzing ostrich










It was so great there, we really didn’t want to leave, but back to Twee Rivieren we had to go, spotting Swallow-tailed Bee-eaters on the way, with a special sighting for me of Pygmy Falcons close to the Sociable Weavers’ giant nests. Then a magnificent Black-chested Snake-Eagle soared close overhead! With a Southern Pale Chanting Goshawk on every other tree, it was a great drive down.

A quick turnaround and we were off to Nossob, spotting White-backed Vultures on the way, along with Ostrich and Kalahari Scrub-Robins, then a lovely Southern Yellow-billed Hornbill flying across in front of us. Once at the rest camp (in the riverside chalets) the best was yet to come – an awesome sighting of a Secretarybird in flight, blonde Tawny Eagle vying with vultures for the remains of a springbok kill and a middle of the day sighting of a Pearl-spotted Owlet.

Pearl-spotted Owlet
Adult Bateleur









Scimitarbill, and Kori Bustard alongside the springbok on the river bed were constantly spotted, and even a Cardinal Woodpecker made an appearance. Water-holes nearby, along the gravel roads, provided brilliant sightings of Bateleur, Pale Chanting and Gabar Goshawks, with Lanner Falcons also seen on a regular basis.

The gravel roads provided us with lovely sightings of male and female Northern Black Korhaan, Black-shouldered Kite enjoying a ‘mousey’ breakfast, while Southern Fiscal (both traditional and sub species) were spotted. Scaly-feathered Finch and Red-billed Quelea were picked up as well. However, the best sightings undoubtedly were of an African Harrier-Hawk hunting insects from under the bark of a tree, along with three different sightings of Pale Chanting Goshawks hunting Cape Cobras and a Bateleur demolishing a Horned Adder!

Immature Bateleur
Black-chested Snake-Eagle











What fun we had - we’ll be back!

Swallow-tailed Bee-eater
Green-winged Pytilia











Foraging African Harrier-Hawk
Southern Pale Chanting Goshawk with cobra











CHARLOTTE AUGUSTYN. (posted: 2019-04-23 11:11:37)
Well done Steve and Lee. Cannot wait for October to do Mokala and Kgalagadi. Both great birding spots.