Birding Routes

Birds and birding in the central Karoo region Show details

Endemic and other special birds of the Karoo Show details


The popularity of the Karoo as a top birding destination is growing, and birders are spending more time here in search of its many special species. Karoo birds usually, but not always, occur in specific habitat types. Species that were found everywhere on a recent tour when six destinations throughout the central Karoo were visited include Acacia Pied Barbet, Ant-eating, Familiar and Karoo Chat, Verreaux’s Eagle, Karoo Prinia, Karoo Scrub-Robin, Pale-winged and Red-winged Starlings and Chestnut-vented Tit-Babbler, together with the usual doves, mousebirds and sparrows. Along Acacia clad water courses and drainage lines throughout the Karoo, we may find White-throated Canary, Fairy Flycatcher, Streaky-headed Seed-Eater, Southern Tchagra and Namaqua Warbler. Birds of prey include Jackal Buzzard, Booted and Martial Eagles, African Fish-Eagle and Black Harrier. In summer migratory Steppe Buzzard and Lesser Kestrel are present. The typical Karoo plains are host to larger birds such as Kori and Ludwig’s Bustards, Double-banded and Burchell’s Coursers, Karoo Korhaan and Namaqua Sandgrouse. Smaller species include Black-headed Canary, Yellow-bellied Eremomela, Grey-backed and Black-eared Sparrowlarks and Rufous-eared Warbler. The elusive and nondescript ‘Little Brown Jobs’ (LBJ’s) are out in force on the plains. These include Sickle-winged and Tractrac Chats, Chat Flycatcher, Eastern Clapper Lark, Karoo, and Spike-heeled Larks and Cape Penduline Tit. Birds associated with rocky slopes and mountainous areas include Karoo Eremomela, Grey-winged Francolin, Layard’s Tit-Babbler, Cinnamon-breasted Warbler, Mountain Wheatear and Ground Woodpecker.

This list is by no means comprehensive - we have not even mentioned waterfowl - but it does illustrate the vast birding potential of the region. Furthermore, several species have only recently been found in the Karoo, and the Murraysburg area seems to be home to many of these ‘new species’. One can safely predict that more species will be added as more birders visit this remarkable region. Birding tourism can contribute significantly to the regional economy.

The Karoo National Park Show details

Cape Town to Beaufort West Show details

Birding at Beaufort West and surroundings Show details

From Beaufort West to the North Show details

Tanqua National Park Show details

The Tanqua Karoo to Sutherland and beyond Show details

Seweweeksport to Laingsburg Show details

The Swartberg Pass Show details

From Meiringsport to Prince Albert Show details

Prince Albert and surroundings Show details

The Karoo plains to the east of Beaufort West Show details

Murraysburg and surroundings Show details