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Map of South AfricaMyself and over 100 others visited Cape Town for a few days as a company business trip, and I was fortunate enough to have enough free time to see some superb examples of South African birds while there. We landed on a Tuesday morning, and left on the Friday afternoon, so thanks go to my employers for allowing some free time in amongst the business sessions. There was also opportunity on some of the organised events to see some birds, as in the Cape treasure hunt and plummet up Table Mountain. Since my assumption that over 100 other colleagues would not be too keen to follow my steps over swamp and scrub was probably correct (apart from one poor individual who fell into the trap - well done, James, you deserve a medal!), I planned ahead with a few ideas in mind for the limited free time. Dodging the obvious attractions of shopping, beauty therapy, and being flipped upside down in a helicopter, a car was arranged for me (thanks Caroline), and a short itinerary planned for the prime sites.

From a birding point of view, the city of Cape Town is quite large and relatively sterile in terms of variety, although there are some small oases serving up some of the more common birds. However, the Cape Peninsular itself could have been designed for a short birding break. There is a good mix of habitats, from coastal to mountain, and with inland aquatic and forest in between, with the greatest distance travelled no more than three quarters of an hour from the city. Driving was no problem - it is on the left, and the roads are generally very well marked. An international driving permit is not required.

Safety was not a particular issue while I was there. Cape Town is regarded as one of the safer cities in South Africa, but that does not mean that caution should be thrown away, especially after dark. I have not heard of any problems from the birding sites that I visited. For extra piece of mind, it seems that the major mobile phone networks also work in South Africa - I do know that both Vodaphone and Orange had good reception while there.

Home

Paintings gallery

Video clips

Images

DVD

Contact

Site map

Links

Content

Introduction

Town

Cape

Strandfontein

Kirstenbosch

Rondevlei

Species list

Text only