When this Fat Birder went to the Gambia, and when he went to Kenya he took his old binoculars with him to give to a local so that they could make a living out of visitors by learning about the local birds and being able to show them to tourists. It may sound patronising but several people we know have said the same thing - that young men guiding tourists in the Gambia were just about the best at spotting the birds and ID of anyone ever encountered and usually with the crudest of optics. So this is one way many of us can help out and know that what we give goes direct to someone who could use a leg up.
Now the young man who guided me in Gambia many years ago not only guides groups there but all over the place including Europe and we meet him annually the the British Bird Fair.
I have been lucky enough to visit many of the countries in southern Africa and enjoy many southern African endemics as well as lots of other taxa like meercats in Namibia, baboons in Zambia and Hippos in Botswana.
Perhaps the highlight for me was sitting in a small boat on the Okavanga River six feet from a Carmine Bee-eater colony and, in the same day seeing Pel's Fishing Owl and Slaty Egret - it doesn't get any better than that!
Number of Species
Number of bird species: 2313
This figure is, of course, approximate - and represents 24% of the world total.
African Bird Sounds
2-Volume Set, NSA 2001 by Claude Chappuis
ISBN: 119048Buy this book from NHBS.com
Birds of Africa South of the Sahara
by Ian Sinclair Princeton University Press 2nd Edition Paperback 760 pages
ISBN: 9781770076235Buy this book from NHBS.com
Birds of Africa, Volume 6
by Fry, C Hilary’Keith, Stuart, Academic Press 2000
ISBN: 0121373061Buy this book from NHBS.com
Birds of Africa, Volume 7
by Fry, Hilary’Keith, Stuart’Urban, Emil’Woodcock, Martin, Christopher Helm 2004
ISBN: 0713665319Buy this book from NHBS.com
Birds of Prey of Africa and its Islands
by Alan and Meg Kemp. Struik Publishers, Cape Town, South Africa. 2001. 347 pages.
ISBN: 1868727327Buy this book from NHBS.com
Birds of Southern Africa
by Ian Sinclair (Author), Phil Hockey (Author), Warwick Tarboton (Author), Peter Hayman (Illustrator), Norman Arlott (Illustrator) - Princeton University Press 2002
ISBN: 9781770076235Buy this book from NHBS.com
Eagles of Africa
by Johann Knobel | Hardback | May 2013 | Sunbird Publishing | 216 pages, colour photos, colour distribution maps
ISBN: 9781920289669Buy this book from NHBS.com
Important Bird Areas in Africa and Associated Islands
Birdlife International’Fishpool, Lincoln DC’Evans, Michael I, Pisces 2001
ISBN: 187435720XBuy this book from NHBS.com
Ornithology for Africa
Gordon Lindsay Maclean Paperback - 310 pages (1996) University of Natal Press
ISBN: 0869807714Buy this book from NHBS.com
Photographic Guide to Birds of Prey of Southern, Central and East Africa
David Allan, Peter Hayman (Illustrator) Paperback - 144 pages ( 1 November, 1996) New Holland Publishers (UK)
ISBN: 9781868725212Buy this book from NHBS.com
Roberts Bird Guide
A Comprehensive Field Guide to Southern Africa's 950 Species Edited by Hugh Chittenden 448 pages, colour illus. Africa Geographic - due June 2007
ISBN: 9781770097148Buy this book from NHBS.com
Sasol Birds of Prey of Africa and its Islands
Kemp, Alan’Kemp, Meg’Hayman, Peter*, Struik 2006
ISBN: 1770073698Buy this book from NHBS.com
Sasol Birds of Southern Africa
The Region's Most Comprehensively Illustrated Guide by Ian Sinclair, Phil Hockey, Warwick Tarboton and Peter Ryan | 464 pages, colour plates, distribution maps | published by C Struik | Softcover | 2011 | Edition: 4
ISBN: 9781770079250Buy this book from NHBS.com
The Birder's Guide to Africa
By Michael Mills, illustrated by Tasso Leventis | Go-Away-Birding | Paperback | August 2017 | 544 Pages | Numerous illustrations & 2 Colour Maps |
See Fatbirder Review
ISBN: 9780620717250Buy this book from NHBS.com
The Birds of Africa, Volume 8: The Malagasy Region
Roger Safford (Editor), Frank Hawkins (Editor), John Gale (Illustrator), Brian Small (Illustrator) | Hardback | Christopher Helm | 2013 | 1024 pages, 63 plates with colour illustrations; 1 colour illustration, colour distribution maps, 9 colour maps, 8 colour tables
ISBN: 9780713665321Buy this book from NHBS.com
Where to Watch Birds in Africa
Nigel Wheatley Helm 1995
ISBN: 0713640138Buy this book from NHBS.com
Urgent Bird Conservation Priorities in Africa & its Islands
This note was written for the bulletin of the African Bird Club (http://www.africanbirdclub.org/) (ABC) and is published here on our blog with permission from them. We highly recommend you join the ABC if you want to contribute to bird conservation on the vast African continent.
Forums & Mailing Lists
Guides & Tour Operators
2 by 2 African Holidays
Specialists in travel to Southern & East Africa for over 10 years - we offer outstanding value safari packages & self drive vacations, as well as unique tailor made holiday, private and group tours. Combine your ideas with our local knowledge, and let us help you create a holiday of a lifetime! All our holidays are fully financially protected…
Africa Odyssey is the culmination of decades of travel knowledge and long safari experience. Our MD, Marc Harris, is a director of the African Travel and Tourism Association and a judge of the Good Safari Guide, Our Tanzania director is the author of the Cadogan Guide to Tanzania and all of our team have worked, lived or travelled extensively in their specialist African countries….
Birding Ecotours, a South African company, aims to provide world-wide birding experiences of superb quality, while contributing to environmental conservation and disadvantaged communities. Please contact us for detailed information, queries and quotations. We are affiliated to Cape Town (South Africa) based pelagic trips and we are happy to help you in every aspect of planning your birding holiday.
Expert Africa does not currently offer trips which we label as “birdwatching holidays to Africa". However, we do have bird-watchers among our expert team, and so can advise you on the best lodges and areas for your birding interests – and we do put together many tailor-made trips for travellers who want to go on a primarily bird-watching holiday.
Merlan Adventure Tours
The people of the region carry a proud heritage of endeavour, wealth and traditions and the cultural diversity of it`s tribal and western civilizations are united to celebrate the African Century. The wildlife of our subcontinent is legendary and this, combined with our scenic beauty and cultural heritage makes Southern Africa a place of renewal and a sanctuary for the soul.
Natures Wonderland Safaris
Birding & Nature tours throughout eastern Africa…
Birding Safaris - There are over 1,000 different bird species in Kenya…
Rockjumper Worldwide Birding Adventures
Our comprehensive tour portfolio encompasses many of the most breathtaking and biologically diverse destinations on the planet. To provide you with the particular travel experience you desire, we have classified our tours into six categories…
CloudBirders was created by a group of Belgian world birding enthusiasts and went live on 21st of March 2013. They provide a large and growing database of birding trip reports, complemented with extensive search, voting and statistical features.
2003 [March] - Grand Tour - Southern Africa, Namibia, South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho Mozambique Swaziland - Jos Stratford
This report is based on the findings of two complementary trips to Southern Africa – a ten-week trip to the west of the sub-continent (Namibia and the Cape Province of South Africa) and a fifteen-week trip to the eastern half of the region (Botswana, the east of South Africa, Swaziland and Mozambique). The basic aim of the first trip was to cover Namibia in depth, attempting to pick up all the endemics and specialities, while also visiting most of the prime sites in the Western Cape, thereby also seeing the majority of the Cape`s special birds. The second trip had a rather different agenda – in addition to covering the eastern half of the sub-continent and thereby neatly supplementing the species seen in the west, it was also planned around a month of organised survey work in Botswana, covering both wetlands in the Okavango Delta and the south-east of the country…
Places to Stay
Eco-resorts East Africa
Welcome to eco-resorts, your online resource for East African eco-tours and safaris! We would like to personally welcome you to the fascinating world of eco-safaris and eco adventures in Kenya and Tanzania. Take your time - visit some of the delightful camps, hotels and lodges available for your safari.
African Bird Club
African Bird Club, UK registered charity 1053920, has been established: to provide a worldwide focus for African ornithology; to encourage an interest in the conservation of the birds of the region; to liaise with and promote the work of existing regional societies; to publish a twice-yearly colour bulletin; to encourage observers to visit lesser known areas of the region, and search actively for globally threatened and near-threatened species; to develop a Conservation Fund.
Albertine Rift Conservation Society
Conservation in the rift valley…
The Bushmeat Project has been established to develop and support community based partnerships that will help the people of Cameroon, the Congos, Gabon, Nigeria, and Central African Republic to develop alternatives to unsustainable bushmeat. The programme is a long-term effort to provide economic and social incentive to people to protect great apes and other endangered wildlife. For more organizational and program details about the Bushmeat Project please read our Action Agenda, as well as the Project's Mission, Goals and Driving Principles. If you want to join this effort please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Conservation Volunteers for Africa
We arrange for young people to work on Game and Nature Reserves throughout Southern Africa, playing an active role in Conservation and the maintenance of the Environment – working in intimate association with Game Rangers and Conservationists in the Wild!
Peace Parks Foundation
The primary objective of the Peace Parks Foundation is to promote Transfrontier Conservation Areas in Southern Africa. Through these proposed peace parks the Foundation is working with governments, the private sector and local communities to protect our environment and unlock the huge economic potential of the region`s tourist industry. The peace parks will help to bind together Southern Africa`s nations in a vast network of sustainable and environmental partnerships, protecting their unique natural inheritance for generations, and promoting a culture of peace and cooperation. We encourage you to support one of the most important initiatives.
The TUSK Trust, instigated by a team of young people determined that their generation will not be the last to experience the true wonder of African wildlife, needs your help. Some of the projects TUSK is aiming to support are outlined here but I would personally like to ask for your support towards this eminently worthy cause…
West African Ornithological Society
The West African Ornithological Society grew out of the Nigerian Ornithologists’ Society, which was founded in February 1964 by John H. Elgood, Professor of Zoology at the University of Ibadan (Nigeria) (he sadly died in 1998 — obituary in Malimbus 21: 74–75, 127–128) and Robert E. Sharland. Its object is to promote scientific interest in the birds of West Africa and to further the region’s ornithology, mainly by means of its journal Malimbus (formerly the Bulletin of the Nigerian Ornithologists’ Society). This journal is biannual and bilingual, a unique feature in Africa…
List of Africa's National Parks
This is a list of national parks in Africa by country. The nature of the parks varies considerably not only between countries but also within some nations – the degree of protection, accessibility and type of environment for which it is intended to deliver protection. Some parks have been cleared of their original human population, others have always been essentially uninhabited, while yet others contain significant population centres.
Review Of Field Guides, Travel Guides & Reference Books: Southern & East Africa
Example: Field Guide to the Mammals of Southern Africa by Chris and Tilde Stuart (2nd edition Struik 1993). A good companion to the above field guide. The Stuarts` book, which is copiously illustrated with an excellent array of photographs, and clear distribution maps, also contains a section on marine mammals.
Southern Africa Birding
Birding Resources for Southern Africa. This site is about birds and birding in South Africa and the Southern African region, including Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Swaziland, Lesotho, and Zambia. The region`s best birding sites are featured under Birding Spots, together with birding resources under Bird guides, tours and Accommodation…