Fatbirder - linking birders worldwide... Wildlife Travellers see our sister site: WAND


Collared Sunbird Anthreptes collaris ©Jens Eriksen

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.

Useful Reading

African Bird Sounds

2-Volume Set, NSA 2001 by Claude Chappuis

ISBN: 119048

Buy this book from NHBS.com

Birds of Africa South of the Sahara

by Ian Sinclair Princeton University Press 2nd Edition Paperback 760 pages

ISBN: 9781770076235

Buy this book from NHBS.com

Birds of Africa, Volume 6

by Fry, C Hilary’Keith, Stuart, Academic Press 2000

ISBN: 0121373061

Buy this book from NHBS.com

Birds of Africa, Volume 7

by Fry, Hilary’Keith, Stuart’Urban, Emil’Woodcock, Martin, Christopher Helm 2004

ISBN: 0713665319

Buy 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: 1868727327

Buy 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: 9781770076235

Buy this book from NHBS.com

Eagles of Africa

by Johann Knobel | Hardback | May 2013 | Sunbird Publishing | 216 pages, colour photos, colour distribution maps

ISBN: 9781920289669

Buy this book from NHBS.com

Important Bird Areas in Africa and Associated Islands

Birdlife International’Fishpool, Lincoln DC’Evans, Michael I, Pisces 2001

ISBN: 187435720X

Buy this book from NHBS.com

Ornithology for Africa

Gordon Lindsay Maclean Paperback - 310 pages (1996) University of Natal Press

ISBN: 0869807714

Buy 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: 9781868725212

Buy 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: 9781770097148

Buy this book from NHBS.com

Sasol Birds of Prey of Africa and its Islands

Kemp, Alan’Kemp, Meg’Hayman, Peter*, Struik 2006

ISBN: 1770073698

Buy 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: 9781770079250

Buy 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: 9780620717250

Buy 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: 9780713665321

Buy this book from NHBS.com

Where to Watch Birds in Africa

Nigel Wheatley Helm 1995

ISBN: 0713640138

Buy this book from NHBS.com

Useful Information

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.


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…

Bushmeat Project


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 bushmeat@biosynergy.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.

TUSK Trust


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…


Abbreviations Key

Abbreviations Used in the CountryPages Reserve Sections

BR = Biosphere Reserve
CA = Conservation Area
CFCP = Community Forest Conservation Project
FR = Forest Reserve
NP = National Park
NR = Nature Reserve
SR = Special Reserve
WR = Wildlife Reserve
WS = Wildlife Sanctuary

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.

Forums & Mailing Lists

African Birding

Mailing List

To post to list: AfricanBirding@yahoogroups.com

List contact: AfricanBirding-owner@yahoogroups.comURL

To subscribe to list: AfricanBirding-subscribe@yahoogroups.com


Guides & Tour Operators

Click on WAND for tours, guides, lodges and more…

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

Tour Operator

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

Tour Operator

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


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

Tour Operator

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.

Nature Travel Birding

Tour Operator

Nature Travel Birding specialise in birding trips in Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Ghana, Malawi, Uganda, Rwanda, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Spain, Namibia and South Africa.

Natures Wonderland Safaris

Tour Operator

Birding & Nature tours throughout eastern Africa…

Njewa Safaris

Tour Operator

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…

Trip Reports

Click on WAND for tours, guides, lodges and more…


Trip Report Repository

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

Click on WAND for tours, guides, lodges and more…

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.

Other Links

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…