The birds and habitat of Kaapsehoop
We flush a Lemon dove from the forest floor and manage to get great views of the Chorister in the tree
posing for the group. Other great sightings from the forest include: Grey Cuckooshrike, Trumpeter
Hornbill, Olive Bushshrike, Square-tailed Drongo, African Emerald Cuckoo (a summer resident), Bush
Blackcap, Blue Mantled Crested Flycatcher, Scaly-throated Honeyguide and the beautiful White-starred
Don’t get me wrong – the birding in Kruger Park is amazing and I lead and join birders on trips to Kruger
but now I would like to introduce you to the small escarpment town of Kaapsehoop close to Nelspruit.
Kaapsehoop used to be famous for the Blue Swallows which unfortunately have not been seen in the area
for some time. However, the little area on the escarpment with its fantastic scenery and wild horses still
offers some incredible birding. With access to indigenous forest in the area, we have been enjoying some
great sighting in some of the regions for secretive birds like: Bush Blackcap, Barratt’s Warbler, Green
Twinspot and White-starred Robin. Other great birds in the forest area include: Swee Waxbill, Olive
Bushshrike, Olive Woodpecker, Red-backed Mannikin, Knysna Turaco, Forest Canary, Grey
Cuckooshrike, Cape Batis and Lemon Dove.
The magical thing about the area is the variety of habitats. One can spend time in the forest and then head across to the open pristine grasslands of the Blue Swallow reserve or walk among the boulders from the town and enjoy a different variety of birds. In winter the flowering aloes attract the likes of Gurney’s Sugarbird and Malachite Sunbirds. Other great birds seen in the grasslands and around the town include: Black Sparrowhawk, Buff-streaked Chat, Cape Rock Thrush, Cape Grassbird, Drakensburg Prinia, Cape Longclaw, Southern Tchagra, Wing-snapping Cisticola, Red-necked Spurfowl, Red-winged Francolin, Black-winged Lapwing, Black-rumped Buttonquil and Striped Flufftail.
Why not make a stop in Kaapsehoop to enjoy a range of different birds not seen in Kruger?