The Limpopo Province is undoubtedly one of the most varied and exciting birding destinations in South Africa. The region boasts many diverse habitats, from wetlands and lush forests to grasslands and bushveld. This makes it the perfect home for well over 500 species of indigenous birds of South Africa. Moreover, many of these areas are largely unexplored, meaning fascinating new birding discoveries are always a possibility.
The Limpopo River Valley and the Soutpansberg Mountains are dream destinations for birding enthusiasts. Whether you’re a birding beginner or an avid avi-addict, a trip to this area is always a worthwhile adventure.
This is mainly because Northern Limpopo boasts over 600 bird species, 540 of which have already been found in the Soutpansberg. Located in the northern-most part of the Limpopo Province is the Soutpansberg-Limpopo Birding Route. It encompasses the upper regions of the Kruger National Park, Mapungubwe National Park, Venda and the Soutpansberg Mountains. Well-developed areas of indigenous forest characterise the area. This makes it an ideal environment for a hugely diverse range of species – from the crested guinea fowl to the globally threatened Crowned Eagle.
In addition, the region is right at the southern-most territory of many Central and East African bird species. This is one of the factors making it such an exciting destination for bird lovers. Several species, such as the Blue-spotted Wood Dove, Senegal Coucal, Racket-tailed Roller and Tropical Boubou, for example, cannot be found in any other part of the country. Even many local birds of South Africa are easier to find in this area than in the rest of the country. These include Shelley’s Francolin, the African Broadbill and the Grey-headed parrot, to name just a few.
Morning Sun Nature Reserve – A South African Tourism Favourite
South Africa has an abundance of magnificent wildlife. But it’s not just the Big Five that bring tourists flocking to our country in their millions every year. We also have an established avi-tourism industry that sees enthusiasts from all over the world coming to South Africa to enjoy breath-taking birding.
Many of these birders make a point of spending time on the Soutpansberg-Limpopo Birding Route. The route is divided into nine birding areas in recognition of its diverse habitats. As a result, each area has its own unique appeal and special bird species. In addition, there are also numerous birding sites and accommodation options to visit. One of these is the spectacular Morning Sun Nature Reserve.
Morning Sun is a paradise for nature lovers and birders alike. There are over 400 resident species of birds in the Reserve, many of which are rare or endangered. This makes Morning Sun a must-see spot for avi-tourists, and a year-round bird watching paradise.
Officially A Birder-Friendly Establishment!
As part of our ongoing commitment to nature conservation, preservation and education, Morning Sun are proud to be associated with BirdLife. This inspiring organisation strives to help make South Africa a country in which people and nature live more equitably and sustainably. Part of the way in which it hopes to achieve this is to actively promote South Africa as a world-class bird watching destination. This is vital for the long-term conservation of our wild birds and their habitats.
BirdLife’s mission is simple, yet powerful: “To conserve birds, their habitats and biodiversity through scientifically-based programmes, supporting the sustainable and equitable use of natural resources, and encouraging people to enjoy and value Nature.”
This mission dovetails perfectly with ours here at Morning Sun. We pride ourselves on operating in an environmentally and socially sustainable manner. This is why we’re thrilled BirdLife now officially recognises us as a Birder-Friendly Establishment.
To qualify for this prestigious status, Morning Sun had to comply with the following criteria:
- Catering to the specific needs of birders
- Being responsible Tourism operators
- Supporting BirdLife South Africa’s strategic objective of conserving wild birds and their habitats
As a prime avi-tourism destination, Morning Sun offers all this and much more, giving birders a nature experience that’s hard to match anywhere else in the country.