The Big 5 Addo Elephant National Park is situated in the malaria-free Eastern Cape and is rich in bird life thanks to the habitat diversity. The dense thickets of spekboom, open grassy plains, coastal islands, wooded kloofs and numerous waterways make the area a bird watchers paradise.

This bird guide lists the main Eastern Cape bird species that can be found in each region:

Addo Elephant National Park Rest Camp

Karoo scrub robin and Cape robin-chat , Bokmakierie, Southern tchagra, bar-throated apalis and Cape bunting are prominent, with brown-hooded kingfisher, fiscal flycatcher, fork-tailed drongo, spectacled weaver, malachite and greater double-collared sunbird.

Addo Game Viewing Area

The bokmakierie is the most prominent bird. Martial eagles, black korhaans, blue cranes, Denham’s bustards, black-headed herons and secretary birds can also be seen.

Addo Zuurberg Wooded Kloofs

The African crowned eagle breeds here. One can also spot forest birds endemic to the Eastern Cape including the olive bush shrike, yellow throated woodland-warbler and Cape batis.

Addo Alexandria Forest

There are many forest birds found here such as the Knysna turaco, black cuckoo (summer only), grey cuckoo-shrike, chorister robin-chat, dark-backed weaver and the spectacular narina trogon.

Addo Coastal Grasslands & Islands

South of the Alexandria Forest the coastal areas are home to birds such as Denham’s bustard and black-winged plover. The region is home to breeding colonies of Cape gannets, African penguins and one of the few South African breeding locations of the Roseate tern.

Addo Sundays River Mouth

In the summer months you will find large numbers of swifts, common terns and diminutive damara terns breeding in the sand dunes.

Around Addo Darlington Lake

In the Karoo vegetation around Darlington dam birders may spot pririt batis, rufous-eared warblers and Karoo chats. Goliath herons, lesser flamingos, fresh-water terns and grey-headed gulls can also be seen.

Eastern Cape Birder Accommodation

Book to stay at Kudu Ridge Game Lodge and enquire about our Addo tours in 4×4 vehicles or seven-seater Kombi bus into the Addo Elephant National Park and surrounds. We will take you to the best bird viewing spots and also take you on a drive around our private game reserve for more birding.

















You may even have an opportunity to meet Aya. She is a female black sparrowhawk which we are rehabilitating at Kudu Ridge Game Lodge. She was rescued as a baby and with training, will be released back in the Eastern Cape bush. For enquiries email us on