Working for birds in Africa

The Chamberlain Guide to Birding Gauteng

Fri, 12/21/2012 - 11:38 -- abc_admin
Etienne Marais & Faansie Peacock, 2008. Centurion: Mirafra Publishing. 384 pp, more than 300 colour photographs, 96 maps. Softback. ISBN 978–1- 873671–00–9. R199.00.
pages 113-114

Gauteng is a small province of South Africa that includes Johannesburg and is home to 450 bird species, including many sought-after specials and endemics. This book extends well beyond this area to encompass birding sites within neighbouring regions too. In total 101 birding sites are categorised under the following sections: Greater Johannesburg, Pretoria and Surrounds, North-Western Bushveld, North-Eastern Woodlands, South-Eastern Highveld, South-Western Grasslands, and Further Afield: Top Weekend Trips.

The book is packed with information on each site, with details on access, birding habitats, seasons, routes, and how to go about finding target species. Areas detailed include key sites such as Rietvlei, Suikerbosrand and Marievale, as well as further afield sites such as Zaagkuildrift, Nylsvley, Magoebaskloof and Wakkerstroom. It also includes a number of areas not previously described elsewhere in birding site guides such as Mkhombo Dam, the Cradle of Humankind, Vredefort Dome and Mapungubwe National Park.

Each site is illustrated by a map with numbered points that are cross-referenced to the text. Key species are listed at the beginning of each site and are referred to throughout the suggested route. Directions are given, and suggestions are made for accommodation options with contact details. Not only birds are covered, with information also provided on other wildlife of particular interest.

Keith Betton

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