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About this book
About this book
The definitive photographic guide to the amazing avifauna of South Africa.
South Africa – from the vast savanna of Kruger to the unparalleled richness of the Cape – is one of the most biodiverse countries in the world, featuring the highest number of endemics of any African country, as well as rich seabird assemblage and vast numbers of more widespread yet no less spectacular African birds.
The perfect companion for any wildlife-friendly visitor, Birds of South Africa provides photographic coverage of more than 340 species that regularly occur in the region.
Concise text for each species includes information on identification, songs and calls, behaviour, distribution and habitat, with each photo having been carefully selected to guide identification. A guide to the best birdwatching sites in South Africa is also included.
Portable yet authoritative, this is the perfect guide for travellers and birdwatchers visiting this spectacular and bird-rich destination.
Customer Reviews (1)
19 Dec 2022
Written for Paperback
South Africa is an outstanding birding destination that should be on every birder’s “must visit” list with a national bird list of 867 species, of which you can expect to see around 500 on a three-week guided tour. Compared to most African countries endemism is high, with 18 endemics and a further 50 restricted-range species. If you haven’t been yet, you really should make plans as it’s a great country.
This book is aimed at general wildlife-friendly visitors rather than keen birders who are seeking a bigger list, and it covers 350 of the most widespread species. Each species is described in a succinct text of around 100 words which also summarizes distribution and status. Each species is illustrated with top-quality photographs, all of which were taken by the author – a total of over 700 images.
If there is a drawback then clearly it is that the author had to choose to leave out many species. In many cases around half of the species in each family are covered, although only one out of four honeyguides is included and the selection of larks is three out of 28, and there is just one pipit out of 13. Admittedly some of these have restricted ranges, but not all. There is an introductory text that outlines 19 sites that you can visit along with the species you might see (but only mentioning those featured in the book).
These limitations aside, this is ideal for a general visitor, or one who appreciates that the range offered is restricted.
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Adam Riley has grown up with a lifelong interest in wildlife, which evolved into a particular fascination with birds. Raised in a rural region of KwaZulu-Natal, in 1998 his career path took an alternative route when he co-founded Rockjumper Birding Tours. Adam is now one of Africa's most experienced birders, having seen more than 2,000 species on the continent (as well as 8,000 species worldwide, making him one of the world's leading birders).