The Sani Pass is a must-do trip for any serious South African or international birder, because it provides the only easy access globally to the Drakensberg Rockjumper, Drakensberg Siskin and Mountain Pipit. En route one has the chance, dependent on the season to see difficult-to-find birds such as Barratt’s Warbler, Fan-tailed Grass (Broad-tailed) Warbler and Bush Blackcap, whilst other narrowly distributed endemics such as Gurney’s Sugarbird and Buff-streaked Chat are present. In the alpine zone, several western species such as Grey Tit, Sickle-winged Chat, Layard’s Warbler and Fairy Flycatcher may be found, whilst this is probably the best place to search for the highly endangered Bearded Vulture.
Within easy reach of Himeville/Underberg, there are other habitats such as the mist belt forest, grasslands and wetlands. The forests are home to the rare Cape Parrot and Orange Thrush, and other species such as Chorister Robin, Forest Canary and Yellow-throated Warbler. This general area is home to all three of the southern African crane species (Grey Crowned, Wattled and Blue), the very rare Blue Swallow and the enigmatic seldom-recorded Short-tailed Pipit and Black-rumped Buttonquail.
Thus a two-day trip to this region can yield a wide range of species difficult to find in southern Africa, whilst the one-day Sani Pass birding experience seldom fails to yield satisfaction.
Reminder: Passports are required for Sani Pass
© Drakensberg Nature Tours - 2016
Juvenille Drakensberg Rockjumper dustbathing
Juvenille Drakensberg Rockjumper
Mountain Pipit - Rienk van der Leij