Summer is a wonderful season in the Karoo. From tantalizing harvests to tempt your tastebuds to spectacular days in the African sun, there’s so much to enjoy. Summer brings something super special to the area around Buffelsdrift Game Lodge, too- our migratory birds return for the warm season! It’s time to look to the skies both night and day. From spectacular Karoo birding to glittering stars, the Karoo has it all.

An ancient land birds love

The Karoo is an ancient landscape. Many things here barely seem touched by time at all. In fact, that’s why we have the immense privilege of such unique and spectacular flora and fauna, including the unique Cape fynbos biome. While most first impressions of Africa focus on the large mammals, our birdlife is equally vibrant and captivating. While many birds call the area home year-round, still others flit in and out with the seasons, making Karoo Game Lodges a key part of their remarkable long-distance migrations each year.

Summer is one of the best seasons for birding in the Karoo, bringing these spectacular migrants back to our shores as well as providing breathtakingly gorgeous vistas to enjoy. The Karoo is an arid semi-desert landscape, which makes this lush riot of life pretty special. Usually, it’s a hard landscape niche to fill with very little rain to sustain life. Yet here, among the Swartberg Mountains, fynbos, bush, and mountain meet, and life flourishes. We have riverbirds, fynbos birds, veld birds, and thicket birds, alongside the predators that prey on them. There’s even birds that have adapted to the many habitats man offers them, from the dams to the trees of local gardens. Some are even unique to the area, found nowhere else in the country!

What you can expect to see

From the key migratory species to the shy birds that are with us year-round, there’s plenty to see. The rains, especially the first spring rains, bring explosions of seeds and insects, tempting birds to enjoy the delicious snacks. 

Around the lodge, you’ll find sweet little species who are fairly habituated to man. Cape Sparrow,  Familiar Chat, Karoo Scrub Robin, and Mountain Wheatears abound, while Cape Weavers, Cape Thrush, Rock Martins and Swifts play in the pastures and gardens.

But it’s not all about sweet domestic serenity! Powerful raptors like the Verreaux’s Eagle, Martial Eagle, and Greater Kestrel wheel overhead. The Secretarybird, Spotted Eagle Owl, and Cape Owl tempt eager visitors while the Pale Chanting Goshawk plays. In theory, the Karoo is also home to a wide range of carrion birds, but many are under great pressure from human activity and so frighteningly scarce. You will be able to spot key Ibis species, however, including the national bird, the Blue Crane. It’s always a treat to sight, even for our rangers.

Safaris are an exceptional opportunity for bird-watchers to enjoy the very best that Africa has to offer. The Karoo is calling you home- why not book a special stay at Buffelsdrift Game Lodge’s luxury tented accommodation units today, and answer the call?