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    Save the date! ABA South Africa Safari October 7-17, 2014

     

    African Elephant herd by Marius Coetzee thumb X
    African elephants at Kruger National Park (Photo © Marius Coetzee)

    We are pleased to announce the first-ever ABA South Africa Safari. The ABA is partnering with Rockjumper Worldwide Birding Adventures and BirdLife South Africa to host a safari with visits to both Cape Town and Kruger National Park.

    On safari by Leon Fouche-001 X
     On safari in Kruger National Park (Photo © Leon Fouche)

    At the extreme south end of the vast expanse that is Africa lies the country of South Africa, where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Indian Ocean. At the south end of South Africa is Cape Town with the Cape of Good Hope just below it. The southerly most of the three capital cities, Cape Town’s “City Bowl” is surrounded by both mountains and ocean. The pleasant climate and varied topography make for great birding. Two endemic bird families are found here, in the sugarbirds and the rockjumpers. The unique and biodiverse Fynbos shrubland is home to a showy group of sunbird species, among other birds. Coastal areas host African Penguins, several cormorant species, with albatrosses and Cape Petrels lurking
    just offshore.

    Cape Rockjumper by Adam Riley
    The Cape Rockjumper is one of two species in the rockjumper family. The family is endemic to South Africa. (Photo © Adam Riley)

    Resting at the northwest corner of South Africa is famed Kruger National Park. One of the largest and most spectacular parks on the continent, Kruger is a mixture of forest, grassland, and Acacia, and it abuts national park land in Mozambique and Zimbabwe to create an immense area (nearly 22,000 square miles) protected for the benefit of wildlife. It is home to the Big 5 (lion, leopard, Cape buffalo, African elephant, and rhinoceros) and also giraffes, wild dogs, and a bevy of antelope species. Yes, there are birds too! Lots of them. An interesting array of larks are to be found here as are striking species such as Saddle-billed Stork, Lappet-faced Vulture, Kori Bustard, Southern Ground Hornbill, and the furtive Pel’s Fishing Owl.

    Leopard by Adam Riley X
    Leopard (Photo © Adam Riley)

    This is an utterly unique ABA offering, that will be of great value, and for a great cause too. The ABA South Africa Safari will coincide with BirdLife South Africa’s Save Our Seabirds Festival in Cape Town to raise money for endangered seabirds.

    African Penguins by Adam Riley-005 X
    African Penguins (Photo © Adam Riley)

    Join your fellow ABA Members and our in-country hosts for a most memorable visit to one of the world’s richest regions for birds and
    wildlife. Register your interest today by contacting Nancy Hawley (at nhawley@aba.org, or call her at (800) 850-2473, X234).

    Boulders & birds, St. Helena Bay, Cape Town, by Markus Lilje X
    St. Helena Bay is a good place for dolphin and whale-watching. (Photo © Markus Lilje)

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    George Armistead

    George Armistead

    George Armistead is a lifelong birder and since April 2012 is the events coordinator for the ABA. George spent the prior decade organizing and leading birding tours for Field Guides Inc. He has guided trips on all seven continents, and enjoys vast open country habitats and seabirds most of all. Based in Philadelphia, he is an associate at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, and spends much of his free time birding the coast between Cape May, NJ and Cape Hatteras, NC.
    • Dave Skinner

      World travel/Eco-Tourism is a popular tourist trend and there are numerous travel agencies that specialize in accomodating this industry. However, I am not sure that this is the sort of activity that the American Birding Association should be involved in. Such an adventure, would likely consume resources and time that could other-wise be devoted to trips, conventions, rallies, etc, right here in North America. In all honesty, I do not know the extent of the ABA’s partnering for this African trip and perhaps there have been other such endeavors involving the ABA in the past that have proven to be quite successful. I don’t want to sound totally negative, but I just thought I would share my concern.

    • Deb Hirt

      I’d like to know more. Do we have any prices and particulars yet?

    • http://photofeathers.wordpress.com Linda Rockwell

      I think it’s disheartening that the first comment about what should be a marvelous adventure is a negative one. The ABA has significantly expanded and broadened its appeal in recent years. That is a really good thing. People who would never have considered joining the old, stodgy ABA are now members. I’m one of those. The only way that an organization can expand is by evolving and broadening its appeal. I say bravo! A reminder: If you do what you always do, you get what you always get.

    Birders know well that the healthiest, most dynamic choruses contain many different voices. The birding community encompasses a wide variety of interests, talents, and convictions. All are welcome.
    If you like birding, we want to hear from you.
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