Birds of South Africa

When it comes to a true South African Safari, the variety is unrivalled. Birdlife in South Africa is of a diverse nature, from raptors to vagrants to endemic birds, they are all worth looking for and watching.

The Lilac Breasted Roller

Rollers, in general, owe their common name to their mating display, which consists of a lot of dives and swoops accompanied by loud and harsh cries. During a mating flight, a lilac-breasted roller will fly upwards for about ten meters (33 feet) and then swoop down with wings closed. In another aerial stunt, the lilac-breasted roller will roll from side to side while flying very fast. If the aerial courtship is successful, the two birds will mate in the air.

The African Fish Eagle

This is a large species of eagle found wherever large bodies of open water with an abundant food supply occur.

The adult is very distinctive in appearance with a mostly brown body with a white head like the bald eagle and large, powerful, black wings. The head, breast, and tail of African fish eagles are snow white, with the exception of the featherless face, which is yellow. The eyes are dark brown in colour. The hook-shaped beak, ideal for a carnivorous lifestyle, is yellow with a black tip. The plumage of the juvenile is brown in colour, and the eyes are paler compared to the adult.

The Bateleur Eagle

Bateleur in French for "tightrope-walker", this aptly describes its distinctive, erratic and unstable manner of flying; the rocking flight motion very much mimics the side-to-side movement of a tight rope walker maintaining his balance. The species also demonstrates some spectacular aerial displays, particularly during courtship.

The Bateleur Eagle is spectacularly beautiful, with glossy black feathers, a red face and legs, and a black beak. The upper wings are tawny, while the feathering under the wings is black and white.