Wednesday, November 14, 2018
Matthaei Botanical Gardens
South Africa is a vast and diverse land with 840+ bird species of which 164 are endemics, with hundreds of mammals as well. More importantly, birds and mammals are easy to find and observe. A 23 day visit gave me the opportunity to find 450+ bird species and almost 50 mammals, including the big five. For this we visited all the key South African habitats: fynbos around the Cape and the dry Karoo on the West. Also, we took a pelagic trip to the rich waters where the Atlantic and Indian oceans meet. On the East we started with the spectacular mountains of the Drakensberg and visited the kingdom of Lesotho. Finally, we visited the tropical coast in Zululand, the Wakkerstroom grasslands, and Kruger's raptor and mammal-rich savannas.
Rodolfo Palma is a native of Chile and settled in the USA after getting his Ph.D. in engineering in the 1980s. In the early 2000s, after borrowing binoculars from a local park ranger and attending a Washtenaw Audubon event, Rodolfo got hooked and has been birding ever since. He has birded in 16 countries and his birds photographed list approaches 2500 species, even though Rodolfo still considers himself a beginner birder, saying you do not have to be a Michael Jordan to like basketball, the same applies to birding.