The Birds Of Pretoriuskop Restcamp

As promised, here are some of the amazing birds of Pretoriuskop Restcamp.  I was thrilled to see so many Brown-headed Parrots which were my main target bird, but there were lots of other great birds too!

This first batch of photos was taken near the laundry room in the late afternoon.

Helmeted Guinea-fowl


African Green Pigeon


Purple-crested Turaco – stunning bird, photos don’t do them justice!


Black-collared Barbet

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These remaining photos were taken early in the morning.  We were up around 5:30 and we spent a good 3 hours just wandering around following the birds (especially the parrots) as they went about their daily activities.

Grey-headed Bush-shrike


Finally!  A flock of Brown-headed Parrots!

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They really like the trees just outside cabin 124!

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African Mourning Dove


Scarlet-chested Sunbird


Meanwhile back at the cabin, Ina was watching the Crested Guinea-fowls who came right up to us and the monkeys who were trying to rob some campers of breakfast.

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The Brown-headed Parrots beckoned again and we were off chasing them as they flew from tree to tree.

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We also saw several Purple-headed Turacos!

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The Grey Go-away Bird told me to g’wayyyyyyyy……………so I did and kept following the parrots.

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Black-collared Barbet



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Crested Barbet

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Dark-capped Bulbul

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Blue Waxbill


Southern Black Flycatcher


Red-headed Weaver


Black-backed Puffback


Yellow-fronted Canary


As we were pulling out of the camp, I spotted this Purple Crested Turaco and anther Bulbul in the trees outside reception.

IMG_4343 IMG_4344 IMG_4349 IMG_4350 IMG_4351 IMG_4352Obviously this is not a complete list of all the birds you can find here, this is just what we saw on one particular early November morning.

Lodge Review: Pretoriuskop Restcamp, Kruger National Park

Pretoriuskop Restcamp has it all!  It’s one of the easiest Kruger Restcamps to get to if you can only spare a few days from a Jo-burg business trip.  They have accommodation to suit all budgets from tent campers to fully furnished cabins.  But from my point of view, this is what really attracted me!


Brown-headed Parrots!  But more about them tomorrow in the Birds of Pretoriuskop post.  Let’s focus on the facilities for now.

It’s about a 4-5 hour drive from Jo-burg if you enter at the nearest gate which is Numbi Gate, then you have at least 20 minutes more to reach the camp.  If you are coming from elsewhere inside Kruger then make sure you leave enough time considering the 50 kph speed limit and the fact that you will be stopping to watch birds and animals frequently.

IMG_4101 IMG_4102On the camp map below, I highlighted the location of our cabin #103, the ablution blocks (showers & toilets), retaurant, laundry and areas I found good for birding as we walked around the camp.


Each cabin has a car space next to it and are surrounded by trees.


The cheapest cabins don’t have ensuites but there are always ablution blocks nearby.  You will need a torch/flashlight for night time visits.


Although small, they do have decent sized fridges with a spare power point for charging batteries.  You won’t get wifi here, possibly mobile phone reception though we didn’t use phones while we were in South Africa.

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This would be our last chance to do laundry before leaving for Mauritius.  My husband was happy to watch the machines while I wandered off to find birds.


The restaurant is run by South African chain Wimpy and has mostly comfort food – hamburgers, steaks, ribs and such.  Prices are reasonable so there really isn’t a need to self-cater unless you prefer cooking and doing dishes to watching birds!

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The next morning, Ina just hung out watching monkeys while I was listening for the parrots.

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There are the usual maps with game viewing sightings posted near reception.


Here’s a view of Wimpy’s in the morning.  You can have an al-fresco breakfast and watch birds!


The camp store is next to Wimpy’s though I wasn’t thrilled to see animal skins on offer.

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They also have a wide variety of biltong (like jerky but harder).  I just didn’t want to be eating the beautiful animals we’d come halfway across the world to see!

IMG_4334Tune in tomorrow to meet the birds of Pretoriuskop!


Birding In Satara Restcamp

Following on from my review of the restcamp, I thought the birds deserved their own post as there were so many!  Just get up at first light and wander around, you will probably see these birds as they were found all over the camp.  I started in the circle where our hut was, then followed my ears as more birds made their presence known.

Red-billed Hornbill

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Cape Glossy Starling


The African Hoopoe was one of my favourites, I loved watching him manipulate his crest!

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I got lucky with a Hail Mary shot of a bird flying overhead, it was a Brown-headed Parrot!



A gorgeous Crested Barbet


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Going by the photo in the Sasol book, I think this one is a Greater Blue-eared Starling.


Grey Go-Away Bird

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Here you can see our car and our cabin and how close it is to the bush.



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Mystery bird!

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Cape Buffalo just outside the camp

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Dark-capped Bulbul

IMG_3985I know I missed some, if anyone can help me out, please comment!

Brown-Headed Parrot (Poicephalus cryptoxanthus)

The Brown-headed Parrot (Poicephalus cryptoxanthus) is a South-eastern African parrot.

I took these shots watching a small flock in Pretoriuskop Restcamp.

IMG_4162 IMG_4171 IMG_4198 IMG_4214 IMG_4215From Wikipedia-close up.


They are found along the south-eastern coast of Africa from  Kenya through Tanzania, Malawi, Mozambique, Zimbabwe into the northern part of South Africa.  There are 2 subspecies:
P.c. cryptoxanthus: E Kwazulu, E Swaziland and E Transvaal, NE Republic of South Africa, to S Mozambique and SE Zimbabwe.
P.c. tanganyikae: Mozambique, north from Save River and S Malawi to E Tanzania including Zanzibar and Pemba Islands and coastal Kenya

Brown-headed Parrot range

The easiest place to see them would be in Kruger Park, South Africa which is easily accessible to tourists and has a population of around 1500-2000.  You can fly into Johannesburg, hire a car and drive up there in about 6 hours.  I recommend the Punda Maria camp which is beautifully situated in the northern part of Kruger and sometimes has the birds coming into the camp.

2015 Update:  I saw one in flight at Satara Restcamp and lots of them in Pretoriuskop.  If you want to be pretty much guaranteed to see them, go to Pretoriuskop.




World Parrot Trust


Siyabona Africa


This little guy seems to be thirsty but too wary to go take a drink

I can’t embed this video but if you go HERE you can see one feeding in a tree.