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Pilanesberg Game Reserve is a birders paradise with over 300 species being recorded. The best time for bird viewing is the summer months where one can one record over 80 species in a single day.What makes the park popular amoungst birders is the six great bird hides dispersed over the reserve which gives guests the opportunity to get out of their vehicles, stretch their legs and enjoy the birdlife. When planning which hide to visit and photograph birds keep the following in mind:

      • West-facing hides: Rathogo provides good photographic lighting in the mornings.
      • East-facing hides: Ruighoek , Mankwe & Malatse are great in the afternoons.
      • North-facing hides: Makorwane and Batlhako are better suited to low light photography on cloudy days.

One of the most popular hides in the park is Mankwe Hide. The dam attracts many water birds such as blacksmith lapwings, grey, black-headed and Goliath herons, pied kingfishers, malachite kingfisher, great white egrets, Egyptian geese and white-faced whistling ducks to name a few. Also be on the look out for the African fish eagle which is seen perching high above overlooking the dam.

Did you know that Ivory Tree Game Lodge offers bird drives which are tailor made to suit everyone, from someone starting out to experience the great joy of Birding to the experienced “Twitcher” looking for that ever elusive “Lifer Tick” to add to their list. Enquire when making the reservation about this activity

Below is a list of the birds that have been recorded in Pilanesberg Game Reserve:

Abdims StorkForktailed DrongoPied Kingfisher
Afrian Hawk EagleFreckled NightjarPied Starling
Afrian Marsh HarrierGabar GoshawkPintailed Whydah
African Black DuckGarden WarblerPlainbacked Pipit
African CrakeGiant KingfisherPlumcoloured Starling
African CuckooGlossy IbisPuffback
African Fish EagleGolden BishopPurple Heron
African Hobby FalconGoldenbreasted BuntingPurple Roller
African JacanaGoldentailed WoodpeckerPurple Widowfinch
African Pied WagtailGoliath HeronPygmy Kingfisher
African SpoonbillGrass OwlQuail Finch
Alpine SwiftGreat Crested GrebeRameron Pigeon
Anteating chatGreat Reed WarblerRattling Cisticola
Arrowmarked BabblerGreat SparrowRed Bishop
Ashy TitGreat Spotted CuckooRedbilled Buffalo Weaver
AvocetGreat White EgretRedbilled Hornbill
Barn OwlGreater FlamingoRedbilled Oxpecker
Barred WarblerGreater HoneyguideRedbilled Quelea
Barthroated ApalisGreater KestrelRedbilled Teal
BateleurGreater Striped SwallowRedbilled Woodhoopoe
Bearded WoodpeckerGreen PigeonRedbreasted Swallow
Bennets WoodpeckerGreen SandpiperRedcapped Lark
Black CrowGreenbacked HeronRedchested Cuckoo
Black CuckooshrikeGreenshankRedchested Flufftail
Black EagleGreenspotted DoveRedcollared Widow
Black EgretGrey HeronRedeyed Bulbul
Black FlycatcherGrey HornbillRedeyed Dove
Black KiteGrey LourieRedfaced Mousebird
Black KorhanGrey Penduline TitRedheaded Finch
Black SparrowhawkGreybacked Bleating WarblerRedheaded Weaver
Black StorkGreyheaded Bush ShrikeRedknobbed Coot
Black SunbirdGreyheaded SparrowRedthroated Wryneck
Black SwiftGreyhooded KingfisherRedwinged Starling
Black WidowfinchGroundscraper ThrushReed Cormorant
Blackbreasted Snake EagleGymnogeneRichards pipit
Blackcheeked WaxbillHadeda IbisRock Bunting
Blackchested PriniaHalfcollared KingfisherRock Kestrel
Blackcollared BarbetHamerkopRock Martin
Blackcrowned Night HeronHarlequin QuailRock Pigeon
Blackcrowned TchagraHelmeted GuineafowlRuff
Blackeyed BulbulHobby FalconRufouscheeked Nightjar
Blackheaded HeronHoney BuzzardRufousnaped Lark
Blackheaded OrioleHoopoeSabota Lark
Blackshouldered KiteHorus SwiftSacred Ibis
Blacksmith PloverHouse MartinSanderling
Blackthroated CanaryHouse SparrowScalyfeathered Finch
Blackwinged StiltIcterine BabblerScimitarbilled Woodhoopoe
Blue CraneJackal BuzzardSecretary Bird
Blue WaxbillJacobin CuckooShaft-tailed Whydah
Bluebilled FinchJamesons FirefinchShelleys Francolin
Bluecheeked Bee-eaterKalahari RobinShort-toed Rock Thrush
Bluegrey FlycatcherKlass’s CuckooSops Owl
BokmakierieKnob-billed DuckSouth African Shelduck
Booted EagleKori BustardSouthern Black Tit
Broadbilled RollerKurrichane ButtonquailSouthern Boubou
Bronze MannikenKurrichane ThrushSouthern Pochard
Bronzewinged CourserLanner FalconSpeckled Mousebird
Brown Snake EagleLappetfaced VultureSpotted Dikkop
Brownhooded KingfisherLarklike BuntingSpotted Eagle Owl
Brownthroated MartenLaughing DoveSpotted Flycatcher
BrubruLazy CisticolaSpottedbaked Weaver
Buffy PipitLesser FlamingoSpurwinged Goose
Burchells CoucalLesser Grey ShrikeSquacco Heron
Burntnecked EremomelaLesser HoneyguideSteelblue Widowfinch
Bushveld PipitLesser Masked WeaverSteppe Buzzard
Cape Eagle OwlLesser MoorhenSteppe Eagle
Cape Glossy StarlingLesser Striped SwallowStonechat
Cape Penduline TitLevalliants CisticolaStreakyheaded Canary
Cape Reed WarblerLilacbreasted RollerStriped Cuckoo
Cape RobinLittle Banded GoshawkStriped Kingfisher
Cape Rock ThrushLittle Bee-eaterStriped Pipit
Cape SparrowLittle BitternSwainsons Francolin
Cape Turtle DoveLittle EgretTawny Eagle
Cape VultureLittle SparrowhawkTawnyflanked Prinia
Cape WagtailLittle StintTemmincks Courser
Cape White-eyeLittle SwiftThreebanded Plover
Capped WheatearLongbilled CrombecThreestreaked Tchagra
Cardinal WoodpeckerLongbilled PipitTit Babbler
Carmine Bee-eaterLongtailed ShrikeTree Pipit
Cattle EgretLongtailed WidowVioleteared Waxbill
Chinspot BatisMalachite KingfisherWahlbergs Eagle
Cloud CisticolaMaribou StorkWaiting Cisticola
Common QuailMarico FlycatcherWater Dikkop
Common SandpiperMarico SunbirdWattled Plover
Common WaxbillMarsh OwlWattled Starling
Coqui FrancolinMarsh SandpiperWhite Helmetshrike
Crested BarbetMartial EagleWhite Stork
Crested FrancolinMasked WeaverWhitebacked Duck
Crimson BoubouMelba FinchWhitebacked Mousebird
Crowned PloverMelodious LarkWhitebacked Night Heron
Cut-throat FinchMocking ChatWhitebacked Vulture
DabchickMonotonous LarkWhitebellied Sunbird
DarterMoorhenWhitebreasted Cormorant
Desert CisticolaMountain ChatWhitebrowed Robin
Diederick CuckooNamaqua DoveWhitebrowed Sparrow-weaver
Dusty LarkNatal FrancolinWhitecrowned Shrike
Egyptian GooseNeddickyWhitefaced Duck
Ethiopian SnipeOlive ThrushWhitefaced Owl
European Bee-eaterOrangebreasted Bush ShrikeWhitefronted Bee-eater
European CuckooOrangebreasted WaxbillWhiterumped Swift
European Golden OrioleOrangethroated LongclawWhitethroat
European Marsh WarblerOspreyWhitethroated Robin
European NightjarOstrichWhitethroated Swallow
European RollerOvambo SparrowhawkWhitewinged Tern
European SwallowPainted SnipeWhitewinged Widow
European SwiftPale Chanting GoshawkWillow Warbler
Fairy FlycatcherPalm SwiftWood Sandpiper
Familiar ChatParadise FlycatcherWoodland Kingfisher
Fantailed CisticolaParadise WhydahYellowbellied Eremomela
Fantailed FlycatcherPearlbreasted SwallowYellowbilled Duck
Fawncoloured LarkPearlspotted OwlYellowbilled Egret
Fierynecked NightjarPeregrine FalconYellowbilled Hornbill
Fiscal FlycatcherPied BabblerYellowbilled Kite
Fiscal ShrikePied BarbetYellowbilled Stork
Flapper LarkPied CrowYelloweyed Canary