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 Stork Forktailed Drongo Pied Kingfisher
Afrian Hawk Eagle Freckled Nightjar Pied Starling
Afrian Marsh Harrier Gabar Goshawk Pintailed Whydah
African Black Duck Garden Warbler Plainbacked Pipit
African Crake Giant Kingfisher Plumcoloured Starling
African Cuckoo Glossy Ibis Puffback
African Fish Eagle Golden Bishop Purple Heron
African Hobby Falcon Goldenbreasted Bunting Purple Roller
African Jacana Goldentailed Woodpecker Purple Widowfinch
African Pied Wagtail Goliath Heron Pygmy Kingfisher
African Spoonbill Grass Owl Quail Finch
Alpine Swift Great Crested Grebe Rameron Pigeon
Anteating chat Great Reed Warbler Rattling Cisticola
Arrowmarked Babbler Great Sparrow Red Bishop
Ashy Tit Great Spotted Cuckoo Redbilled Buffalo Weaver
Avocet Great White Egret Redbilled Hornbill
Barn Owl Greater Flamingo Redbilled Oxpecker
Barred Warbler Greater Honeyguide Redbilled Quelea
Barthroated Apalis Greater Kestrel Redbilled Teal
Bateleur Greater Striped Swallow Redbilled Woodhoopoe
Bearded Woodpecker Green Pigeon Redbreasted Swallow
Bennets Woodpecker Green Sandpiper Redcapped Lark
Black Crow Greenbacked Heron Redchested Cuckoo
Black Cuckooshrike Greenshank Redchested Flufftail
Black Eagle Greenspotted Dove Redcollared Widow
Black Egret Grey Heron Redeyed Bulbul
Black Flycatcher Grey Hornbill Redeyed Dove
Black Kite Grey Lourie Redfaced Mousebird
Black Korhan Grey Penduline Tit Redheaded Finch
Black Sparrowhawk Greybacked Bleating Warbler Redheaded Weaver
Black Stork Greyheaded Bush Shrike Redknobbed Coot
Black Sunbird Greyheaded Sparrow Redthroated Wryneck
Black Swift Greyhooded Kingfisher Redwinged Starling
Black Widowfinch Groundscraper Thrush Reed Cormorant
Blackbreasted Snake Eagle Gymnogene Richards pipit
Blackcheeked Waxbill Hadeda Ibis Rock Bunting
Blackchested Prinia Halfcollared Kingfisher Rock Kestrel
Blackcollared Barbet Hamerkop Rock Martin
Blackcrowned Night Heron Harlequin Quail Rock Pigeon
Blackcrowned Tchagra Helmeted Guineafowl Ruff
Blackeyed Bulbul Hobby Falcon Rufouscheeked Nightjar
Blackheaded Heron Honey Buzzard Rufousnaped Lark
Blackheaded Oriole Hoopoe Sabota Lark
Blackshouldered Kite Horus Swift Sacred Ibis
Blacksmith Plover House Martin Sanderling
Blackthroated Canary House Sparrow Scalyfeathered Finch
Blackwinged Stilt Icterine Babbler Scimitarbilled Woodhoopoe
Blue Crane Jackal Buzzard Secretary Bird
Blue Waxbill Jacobin Cuckoo Shaft-tailed Whydah
Bluebilled Finch Jamesons Firefinch Shelleys Francolin
Bluecheeked Bee-eater Kalahari Robin Short-toed Rock Thrush
Bluegrey Flycatcher Klass’s Cuckoo Sops Owl
Bokmakierie Knob-billed Duck South African Shelduck
Booted Eagle Kori Bustard Southern Black Tit
Broadbilled Roller Kurrichane Buttonquail Southern Boubou
Bronze Manniken Kurrichane Thrush Southern Pochard
Bronzewinged Courser Lanner Falcon Speckled Mousebird
Brown Snake Eagle Lappetfaced Vulture Spotted Dikkop
Brownhooded Kingfisher Larklike Bunting Spotted Eagle Owl
Brownthroated Marten Laughing Dove Spotted Flycatcher
Brubru Lazy Cisticola Spottedbaked Weaver
Buffy Pipit Lesser Flamingo Spurwinged Goose
Burchells Coucal Lesser Grey Shrike Squacco Heron
Burntnecked Eremomela Lesser Honeyguide Steelblue Widowfinch
Bushveld Pipit Lesser Masked Weaver Steppe Buzzard
Cape Eagle Owl Lesser Moorhen Steppe Eagle
Cape Glossy Starling Lesser Striped Swallow Stonechat
Cape Penduline Tit Levalliants Cisticola Streakyheaded Canary
Cape Reed Warbler Lilacbreasted Roller Striped Cuckoo
Cape Robin Little Banded Goshawk Striped Kingfisher
Cape Rock Thrush Little Bee-eater Striped Pipit
Cape Sparrow Little Bittern Swainsons Francolin
Cape Turtle Dove Little Egret Tawny Eagle
Cape Vulture Little Sparrowhawk Tawnyflanked Prinia
Cape Wagtail Little Stint Temmincks Courser
Cape White-eye Little Swift Threebanded Plover
Capped Wheatear Longbilled Crombec Threestreaked Tchagra
Cardinal Woodpecker Longbilled Pipit Tit Babbler
Carmine Bee-eater Longtailed Shrike Tree Pipit
Cattle Egret Longtailed Widow Violeteared Waxbill
Chinspot Batis Malachite Kingfisher Wahlbergs Eagle
Cloud Cisticola Maribou Stork Waiting Cisticola
Common Quail Marico Flycatcher Water Dikkop
Common Sandpiper Marico Sunbird Wattled Plover
Common Waxbill Marsh Owl Wattled Starling
Coqui Francolin Marsh Sandpiper White Helmetshrike
Crested Barbet Martial Eagle White Stork
Crested Francolin Masked Weaver Whitebacked Duck
Crimson Boubou Melba Finch Whitebacked Mousebird
Crowned Plover Melodious Lark Whitebacked Night Heron
Cut-throat Finch Mocking Chat Whitebacked Vulture
Dabchick Monotonous Lark Whitebellied Sunbird
Darter Moorhen Whitebreasted Cormorant
Desert Cisticola Mountain Chat Whitebrowed Robin
Diederick Cuckoo Namaqua Dove Whitebrowed Sparrow-weaver
Dusty Lark Natal Francolin Whitecrowned Shrike
Egyptian Goose Neddicky Whitefaced Duck
Ethiopian Snipe Olive Thrush Whitefaced Owl
European Bee-eater Orangebreasted Bush Shrike Whitefronted Bee-eater
European Cuckoo Orangebreasted Waxbill Whiterumped Swift
European Golden Oriole Orangethroated Longclaw Whitethroat
European Marsh Warbler Osprey Whitethroated Robin
European Nightjar Ostrich Whitethroated Swallow
European Roller Ovambo Sparrowhawk Whitewinged Tern
European Swallow Painted Snipe Whitewinged Widow
European Swift Pale Chanting Goshawk Willow Warbler
Fairy Flycatcher Palm Swift Wood Sandpiper
Familiar Chat Paradise Flycatcher Woodland Kingfisher
Fantailed Cisticola Paradise Whydah Yellowbellied Eremomela
Fantailed Flycatcher Pearlbreasted Swallow Yellowbilled Duck
Fawncoloured Lark Pearlspotted Owl Yellowbilled Egret
Fierynecked Nightjar Peregrine Falcon Yellowbilled Hornbill
Fiscal Flycatcher Pied Babbler Yellowbilled Kite
Fiscal Shrike Pied Barbet Yellowbilled Stork
Flapper Lark Pied Crow Yelloweyed Canary