About the Author

Ashleigh Chamberlain


Ashleigh grew up in a small mining town in the Northern Cape and then moved on to Stellenbosch for High School and University. She studied BA Social Dynamics (Politics, Philosophy and English) and after completing her degree went overseas to Taiwan to teach ...

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on 5 Birds You Might Find Off Founders Deck

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Ashleigh your birding knowledge will grow with time, and bring you lots of pleasure. Here were we stay at Komati Power Station, we have quite a few birds, even nesting in our own yard. We have spotted eagle owls, who breed this year in our tree and in a box my hubby made for them. There were 3 chick’s and they are still here in our tree everyday. We watch them when it becomes dusk, they fly down and perch themselves on the grass, or my chairs and table. So beautiful to see them. Them we also have the lesser stripped swallows that have been here for 9 years. They have made their mud nest under my roof near my kitchen. I have named them Jessie and James. They sit on the the telephone wire outside talking to each other and when they see us they fly past and greet us. They have had many chick’s, the last lot the one chick kept on falling out of the nest, so I put the chick back. Today they are all big and back from the migratory trip. Also we have the colored barbet nesting in our tree and the other woodpeckers are here as well with many other birds coming to sit in our garden.

So wonderful to hear about all the birds, including Jessie and James. Thank you for sharing Valmai.

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On our first Africa Safari in 2008 we visited Botswana and Zambia. Our 28 year old son told us ahead of time that we should not concentrate on any birds, because he wanted to just see the animals. Well, shortly into the trip we all (including him!) realized that birding is an exciting part of of the Bushveld wildlife! You have such “exotic” and beautiful birds compared to our USA–altho we have many fine species too!!! I think this perception has to also factor in the location of your vast land…

Camille, I come from Cape Town and its been fascinating coming from there to here and comparing the bird life. I am sure that the same fascination would apply when birding in America as opposed to here in South Africa.

I think that Londolozi is one of the best places on earth to observe birds. The lesser striped swallow is a masterwork but they are all beautiful

Francesca, it truly is. I have learnt so much about birding already!

Good for you Ashleigh to jump into birding after your arrival at Londolozi. I agree that from Founders Deck it is easy to spot a variety of birds and animals, but as a non-birder, I found I was always trying to identify the various birds. After my second visit, and with coaching, I departed this time with several new birds on my list. I’m impressed you’ve identified 63 birds thus far and am confident you’ll reach your goal by year end.

Thank you Denise! It has been a rather daunting task but I am so pleased to have embarked on my “birding career”.
Holding thumbs for my 100th soon.

Though I have been several times at Londolozi, I have never been (not yet) to Founders Camp as it has always been fully booked when I inquired. Maybe I will make it there one day.
However I have seen all these birds from other decks or during walks along the pathway connecting all the camps. And on drives as well, of course. I love your causeway across the river where one always finds lots of birds and also the trees and bushes of TreeCamp where one can watch lots of interesting birds. I saw some beautiful sunbirds on the flowers next to the rooms of Founders.

Christa, we would love to host you at Founders in the near future. If however you are in another camp on your next visit to Londolozi- please do come to Founders Camp for a coffee on deck to enjoy some birding with myself and Simon Sambo, my fellow camp manager!

Ashleigh, Thanks for an interesting update on your current bird sightings at Founders (our usual home at Londolozi!). We are sure that since you are now “hooked”, that you will enjoy the birding experience! We will look forward to seasonal updates on your sightings!

Michael and Terri, I look forward to hosting you both in the near future to share my latest birding updates.

What makes me realize that I am in the greater Kruger area ( Lowveld ) is the sound of certain bird calls . Two of these in particular are the Red and Yellow Billed Hornbill and the Crested Barbet . To me listening to the bird calls of Kruger is what makes me want to return every time.

Hearing certain bird calls certainly come with a sense of nostalgia for when one is on a safari adventure.

Ashleigh this is a really nice blog and I know from personal experience, you will find a lot of interesting things about birds and their habits, etc. I find it totally relaxing to watch the birds at my feeder and bird baths. Thanks for sharing.

Leonie, thanks for the words of encouragement and for sharing your bird feeder moments!

I sure you will be ticking many more birds on your book in no time at all Ashleigh. I miss the S African birds, though we are lucky to be in the migratory path in Europe for many traveling north and south, they don’t stay long enough to be ale to enjoy them on such a regular basis. My SA bird book is gathering dust and am longing to head south to open its pages again very soon!

I am sure you and your bird book will soon be spending more time together in the South!

It is far too long since visiting Londolozi, but agree birds are part of the first place in the world for Safari, and it’s not close between it and second. I have some less professional bird shots I will send over. One, the Bateleur is my screen saver – the first page I see every morning! Hope to be back post Covid!

John, I think I will one day too become such an avid birder that my screen saver will be a beautiful picture of one!

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