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South African Birds (Speaker: Josh Engel)

Birding on Safari in South Africa

South Africa has a well-deserved reputation as a fantastic vacation destination for those who want beautiful landscapes, world-class food and wine, excellent infrastructure, and lots of charismatic megafauna. When you throw in 70 or so endemic birds, including such unique birds as rockjumpers and sugarbirds, it becomes a fantastic birding destination, too. Josh, who spent nearly four years based in Cape Town working as a birding guide, will take us on a virtual tour of South Africa. We will start in the rugged and endemic-filled Western Cape tucked in the southwest corner of the country, crossing the beautiful, rolling grasslands of the highveld, high into the Drakensberg mountains, all the way to the mammal-laden bushveld of Kruger National Park in the northeast. A beautifully illustrated slideshow will highlight the birds, animals, and landscapes of South Africa.


Josh is the founder and chief guide for Red Hill Birding. He grew up birding in the suburbs of Chicago and knew from a young age that birding and travel would factor heavily in his future. After spending a semester studying abroad in Ecuador as an undergrad, he knew he needed to get back there after graduation. He soon found a job guiding in Ecuador for a large international birding tour company, before moving to South Africa where he spent nearly four years as a full time guide, leading trips throughout Southern Africa, Madagascar, Asia, and beyond. He has guided trips on four continents and conducted bird research around the world. Prior to starting Red Hill Birding, Josh was an ornithologist at The Field Museum in Chicago. Based in Chicago, he typically spends at least a month every year leading tours in Southern Africa.


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