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Gauteng General overview
The wider Gauteng birding region is situated at between 1000 and 1800m above sea level. Gauteng has a range of different biomes all within comfortable driving distance (1.5 hrs from the city centres) which enable one to pick up in excess of 200 species in a mornings birding. The once extensive grassland biome has been transformed but there are still a number of good patches including Suikerbosrand which is in the Southern parts of the province. During the summer this area teems with birds and one can pick up specials such as Orange River Francolin, African Grass Owl and Tinkling Cisticola not to mention a number of Highveld species.
Moving away from grasslands one will encounter numerous wetlands offering a diverse range of water birds as well as specials such as Greater Painted Snipe, Baillon's crake, Red chested Flufftail, and Greater Flamingo. Rarities that have pitched up in Gauteng include Slaty Egret, Spotted Crake, Western Marsh harrier and South Africa's first record of an Asiatic Dowitcher.
Within the cities there are a number of botanical gardens as well as nature reserves that offer extremely good birding opportunities. Acacia thornveld in northern Gauteng and the adjacent Limpopo and North West provinces offer the highest diversity of bird species and a trip to site such as Zaagkuildrift, Borakalalo and Vaalkop Dam can produce over 150 species in a day.
The bustling province of Gauteng incorporates South Africa's political and commercial capital cities namely Pretoria and Johannesburg which are world class cities. There is a wide range of accommodation, fantastic restaurants and world class birding. Gauteng also has a number of well experienced bird tour operators who provide a fantastic service to visiting birders. This coupled with an extensive infrastructure and accommodation system provides the visiting birder with an ideal birding destination as well as a platform for a birding holiday.
The Gauteng region has been divided into two areas (with more to come).