Wetland Birds of South Africa

I wasn’t able to visit many wetland habitats in South Africa, but when I did, I was greeted by some very beautiful birds. The four photos below were taken in a wetland within the Wilderness National Park along the southern coast of South Africa.

The African Purple Swamphen is a massive relative to the coots and rails. This beautiful bird is a common resident but is rarely seen due to its secretive nature. I got this shot as the bird ran from one reed bed t another across a shallow waterway. This species can now be found in the United States near Miami, Florida.

African Purple Swamphen

This species of coot is very similar to our American Coot, except it is much larger and sports two red swells on its head. I saw this species all over as I traveled through South Africa.

Red-knobbed Coot

Not really associated with wetlands as much as it is with grasslands, the African Stone-Chat is a beautiful small bird that is common throughout southern Africa.

African Stonechat

Easily one of the most commonly seen and most well-known species of birds to South African’s is the loud and obnoxious Hadeda Ibis. This species can be found in most habitat types, especially wetland areas near forests. This ibis’ loud calls (which sort of sound like its saying “hah-dah-dah”) woke me up every morning, and put me to sleep every night.

Hadeda Ibis