“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.”
—Mark Twain, Innocents Abroad

The American Birding Association is thrilled to announce Camp Zebra Hills, a life-changing, horizon-expanding birding and wildlife experience in South Africa! We’ll be hosted by our friends at Rockjumper Birding Tours, who call this region home and who provide crucial sponsorship support for all our Young Birder Camps.

Schedule to be determined, 2022

Location: Zebra Hills Safari Lodge, in Manyoni Private Game Reserve, South Africa

Camp fee: $2630.00 includes all lodging, meals, transportation during camp events, instructional sessions and transportation from and to Johannesburg, O.R. Tambo International Airport (JNB) Airfare is not included.

Camp Zebra Hills is open to all birders ages 15 to 19.

Membership in the ABA is required for attendance (can be added at checkout).

This part of the globe is almost impossibly rich and fascinating for its birdlife, its mammals, and its human culture and history. From the tiniest sparkling sunbirds to awe-inspiring elephants, our senses will be delighted, our hearts lifted, and our horizons expanded by this incomparable safari experience.

Our time in South Africa will be spent at Zebra Hills Safari Lodge, situated inside the 56,000-acre Manyoni Private Game Reserve. Manyoni means the “place of birds” in isiZulu and is apt to describe this unique reserve, nestled in the heart of Zululand. The lodge is situated by a watering hole where numerous species of antelope come to quench their thirst and we might even see Lion, Cheetah, both Black and White rhinoceros, Giraffe, or African Buffalo.

Of course, we’ll seek all these spectacular mammals and many more on daily morning and evening game drives in safari vehicles ideally suited for game viewing and birding.

While out on the reserve and when we are around the lodge, we’ll enjoy incredible birding—the reserve has recorded over 400 species! These include classic safari favorites like Ostrich and Lilac-breasted Roller, plus dozens and dozens of other showstoppers from the very localized Pink-throated Twinspot, the aptly named Gorgeous Bushshrike, the bizarre Crested Guineafowl, unique Hamerkop, cryptic African Green Pigeons, the brilliant Purple-crested Turaco, White-eared and Black-collared Barbets and their smaller cousin the Red-fronted Tinkerbird, noisy Trumpeter and Crowned Hornbills, the gemlike African Pygmy Kingfisher, and a seemingly endless procession of amazing African birds from wood hoopes to barbets to weavers to longclaws and on and on and on!

A strong component of our camp will be learning about the measures that are being taken to conserve the wildlife here and gain insights into the kinds of training needed to pursue careers in wildlife management. Imagine being present when professionals dart a rhino and file down its horn to protect it from the sadly ever-present threat of poachers! There is no substitute for seeing things firsthand in order to develop a feel for the challenges we face and the work needed to meet them.

Our time in South Africa will no doubt fly by but each camper will leave with a treasure trove of memories and insights and experiences that will last a lifetime. Don’t miss this incredible opportunity to see and experience some of the most exciting birding and wildlife watching anywhere on Earth!

Additional Information:

  • It will be possible for all campers to meet and fly together from a US Airport.
  • An option is available for family members to tag along and stay at neighboring lodge.
  • Details worked out on an individual basis.