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The Southern African Birdfinder: Where to Find 1,400 Bird Species in Southern Africa and Madagascar Paperback – January 11, 2007


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The Southern African Birdfinder: Where to Find 1,400 Bird Species in Southern Africa and Madagascar + Birds of Southern Africa: Fourth Edition (Princeton Field Guides)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Random House Struik; Pap/Map edition (January 11, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1868727254
  • ISBN-13: 978-1868727254
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.9 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,090,404 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Callan Cohen is Director of Birding Africa, a specialist bird tour company, and was the youngest person at the time to see the landmark 800 bird species in southern Africa. He is the co-author of Essential Birding, Western South Africa (2000) with Claire Spottiswoode. Claire Spottiswoode is a Doctoral student at Cambridge University, with a strong interest in evolutionary biology. She has professionally led birding tours for the foreign market on a part-time basis and these activities have afforded her intimate knowledge of the region's best birding sites. Jonathan Roussouw's passion for birding originated in KwaZulu-Natal and he has travelled to all the corners of the earth, amassing over 6 000 species on his life-list!

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Antonio Salvadori on January 8, 2007
Format: Paperback
I just got back from a two month self-guided birding trip to South Africa. I used this book for all my planning and selection of the places to visit. The book proved invaluable. It is well laid out, includes very good maps - including one of the whole of Southern Africa with all the birding spots clearly marked on it, it has many excellent bird and scenery photographs and a complete list of all the birds that can be seen with a cross-reference to their location in the book. A few minor points that caused me some irritations during the trip: only odd pages are numbered in the middle of the right hand side (very confusing); some of the maps are a little misleading e.g. the Sir Lowry's pass map is incorrect - the trail starts directly opposite the car park and not downhill as shown; some of the instructions are also incorrect e.g. the instructions to the Damara Tern Colony (I could not find the location.) These are minor points that an able birder can easily overcome. The book also covers other Southern African countries however having lived in Zambia and Zimbabwe I found their coverage of these two countries to be very sparse only covering the top birding spots. I strongly recommend this book if you are planning a trip to this beautiful area of our planet so rich in birds.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Okole1808 on August 29, 2012
Format: Paperback
I purchased this book primarily to get more detailed site information for finding birds in Madagascar for an upcoming trip. My intent was to also use it for planning a trip to Southern Africa in the (hopefully) near future. Since the book is primarily for birding Southern Africa, I didn't expect there would be a huge section on Madagascar. I thought the information presented for Madagascar was very helpful, and I very much appreciated tips like where to find birds in nearby sites for Ifaty and guidance for not flushing Subdesert Mesites into the trees. For some areas like Montagne d'Ambre NP, however, the bird finding information was pretty skimpy and there was no information for another nearby site, Ankarana Special Reserve which, apparently, has spectacular rock formations and one of the highest densities of lemurs. If one is traveling this far north, it seems as tho more information could have been provided to assist in bird and mammal finding and logistics planning, especially for those traveling by themselves or using a travel agency that provides for customer-designed tours. Detailed information on places to go and target species lists is given for the more common destinations like Perinet and Matadia, Ramomafana NP, Ifaty, and Ankarafantsika NP.

The binding for this book is poor at best. After only 3 or 4 openings, the page sections for Madagascar have already begun to separate from the binding. If you are taking this book in the field, you should probably bring a good supply of rubber bands with you to hold everything together. Now I am not sure it will even last for an Africa trip, let alone the Madagascar trip.
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Format: Paperback
This book is so full of information that it transcends the format of a typical site guide (you'll find advice on the type of car jack and how to behave in case of attacks by wild animals. The target audience are independent birders who will find the guide indispensable for Namibia, Botswana and especially South Africa. Commendably, the less commonly traveled adjoining countries of Zambia and Angola find coverage as well, even though they are not strictly in Southern Africa. One hopes that success will breed a future edition in which I would like to find GPS coordinates, particularly for the more remote sites. Even if you don't have any immediate plans for a birding trip to Southern Africa this book would enjoyable for the armchair adventurer fascinated by the charismatic (and often enigmatic) avifauna. Congratulations also to the publisher for keeping the price so low.
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