Birding in and around Nelspruit
In December 2021 my husband and I had a phenomenal birding day with Marc Cronje in and around Nelspruit. His knowledge, enthusiasm, patience, wit and understanding, made for a magical birding day. He always goes the extra mile. What a joy to go birding with Marc.
“What an amazing experience”
Andries van Heerden
My wife booked a trip with Marc to help us with birding (we are newbies, but know the bush really well and visit parks 2-3 times per year).
What an amazing experience. Over the past 15 years we were privileged to have excellent guides in places such as Sabi Sands, Welgevonden, Timbavati, etc. We have never experienced what we experienced today – Not only does Marc have excellent knowledge around the bush and birds (identifying them by sound and then let us stop and find the bird to show us!) but is never in a rush, always have more time to show you something exceptional and really enjoy the trip with you.
We can highly recommend a trip with Marc and will surely would love to go on a drive with him again. What a splendid gentleman with knowledge one rarely come across. Thanks Marc! 20 out of 10 and Kudos to you!
Kruger Park, Makuleke Concession
Duncan & Mignon
“We recently returned from a trip to Kruger Park for 5 nights, 3 of which were spent at the Makuleke Concession. Marc Cronje was our guide for the entire trip. We found Marc to be well organised as far as the logistics of the trip went as we flew into Nelspruit first and then drove up through the park before entering Makuleke and joining the rest of our group. We have been to Kruger many many times but always self-driven so this was a new experience. I’m pleased to say that the trip went off without a hitch and the days were rewardingly full.
Marc is clearly passionate about what he does and has the know-how to back it up. We found him to be professional and energetic and an expert on routes and stops within Kruger.
We learnt a lot about birding and the bush in general, but most importantly we thoroughly enjoyed the trip. We are already planning our next one with Marc.”
Morning in Kaapsehoop
Nadia & Alexa
Marc Cronje has taken us on a morning birding trip to Kaapsehoop. We first stopped before destination, as Marc knew a spot for the beautiful Magpie Mannikin. We were more than successful. We had a stunning view of a flock!
In Kaapsehoop we were also lucky to spot one of the special bird of this charming village, the Gurney’s Sugarbird.
We saw a lot of sunbirds: Malachite and Amethyst, the Red throated Wryneck, the Streaky headed Seedeater among a lot of other birds.
Marc was really professional and passionate. He shared with us a lot of information about the birds and showed us everything we wanted to see. Thank you to Nature Travel Birding for exceeding our expectations.
We will definitively go back for another birding trip with Marc.
Birding in the Kruger Park
We are just back from our visit to the Kruger Park, where we had the privilege to do some birding with Marc Cronje. It was a very successful birding day seeing more than 70 species, with six new lifers added to my list. Marc not only has an endless knowledge of the birds, but also of the park in its totality.
We had a great time with Marc and we can highly recommend a birding trip with him. He is an enthusiastic birder and nature lover and we look forward to do birding with him in October in the Makuleke area.
Likweti and Lowveld Botanical Garden
I have recently moved up to Mpumalanga area and hear that Marc Cronje from Nature Travel Birding was doing guided bird walk so I decided to join two walk with him. Both have been absolutely phenomenal, from the destination that we have gone to, to the way he guides and give his knowledge about the birds. You can see that he is very enthusiastic about bird and helping others get to know birds.
He’s taken a group of birders including myself to Likweti Bushveld Farm Estate which was a really nice area to go birding because even though it’s an estate there is a lot of untouched veld for birds which give a variety of bird species. I’ve also been to the Lowveld Botanical Garden which also was really cool to walk through
Even though I’ve only been out with him twice he’s got me seven lifers already which is really cool.
I would definitely suggest getting in contact with Nature Travel Birding and booking and birding walk or drive. It’s not only for the bird fanatics, as a somewhat of a beginning to birding you can learn a lot of tricks and tips to improve your birding and who know you may fall in love with it.
“You won’t regret it”
I happened across a Facebook post on the BirdLife South Africa group, inviting those interested to join Marc Cronje, from Nature Travel Birding, for a day in the Kruger National Park. Being new to the life of birding, I thought this was an opportunity I could not miss, and boy was I right. We arrived at the Malalane Gate in the early hours, just as the sun was rising. While one of the guides conveniently took our information and went ahead to stand in the queues, Marc got us to hop out the open vehicle to see the views from the bridge. Within 15 minutes we had spotted upward of 30 bird species! I was blown away, and I couldn’t snap the birds fast enough with my camera. All the while we got interesting commentary from Marc, learning about how to identify those particular birds.
Once in the park, our guides knew exactly where to go to find the best sightings, and with their trusty speaker and recordings, were able to call birds right up to us, which I had never seen before. From migratory birds to the locals, we saw 124 bird species that day. And not only birdlife, with the team’s friendly connections within Kruger, we got the inside scoop on the locations of animals such as Lion, Rhino, Elephants and more.
The day was so successful, that the group didn’t want to leave, and they offered us a quick detour before heading out, where we spotted a magnificent Martial Eagle with its kill, being watched over by a Tawney Eagle. I highly recommend anyone who is even vaguely interested in birding to follow Marc and Nature Travel Birding and hop on their next tour. You won’t regret it.
Birding in Kaapsehoop
Thank you Marc Cronje for guiding my wife and I to some amazing, beautiful and hard to see (let alone photograph) specialities in and around the Kaapsehoop area. It was truly an amazing day spent birding under your expert guidance. We would sincerely recommend your professional services to anyone wanting a passionate, knowledgeable and enthusiastic guide. This day would not have been the same without you, thank you for making it possible and for the unforgettable experience. We will most certainly do it again in the future.
Birding in Southern Kruger
We went birding with Marc Cronje from Nature Travel Birding in the Southern Kruger.
His ability to spot and hear birds was extraordinary. I managed to get five lifers onto my list but more importantly, we had such an enjoyable day together in the open vehicle. It was a real treat and I would recommend a birding trip with Nature Travel Birding to anyone wanting to enjoy some birding in Kruger and improve their birding
Southern Kruger Park
David A. Glenn – Pittsburg, Kansas, USA
I am a retired teacher from the Midwest in the US and had never ventured outside the borders of the US before in my life. My wife decided, for her 60th birthday, to go to Africa, and more specifically, South Africa. Luckily she asked me to go with her!
Our research involved a lot of Googling and sending emails to various companies, and we decided to go with a company that does trips all over the world, but also specializes in Southern African safaris. It was clear from our research that most people, when they go to South Africa, end up in Cape Town and the Kruger National Park. We aren’t really city folk, so decided to focus our time and budget entirely on the Kruger Park. The company that we chose for our trip was Nature Travel Kruger.
From the first initial contact they were excellent, answering our e-mails with speed and efficiency. We had a lot of questions and the team at Nature Travel Kruger answered all of them professionally, giving us all the info we needed and customizing our trip to fit in with our timeframe and budget. We had a little less than 2 weeks for our entire trip, and we thought this wasn’t long enough, but the company made it work perfectly!
We took the option of visiting the southern part of the Kruger National Park for 6 nights, and spent 2 nights each in three different camps, maximising our chances of seeing different animals and areas. We then added a short extension for 2 nights in a private game reserve next to the Park (to see how the other half lives!). We spent the trip in the company of the Nature Travel guide who lives close to the Park, and his knowledge was just astounding – he knew everything about every little thing! Plants, animals, birds, insects, weather, history, culture… everything! He was definitely one of the highlights of our trip. He claims that all the Nature Travel guides are as good as he is!
Other highlights are just too many to mention, but I’ll try. We saw the Big 5 and got pictures, we saw wild dogs and got pictures, we saw cheetahs and got pictures, we saw eagles, storks, vultures, so many other birds, a python(!), butterflies, and of course beautiful beautiful African landscapes like you see in the movies. We enjoyed great food, excellent typical African accommodations in thatched chalets, we had a real South African barbeque a few times, and the people were friendly and helpful wherever we went. We were amazed and so impressed by the Kruger Park.
From start to finish we were treated like royalty by Nature Travel Kruger. Every little detail of the trip was handled expertly by them, from the pickup at the local airport, to our strange dietary requirements, to me taking so long to take photos of all the animals! I can highly recommend their services when going to the Kruger National Park. During the trip we also discovered that they do wildlife and birdwatching trips all over the world, so I suspect they will see us in the near future for another trip!
“Brilliant weekend in the Kruger”
George Hayes – Peterborough, England
I was on business in South Africa recently and had a weekend off at the end of my trip, before I was due to fly back to the UK.
I am a nature lover and have been to many wildlife parks all over Africa and some in South America, but I’d never gone on safari in South Africa. I have always wanted to visit the famous Kruger National Park, but when I started contacting safari travel companies on a Friday afternoon I didn’t have much hope of any of them responding to me.
I was wrong. One of the first companies I found was called Nature Travel Kruger. I explained my strange situation and request to them – I had only two nights to fit a spectacular South African safari, I was stuck in Johannesburg 5 hours away from the Kruger Park, etc. They were more than happy to oblige!
They organised a place on a late flight from Johannesburg to the airport close to the Kruger Park and a late entry permit into the Park itself. I would meet the local Nature Travel Kruger guide at the airport and he would join me for a two night trip in the park.
They took care of ALL the arrangements, from my flights, airport transfers, booking accommodation on my behalf for the two nights and even allowing me to borrow an extra pair of binoculars for the safari into the Kruger Park! Their guide even arrived with fresh food, including meat, packed in an ice box on his vehicle!
The two days in Kruger were brilliant, with sightings of all of the “Big 5” as well as some fantastic other fauna and flora. It is clear why some people say it is the best game reserve on earth. The Nature Travel guide was excellent, with fantastic knowledge of the bush and a nice guy to boot! We sat around the fire on Saturday night sharing stories of our safari exploits from the past.
I once again thank Nature Travel Kruger for their fast, friendly and expert help and can highly recommend them to all you nature lovers out there. Even at crazy short notice!