Written by Joseph Cameron
The types of Eagles in South Africa are some of the most majestic creatures on the continent. With 9 of South Africa’s 17 species permanently, and 8 of 17 species temporarily, finding a home in the Kruger National Park – this is one of the lesser known, lesser focused on but most special reasons to visit South Africa and the Kruger National Park.
The “Big Five” Eagles in the Kruger National Park are:
The Martial Eagle is one of the most impressive (and largest) of South African Eagles, with a wingspan of up to 2.6 meters, these impressively built predators even hunt small antelope, baboons and small warthogs.
The Eastern Grasslands offer good opportunity to see these magnificent birds. A drive down the H10 (Lower Sabie to Tshokwane) is a good choice for those in search.
Known in certain mythology as the “messenger of the ancestors” the Verreaux’s are mainly found in rocky areas or cliff faces in the Kruger National Park. For a chance to see these powerful Eagles hunting, early morning or late afternoon game drives are the best option.
To seek out these mysterious Eagles, we recommend you drive to Luvuvhu River along the S63 and S64 right at the Northernmost tip of the Kruger National Park.
The African Crowned Eagle is typically slightly smaller than the Martial Eagle but also hunts very large prey relative to its size and weight – earning this Eagle the name of Africa’s most powerful Eagle.
Found mainly in woodlands and forests, visitors may find it slightly more difficult to spot the African Crowned Eagle, but they can be found, particularly around the Luvuvhu River.
As any bird enthusiast will know, it isn’t always about the ‘celebrity’ birds – the other lesser known Eagles in the Kruger National Park can offer just as special and breathtaking moments during your time in the bush. Two of our other favourite Eagles in Kruger National Park are the Wahlberg’s and the Tawny Eagles.
The Wahlberg’s Eagle visits South Africa and The Kruger National Park during the summer season after migrating South to the park from Northern parts of Africa. An incredible experience is one of following their migratory path along the Great Rift Valley from Kenya down into South Africa.
Beyond the Whalberg’s beautiful choice of migration path, it is a special Eagle for it’s interesting call, agility and the speed with which it hunts.
Fairly common in the Kruger, it shouldn’t be too difficult to find the Whalberg’s in the park, but to provide yourself with the best chance, we recommend driving theLower Sabie Road (H4-1).
An Eagle that prefers its solitude, the Tawny Eagle is also a fierce hunter of warthogs and small mammals, with the intelligence to steal prey from other predators. Noticeable by it’s shaggy features and unique call – the Tawny is seen frequently in the Kruger National Park and may be your best chance of an Eagle spot and beautiful photograph.
There are few things more special than that moment of interaction with an African Eagle. To watch a creature of such ability hunt, simply look out over a landscape or to hear its distant call from your vehicle on a game drive are memorable moments in Africa.
Ker & Downey® Africa partners with the best guides and lodges to plan and execute trips that provide our guests with these moments on their travels – ones they will not soon forget.
Contact us today if you are ready to start your journey and meet some of the Eagles of Africa.