Book reviews:    Birds of Southern Africa

Suider Afrikaanse VoŽls / Birds of Southern Africa
Ian Sinclair
1-86825 628 6
Struik Publishers
Order this book from Amazon
This book can best be bought in South Africa

Small pocket sized field guide in the photographic guide series by Struik. The book shown in the picture here is the version in the Afrikaans language which I bought in South Africa in 1995. The problem with this book is that besides Afrikaans names it does not have scientific or english names. Most tourists will probably go for the english version of this book anyway. The Afrikaans version is only interesting for South Africans or maybe Dutch people who can also read this language.

As with all books in this series, it is not comprehensive. Only the more common birds are presented. On a walking safari in the Okavango in Botswana I once tried to find a Wattled Crane in it. This was one of the species not listed in the book as this book is concentrating on 265 species of common birds only. But for beginners it is a very nice guide.

The text is by Ian Sinclair and of very good quality, descibing the identification markings and some remarks about habitat. The color photographs are of very good quality too. Each bird has a small distribution map as well. Several birds have two photographs showing both sexes or birds in different plumage.




Conclusion: As with most books in this series, it is certainly not comprehensive but very small and handy. Nice for walking safaris and for beginning birders. More experienced birders are probably willing to carry the extra weigth of a book with more species.

Back to book index

All text and images © 1991 - 2011 Hans Martens