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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 24 August 2001
When you turn up a guide's house in Zimbabwe and find a book in his expedition packing list you know it's worth carrying with you. A very well laid out and easy to use field guide with reliable colour plates and distribution charts of the species described next to the colour plate, so no flicking back through the book to find the SBJ you think you're looking at lives in a different part of Africa. The plates also include descriptions of behaviour and habitat that are missing from Colins Illustrated Check List to further aid identification.
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on 10 February 2008
Found this really useful in the Kruger park. Quick to get to the pages you want, good images. Have used both Roberts and Newmans in the past and they are both great guides but I found this easier
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on 2 January 2012
Newly updated, this is the best guide for the region in my view. I also have the Newman and Collins guides to this patch, but this one leaves them standing. The pictures are excellent, and the text and maps are on the facing page just as you would want. There's a pictorial index and several different text indices too to find the one you need quickly. In the field, it's a joy to use and the helpful little summaries of habitat and habit are informative without overload. One of our guides was using the previous edition of this book, and we both agreed that this revision makes some excellent improvements. Highly recommended.
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on 19 May 2008
I think the illustrations are well ahead of "Newman" and I found it easy to use. It is so important to have the distribution maps on the same page as the plates.

There are so many changes to names and locations that I think it is beneficial to have more than one guide to hand. Our party also had the "Collins" and, between the two we could resolve more than we could with one book. I still cannot do Cisticolas/Warblers though!
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on 23 January 2010
I am a keen UK bird watcher but this was my first visit to South Africa. I wanted to bird watch as I travelled about. This book has excellent colour illustrations which are ideal to identify what you have seen. From the moment you get off the plane every bird you see is a new one. In the Kruger park the guide had the same book. No better recommendation.
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on 27 October 2009
This book is a really useful field guide and could even do well as a coffee table reference book.The illustrations, maps and general information are first rate, and the casual observer and dedicated birder are equally well served by the detail. The inclusion of the Latin, agreed, and Africaans names for the birds is helpful, and overall it is a good investment.
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on 6 December 2015
All the same text and pictures as the paper version, but not the same format. Shows illustrations in-line with the text, rather than the plates with multiple species shown side by side as in the paper version. We have the third edition in paperback and on our latest trip and were glad of it. A lot of the bird names have changed and it was helpful to have edition 4, but it is not anything like as useful in the field.

We are not great fans of the illustrations in either version. The pictures frequently do not reflect the bird very well, although the text is quite good at describing identification points. The plus point of the Kindle version is, of course, portability. I can access it on my phone, but it is not too easy to see. It's OK, but not great.
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on 1 September 2010
We are going To SA at Christmas and I needed a decent birdbook to ID species. Pictures are excellent which is a good start. Map range with each bird,is very good, I like the lay out description on 1 side of the page pictures on the other, each picture cleary marked. Good description and referencing with index in back, Due to the number of birds in South Africa the book is kept to a neat size for a pocket guide. It then lacks a bit of descriptive text about the birds.
Overall a good little book for the price and to carry around with you.
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on 26 August 2016
This is a brilliant book for birders and wildlife enthusiasts. I bought it for a birding holiday in the Gambia and it had all of the birds we needed in it. I subsequently took it to South Africa, and it was also useful in Tanzania as there was some crossover. I would highly recommend it.
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on 6 November 2013
I own issue 3 in paper version and it is excellent. Trying to reduce weight for my next trip to SA, I thought it might be a good idea to get the Kindle. How wrong could I be! It is excellent in the information it gives, but navigation is severely impaired. If you want to read it as a book, fine, but if you hope to use it for identifying that bird you've just seen: forget it. I had purchased earlier the Newman's Birds of SA in kindle (as it was cheaper) and that has the same flaws. Both only show one bird on a page, with info on the next page. No two page up display and a different layout to the hard copy, a bit confusing when you're 'gifted' with photographic memory. Also no 'clickable' index for the birds or even an indexed page scroll bar, as shown in DK's RSPB Birds of Britain and Europe eBook (not Kindle) displaying Passerines; Game birds etc as you move the page bar at the bottom of the screen, making it so much easier to find the section you're looking for and being identical to the paper version. Maybe I've not yet discovered the finer points of Kindle navigation.
I have since discovered Sasol's android (and other) app 'Sasol eBirds' and that is the one to use for identifying, in my opinion.
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