top of page

Which Southern African Bird App is the Best Value for Money? - Part 1

The question that comes up almost daily on one of the Southern African birding social media platforms is this sentence - ‘Which is the best bird app to get?’.

As someone who often has more budget than money in my bank account, I am aware of the cost of the various apps on the market. You can spend up to R500 for some of the bird apps – which for many people is a significant financial outlay. Although it’s good to get advice before purchasing an app – the problem is that what someone else finds suitable for their needs, might not be what you require for your needs (or for your level of expertise as a birder). I have heard stories of people that have been advised to get a certain app and after buying it finding they are disappointed because it was not what they were looking for.

Earlier this year I had the opportunity to interview a representative from each one of the Southern African birding app developers and ask them as many questions about their apps as possible. Many of the questions that are asked on social media about these apps are answered in the interviews. I am busy working on an intensive article in which we will take a detailed look at each of the apps, providing all the statistics that matter. In the meantime, to help you find the relevant episode about an app that you might have a question about, this blog article puts all the links for the app podcasts in one place. If you are looking to buy an app, I would encourage you to take a listen to the relevant episode (or even better listen to a few episodes and compare what the various apps will offer you as a user).

Feel free to share this post with anyone that you feel might benefit from this resource.

Let us know which app you feel is the best value on the Southern African market.

Please note that I have posted a link with each of the episodes to where you can play it on various platforms

Newman’s Birds of Southern Africa App – interview with Nick Newman

BirdPro App – interview with Herman van Den Berg

Sasol Ebirds of Southern Africa App – interview with Niall Perrins and Dominic Rollinson

Roberts Bird Guide Second Edition – interview with Calvin Harris (please note that we were not able to get someone to interview from the app team)



edward illingworth
edward illingworth
Aug 22, 2021

When will Part 2 be written? ("I am busy working on a blog post where I will be comparing the apps with each other.")


Adam Cruickshank
Adam Cruickshank
Oct 15, 2020

Thanks for your assessment of the apps - I am busy working on a blog post where I will be comparing the apps with each other. I have to agree with regard to the information on Roberts - it really can't be beaten. I also do love the information that is on the BirdPro app - it's a lot simpler and just nice to read. I guess it would depend on what information one would be looking for.


I have three of the four apps available, however for information the Roberts bird guide app is going to be difficult to beat. Each one has it's advantages and each one has it's weaknesses. As a bird photographer I think the colours in the plates of Roberts definitely come closest to reality. I know it is difficult with a photographic to emulate the dynamic range of the eye or painting, however as a bird photographer my goal is to portray the birds as accurately as possible, therefore for reference purposes I shall favour paintings rather than photographs. My lists is as far as I am concerned the biggest weakness of most of the apps including Roberts. I do not fin…

bottom of page