Discovering off-beat destinations since 1977

About Us

Karoo Birding Safaris is a family-run travel operation, owned by Japie and Ralie Claassen, who have been married for more than fourty years and share a passion for travel, nature and all in it. Their journey started in 1977, when they were a young married couple and started travelling in their little Mazda 323. As the years passed, they started including their friends in the travels, and so, Karoo Birding Safaris & Eco Tours was finally born. They soon expanded their service offerings to include various African destinations in Southern and East Africa.

Apart from a strong focus on birds and birding, Karoo Birding Safaris is an all-round eco tour operator. We specialise in half day to twenty day tours to various locations in Africa, and we look forward to having you join us on an adventure!

Meet Our Guides

Japie Claassen


Japie Claassen is a well-known name in birding circles, and has earned fame for his knowledge of LBJ’s. Japie has a FGASA Level 1 and is DEAT registered, and has seen 800+ bird species of Southern Africa.

Ralie Claassen


Ralie is from Prince Albert, originally, and is an experienced birder with more than 800 species on her Southern African life list. She also has a keen interest in the Southern African flora and invertebrates. Registered Nature Guide, and known for her delicious cooking.

Gita Claassen

Guide/Photographer/Web Designer/Chef

With the love of nature and travel running through her veins, Gita is an avifaunal specialist, registered nature guide, and a professional photographer. She is also involved in the avifaunal census work on alternative energy development sites. 

Jakkie Claassen


The youngest son of Japie and Ralie, Jakkie has the outdoors in his blood, and went on studying as guide, ranger, and anti-poaching agent after finishing school. He now works as guide, manager, and bird and bat monitor on the alternative energy sites. He is based in Beaufort West.