The Southern Ground-Hornbill was formally distributed [1] throughout Africa south of the Equator, including:


  Southern Kenya;
  South Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo;
  Tanzania (accidental to Zanzibar);
  Northern Namibia in the Caprivi Strip;
  Northern and Eastern Botswana;
  Northern and Eastern South Africa in Limpopo, Mpumalanga; KwaZulu-Natal; and Eastern Cape


However it has disappeared from several parts of its former range, maybe as much as 70% in South Africa, and extensive areas in Zimbabwe. The core concentrations in South Africa lie in the extensive conservation areas of the Kruger National Park (KNP) and adjacent private reserves [2], the conservation and farming areas of northern and midland KwaZulu-Natal [3] , and the rural areas of the Eastern Cape [4]. It occurred at low densities in Swaziland and a gap in the range is becoming apparent, separating the populations in northern KwaZulu-Natal and the southern KNP [5].


Historical records indicate a much (at least 50%) wider distribution in Gauteng, North West, Limpopo and Mpumalanga Provinces, having been in the Magaliesberg near Hartebeesport and Pretoria and at the Limpopo-Marico confluence during 1842, at Loskop, Nylsvlei and Northam in the 1940’s, and Haenertsberg, Pilgrims Rest and Hanglip up to the 1970’s. It was recorded near Durban’s Umlaas River in KwaZulu-Natal in 1840. It decreased in the grasslands of the Eastern Cape between 1900-1970.


For the latest South African Bird Atlas Project (SAPAB2) data click here. If you are part of this national Atlas project please send in your SGH sightings even if you are not working in completing a pentad.  

[1] Kemp 1995, Eskom Red Data book
[2] Tarboton, 1987 in Kemp 2000
[3] Cyrus & Robson 1980; Knight 1990 in Kemp 2000
[4] Vernon 1986
[5] ASABI; 708-709 in Kemp 2000