East London – Umtiza Nature Reserve
About the Birding
The small Umtiza Nature Reserve, situated alongside the bell-shaped Buffalo River, is situated just to the west of the city of East London very near the local airport. The reserve was declared in 1985 and covers some 758 hectares of indigenous forest and exotic plantations. The reserve itself is named after the tree Umtiza listerana, which is known from only two other locations. Birding in the forest is extremely productive with over 150 species recorded.
About the Birding Site
The city of East London is one of the most accessible ports of entry into the Eastern Cape, sandwiched between the Buffalo River to the east and the Gonubie River to the west. Its Settler ancestry is incredibly evident, and the city has a distinctive old-fashioned charm about it. Traffic congestion is the exception to the norm, the endless swathes of beaches imply year-round enjoyment without large crowds, and the natural history of the surrounding areas is truly something to behold; altogether providing a refreshingly and incredibly pleasant holiday experience for all.
Other Related Information
Travel south from East London along the R72 past the East London airport. Immediately after the airport, turn to the north along the Buffalo Pass road and follow this road east towards the Buffalo River. The entrance to the Umtiza Nature Reserve is located roughly 1.5Km along this road to the left. The entrance to the reserve is just pas the Maroni Radar at the top of the hill.