Lower Drakensburg Foothills – Franklin Vlei
About the Birding
Situated in the plains of East Griqualand in the extreme south-western corner of KwaZulu-Natal, Franklin Vlei covers an immense area of over 5244 hectares in the upper reaches of the Mzintlava catchment. The site is easily accessible via a network of district roads which cross the vlei at various points. The head of the vlei lies at an altitude of 1585 metres above sea-level and extends in a south-easterly direction towards its outlet at 1498 metres above sea-level.
About the Birding Site
The Lower Drakensberg Foothills Birding Route lies inland and to the south-west of the Southern KwaZulu-Natal Birding Route and is easily accessible from both Durban and Pietermaritzburg, the two nearest points of entry. The source of this route is found in the Ukhahlamba Drakensberg World Heritage Site at the majestic Sani Pass where birders get the unique opportunity to view birds in a rugged and stunningly beautiful environment, consisting of five different habitats and ranging in height from 1600m to 3200m.
Other Related Information
From Kokstad travel North on R617 for 43km, turn right onto the P602/1 to Franklin village (1km). The wetland adjoins the village where the tar road crosses the wetland. Park at the bridge on the western edge of the wetland.
Notable points of interest include the:
Main access point to Franklin Vlei: -30.3203, 29.4575
The nearest towns to Franklin are: