Lower Drakensburg Foothills – Gqumeni Forest
About the Birding
Located only 2km west of Donnybrook, the Gqumeni Forest is a spectacular and easily accessible mistbelt forest hosting a wealth of interesting birds including several of the region’s top specials. Unlike many of the other mist-belt forests in southern KwaZulu-Natal, this forest has survived the ravages of Yellowwood exploitation and has successfully thwarted invading exotics including Spruce and Pine. As such, it is without a doubt one of the better sites to search for the endangered Cape Parrot and flocks of several hundred of these iconic birds regularly visit the forest to feed.
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
To reach Gqumeni Forest, turn off the Underberg/ Howick R617 at Bulwer. Travel 15km towards Donnybrook. From Ixopo on the R56, turn Westwards up the R612 for 37km. There is only one bridge over the road, 1km North of Donnybrook village. Turn left 50m North of this bridge, when traveling from Ixopo, or right, 50m before the bridge, if traveling from Bulwer. Cross a railway line and turn right immediately…