Lower Drakensburg Foothills – Highover Wildlife Sanctuary
About the Birding
Nestled in the spectacular Umkomazi Gorge, Highover boasts an impressive combination of valley bushveld and mist belt forest birds. However, the star attraction of Highover is the small population of the critically endangered Blue Swallow which breed on the pristine upland grasslands overlooking the valley. In order to see this species, one must visit in the summer months (September-April) and a full day of birding is recommended.
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
Highover is 1.5 hours from Durban or 1 hour from Pietermaritzburg. From Pietermaritzburg or Durban take provincial road No. 56 (Richmond / Transkei Route) and travel to Richmond using the Richmond bypass. Drive directly through Richmond along Shepstone Street, and 1km from Richmond take the Eastwolds/ Hela Hela Road. Continue along the tar road for 15km. From the end of the tar the gravel road winds down to the Mkomazi River for approximately 9km. The reception to Highover is situated on the left-hand side just before you cross the Mkomazi River…