Lowveld – Hazyview

About the Birding

The undoubted top special of these two sites is the rare and highly localized Magpie Mannikin. A relatively small seed-eater that is found in small groups or mixed in the company of the much more numerous but diminutive Bronze Mannikins. The best strategy for finding these cleaner bulkier birds is to scan for flocks of feeding mannikins on the fringes of the fairways and grassy areas of the properties.

Not only this but in fact during summer, the final member of the family, the Red-backed Mannikin moves down from higher lying forests to breed along the river which borders both of these properties. The river itself and its associated vegetation is home to birds like African Fish Eagle, Half-collared Kingfisher, Red-faced Cisticola, Black Crake, and Common Waxbill to name a few while Half-collared Kingfisher remains uncommon at the best of times and African Finfoot, though rare is probably under- reported.

Other birds found in the lodges surrounds are those more typical of the Lowveld. Residents like Purple- crested Turaco, African Green Pigeon, are augmented in from November to April by an array of summer migrants. At least 5 cuckoo species occur with the possibility of the rare Thick-billed Cuckoo, Willow Warbler, Woodland Kingfisher, Wahlbergs Eagle, European Bee-eater and others are just a few that can be found commonly in the two areas.

Hirundines are plentiful with the highest diversity being found in summer with Wire-tailed, Lesser Striped, Barn and rarely White-throated Swallow alongside Common House Martin, White-rumped, African Palm and Little Swift. Winter provides the chance at the less commonly encountered Grey rumped Swallow and attitudinal Black Saw-wing.

Other Related Information

From Johannesburg, take the N12 to Witbank. The N12 joins the N4 at Witbank. Continue on the N4 past Belfast and the Machado Toll Plaza. Approximately 1km after the Toll Plaza, the N4 splits. Keep left and follow the signs that say N4 via Schoemanskloof/R36 Lydenburg and travel to Nelspruit. When entering Nelspruit, carry on past the first and second set of traffic lights. Turn left at the third set of traffic lights onto the R40 Road. Proceed to White River. Upon entering White River, turn Left at the first traffic light and 200m further is the next traffic light, turn right. Pass through the first traffic light. At the second traffic light, the road reconnects with the R40. Turn left and proceed on towards Hazyview.

Kruger Park Lodge is located on the main road to Phabeni Gate(R 536) 2km off the R40. The Lodge is located on Hornbill Road. GPS: -25.497, 31.009

Sabie River Sun is on the Main Sabie Road, 1 Km from Hazyview. GPS: -25.037, 31.119

Contact details:

Kruger Park Lodge: One can access the lodge grounds for birding just let the security know you are here for birdwatching. There is no fee charged and it’s advisable to check the bird hide as one enters the lodge grounds.
Phone: 013 737 5000
Email: kruger@legacyhotels.com

Contact Details:

Sabie River Sun: One can access the lodge grounds for birding just let the security know you are here for birdwatching. The birding is best down at the dams, on your left as you enter the gate.
Phone: 013 737 4600
Email: sabiriversun.reservations@tsogosun.com

Text prepared by:
Michael Meidlinger and Marc Cronje.

Key species:

Magpie Mannikin, Half-collared Kingfisher, African Finfoot, Gorgeous Bushshrike, Black Heron, Trumpeter Hornbill, Yellow-rumped Tinkerbird and Ashy Flycatcher.

Contact details:

Kruger Park Lodge
Phone: 013 737 5000
Email: kruger@legacyhotels.com

Sabie River Sun

Phone: 013 737 4600
Email: sabiriversun.reservations@tsogosun.com

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