North-east Venda – Makuya Nature Reserve
About the Birding
Makuya Nature Reserve is one of the lesser known nature reserves within Limpopo Province, though it blankets an incredible 16,000 hectares and shares a fenceless border with the northern parts of Kruger National Park. The reserve is leased from the Makuya, Mutele and Mphaphuli tribes and features a tented camp overlooking the Luvuvhu River. As for Pafuri, the area is dominated by lush riverine forests along the Levubu River but, further afield, the prime habitat consists of dry acacia thickets, mopane woodland, and baobab savannahs.
About the Birding Site
The Kruger National Park covers 19,685 kilometres and is the 10th largest game reserve in the world. It has 3000 kilometres of road, 23 rest camps and a host of excellent picnic sites, walking trails, 4×4 routes, hides and massive dams. A remarkable new initiative involving the Kruger National Park is the creation of a fence free park that allows animals to migrate freely across national borders. In May 2002, Kruger, Coutada 16 (in Mozambique) and Gonarezhou (in Zimbabwe) formally merged into the 35 000 square kilometre Greater Limpopo Transfrontier Park, one of the largest game reserves in the world.
Other Related Information
To reach the Makuya Nature Reserve, travel east along the R525 in the direction of Pafuri. Roughly 20km before Pafuri Gate, turn to the South and follow the sign-posts to Pafuri River Camp. Please note that there is a 3km stoney gravel road to the camp and high clearance vehicles are strongly recommended. The nearest fuel stations are in the Tshipise (100km from camp 06:00-18:00) and at the Punda Maria Rest Camp in Kruger National Park (roughly 80km from Pafuri gate).