North-east Zululand (Elephant Coast) – Hluhluwe Game Reserve
About the Birding
Originally proclaimed in 1897, the Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Game Reserve is one of South Africa’s oldest reserves and is the birthplace for conservation in KwaZulu-Natal. The reserve is incredibly diverse in both topography and habitat and is broadly split into the Hluhluwe and Umfolozi sections. The latter ranges from the lowlands of the Imfolozi River to steep hilly country and includes several wide and deep valleys dominated by grassland and woodland. The Hluhluwe section is generally more undulating with altitudes ranging from 50 to 540 metres above sea level.
About the Birding Site
The Zululand Birding Route in the KwaZulu-Natal province of South Africa was the first of BirdLife South Africa’s avitourism projects and has now been running for nearly two decades. The specific objectives of this project were to promote birding tourism within northern KwaZulu-Natal, which in turn would assist in helping to conserve the birds of Zululand by giving them direct financial value. To date the birding route has trained and mentored over 35 community bird guides, making considerable progress in developing the birding infrastructure within the region.
Other Related Information
The Hluhuwe Game Reserve is well sign-posted from the N2 freeway and the town of Hluhluwe. The recommended route from either the north or south is to turn off the N2 at Hluhluwe Village and follow the tarred road to Memorial Gate. An alternate route is to turn off the N2 and Mtubatuba on to the R618 and to follow this road for 27km to reach the Nyalazi Gate.
Notable points of interest include the:
Memorial gate to Hluhluwe Game Reserve: -28.0686, 32.1415
Nyalazi gate to the Umfolozi Game Reserve: -28.0071, 31.6858