North-east Zululand – Tongaland Tembe Elephant Park
About the Birding
Under the custodianship of Ezemvelo KZN Widlife, Tembe Elephant Park is situated at the extreme northern edge of Zululand bordering southern Mozambique. Named for the local Tonga tribal leaders, this reserve covers an immense area of 30 000 hectares. Tembe was proclaimed in 1983 to protect the local African Elephant and Suni Antelope (one of Africa’s smallest antelope species) populations as well as diverse habitats including sand forest, open and closed woodlands, grassland, and swamps. Over 350 bird species are known to occur, including many of South Africa’s most sought-after species.
About the Birding Site
Tongaland describes the extreme North-eastern corner of Kwazulu-Natal bordering Mozambique to the north and flanked to the east and west by the Lebombo Mountains and Indian Ocean, respectively. Much of the region is drained by the Phongolo and Mkhuze Rivers and the area is dominated by the respective floodplains of these two rivers (as well as their tributaries) and is characterised by many shallow pans, Lala palm savannah and bush/forest clumps.
Other Related Information
From the N2 highway linking Durban to Pongola, travel up to the Jozini/ Ndumo/ Kosi bay turn-off (situated 50km south of Pongola). Drive up through the village of Jozini, and over the Jozini Dam Wall. Continue with this tar road for about 76km, following the signs to Kosi Bay and Manguzi. The park’s turn-off is situated on the left had side of the road and is signposted.
Notable points of interest include the:
Entrance to Tembe Elephant Park: -27.0486, 32.4223
The nearest towns to Tembe Elephant Park are: