North Eastern Highveld and Woodlands – Ezemvelo Nature Reserve

About the Birding

There is an official reserve map at the entrance to the reserve, but birders are treated to a network of well-maintained roads within the reserve itself which play host to an array of little brown jobs to test one’s identification skills to the max. The rolling grasslands are home to Buffy, Plain-backed, and African Pipits, whilst Spike-heeled, Rufous-naped, Eastern Clapper, and Melodious Larks are all best sought after in the summer months whilst displaying.

Birders are encouraged to also spend time birding around the reception offices for the likes of Lazy Cisticola, Mocking Cliff-Chat, and Striped Pipit, and further onward for Fairy Flycatcher (winter), Yellow-fronted Tinkerbird, and Brown-backed Honeybird as one traverses a more woodland environ whilst making their way toward the campsite. Try spending some time birding around the offices and the campsite and explore the reedbeds below for Red-chested Flufftail, Red-collared Widowbird, and African Yellow Warbler. This is also a great spot in the evenings for Freckled Nightjar, which often sit on top of the office buildings and call. Make sure to spend time birding along the self-drive game drive route; it is here where one’s knowledge of little brown jobs will truly be tested. Other noteworthy residents include Ant-eating Chat, White-bellied Bustard, Shelley’s Francolin, Orange River Francolin, Capped Wheatear, and Temminck’s Courser in patches of extremely short or burnt grassland.

Key species:

Southern Bald Ibis, Shelley’s Francolin, Denham’s Bustard, White-bellied Korhaan, Temminck’s Courser, Rufous-cheeked and Freckled Nightjar, Eastern Clapper Lark, Striped Pipit

About the Birding Site

Ezemvelo covers 11 000 ha of private game reserve. The reserve lies in a transitional zone of two habitats: the first habitat is the woodland to the north of the reserve and the second is the grasslands to the south, both habitats hosting a variety of different bird species which ultimately gives the birder a good species count in a single visit to the reserve.

It is also a reserve which hosts a large number of LBJ’s (Little Brown Jobs) offering even the most experienced birders the opportunity to get more familiar with this challenging group of birds.

Key species:

Southern Bald Ibis, Shelley’s Francolin, Denham’s Bustard, White-bellied Korhaan, Temminck’s Courser, Rufous-cheeked and Freckled Nightjar, Eastern Clapper Lark, Striped Pipit

Other Related Information

Access and facilities:
There are ablution facilities, a small shop, and overnight accommodation options (both camping and units). The reserve can be reached by visiting their website on www.ezemvelo.co.za or by phoning +27 (0) 13 680 1399/ (0) 87 405 3554 or emailing bookings@ezemvelo.co.za

Other related information:

Directions:
From Pretoria travel along the N4 toward Bronkhorstspruit. Take the R25 off ramp and turn left. Travel along this road for 4.1km before turning right onto the Vlakfontein Road (R907). Continue with this road for roughly 22km whilst following the signs to the reserve.

Times: 09:00 – 17:00 (day visitors)
Entrance Fees: Adult (R75), Pensioner (R55), Children 4 – 16 years (R55)

Text prepared by:
John Kinghorn and Toni Geddes

Key species:

Southern Bald Ibis, Shelley’s Francolin, Denham’s Bustard, White-bellied Korhaan, Temminck’s Courser, Rufous-cheeked and Freckled Nightjar, Eastern Clapper Lark, Striped Pipit

Contact details:

Ezemvelo Nature Reserve
Tel: +27 (0)13 680 1399 or
+27 (0 87 405 3554
Email: bookings@ezemvelo.co.za
Website: www.ezemvelo.co.za

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