North-west Zululand – Pongola Lebombo Cliffs
About the Birding
The Lebombo Mountain range stretches from Phinda in the south to the southern parks of Kruger National Park in the north, dividing the coastal plain for the higher inland escarpment. At their highest point, the Lebombo Mountains rise about 800m above the surrounding lowlands. They are blanketed in dry bushveld and grassland, but isolated forest patches occur in the ravines. Extensive cliff systems may also be found throughout this range, the most accessible of which can be found on the main roads leading into Tongaland.
About the Birding Site
North-west Zululand is one of the most varied of the birding routes in KwaZulu-Natal ranging in habitat from high altitude temperate grasslands in the west, to low lying subtropical thickets in the east including several large wetlands. Given this incredibly high habitat diversity, it is no surprise that the route also boasts an impressive checklist of birds including 58 of Southern Africa’s endemic and near-endemic species, many of which are confined to the extensive grasslands and wetlands.
Other Related Information
Situated off the N2 highway, about 12km north of the village of Mkuze turn right onto the Jozini/Ndumo/Tembe/Kosi road. The road up the mountain is visible from the highway. Follow this tar road up, stopping at any of the 5 or so spots where it is safe off the road.