North-west Zululand – Pongola Mkuze Falls Game Reserve
About the Birding
Mkuze Falls lies within the heart of the extensive bushveld biome in northern Zululand. The reserve takes its name from the Mkhuze Falls, which is located immediately adjacent to the main camp. The river itself is lined with extensive forests and many large kloofs on the mountain slopes. Away from the main river, the reserve is dominated by mature bushveld in generally undulating terrain. There are also a few wetlands including a major one just below the main camp. The reserve supports well in excess of 300 bird species.
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
Travelling from Johannesburg in the north, take the N2 Highway through Piet Retief and on to Pongola. On entering the town, take the right-hand turn-off marked “Vryheid, Louwsburg” This is the R66. Follow this road for approximately 35km, and turn right at the sign marked “Mkuze Falls”. The reserve lies a few kilometres from the turn-off on a dirt road.
Travelling from Durban in the south, take the N2 Highway till Pongola and then take the left turn on the R66 (as above).