North-west Zululand – Ulundi Mangeni Falls
About the Birding
The Mangeni Falls are situated on a tributary of the White Umfolozi River, west of Babanango. The waterfall has eroded through soft sandstone and has formed an impressive gorge, which is heavily wooded in places. Further afield, the area is dominated by vast open grasslands and rural settlements.
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
The waterfall is difficult to reach and is best accessed with a vehicle with high ground clearance. From Babanango, drive west on the R68 towards Dundee. Turn left after 31.5km at the sign marked “Qudeni”. Follow this gravel road for 14.7km, and turn right at the sign “Mangeni”. Travel a further 6.5km and turn left towards a few distant buildings. Cross the concrete bridge and then turn right onto a track immediately after crossing …