North-west Zululand – Ulundi Ondini Cultural Site
About the Birding
Located immediately outside the town of Ulundi, the Ondini Historic Reserve and Cultural Site were the site of King Cetshwayo’s royal homestead and today serve as the headquarters of the provincial heritage conservation body, the Amafa AkwaZulu Natali. The reserve comprises more than 300 hectares of rich Zululand thornveld and is bisected by a permanent river. While bushveld is the predominant habitat type, pockets of densely wooded vegetation and grassland are distributed through the reserve.
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
From the R34 (Melmoth-Vryheid road) take the Ulundi turn-off. After crossing the Umfolozi River, take the second turn to the right (signposted as Umfolozi Game Reserve). You will pass the Ulundi Battlefield on your left. Continue on the dirt road. The Ondini complex is signposted 5km further along the road.
Notable points of interest include the:
Main entrance: -28.3212, 31.4591