North-west Zululand – Vryheid Phongolo Bush Nature Reserve
About the Birding
The Pongola Bush Nature Reserve is situated on the KwaZulu-Natal/Mpumulanga border, about 20km from Wakkerstroom as the crow flies. Ngcaka Cliff and the mountain range around it are blanketed in climax mixed yellowwood forest and high-altitude short grassland. The reserve itself is maintained by Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife and visitors must seek permission before visiting this extremely remote and rugged area.
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
To enter the reserve, one has to travel on tracks through private land from -27.3346, 30.4998, and one obviously needs permission first. The services of a guide are recommended, as access is tricky. A 4×4 vehicle is recommended but not compulsory if you have high clearance. The reserve is situated 14km west of the small village of Lüneberg in the Paulpietersburg district.