North-west Zululand – Vryheid Skurweberg
About the Birding
Skurweberg – translated to ‘rough mountain’ – is situated approximately 30km northwest of Vryheid towards Wakkerstroom. The mountain lies 1600m above sea level and consists of rocky grasslands with isolated scattered bush clumps. A district road passes over the northern side of the mountain, providing access to all the main habitats.
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
Traveling from Vryheid, take the R33 towards Paulpietersburg. After about 20km, turn left at the signboard marked “Utrecht”. Proceed along this dirt road for about 10km. After a fairly steep incline, you will be on top of the mountain.
Access and facilities:
The wider Utrecht area is blanketed in private farmlands. Thus, birding must be done on the many district roads leading through the area unless permission to venture off-road is granted by the local farmers.