Northern KwaZulu-Natal/Free State – Ingula Nature Reserve
About the Birding
Located on the escarpment near Van Reenen and spanning both the high-altitude Eastern Free State and KwaZulu-Natal, Ingula obtained Nature Reserve status because the site protects a high number of highly threatened species, and especially White-Winged Flufftail, Wattled Crane, Cape Vulture and Bearded Vulture. The site has recently been declared as South Africa’s 27th Wetland of International Importance according to the Ramsar Convention and is home to more than 340 species including Grey-Crowned Crane, Southern-Bald Ibis, Yellow-Breasted Pipit and White-Bellied Korhaan. This new birder's paradise is definitely one to add to your bucketlist!
About the Birding Site
The Ingula Partnership was established in 2003 between Eskom, BirdLife South Africa, and the Middelpunt Wetland Trust with the common objective of managing the Ingula Pumped Storage Scheme as a sustainable conservation site. It has been heroed as a conservation success and is the classic example of how an industrial undertaking of this magnitude can be integrated within a conservation area. Going forward, Ingula will likely serve as a model for future conservation work elsewhere.
Other Related Information
Access is along one of two routes. For those preferring to drive tar roads, take the Tugela-East off-ramp from the N3 freeway to the R103 in the direction of Ladysmith. Shortly after the toll gate, a road turns to the left towards Bester/Ingula Pumped Storage Scheme. This paved road runs to the Ingula security gate and De Beers Pass.
Alternatively, follow the gravel road from Van Reenen toward the De Beers Pass, where it meets the Bedford gate to Ingula. Note however that this route is on gravel roads and road conditions are frequently poor demanding at least high clearance vehicles.