Southern Drakensburg – Matatiele Nature Reserve
About the Birding
Matatiele town is situated in the north of the Eastern Cape, close to the border with KwaZulu-Natal. A notable feature of the landscape is the wide valley, the Cedarville Flats, that runs from east to west. It is flanked to the north by the Drakensberg and to the south by high-lying ground, which rises above 2 000 m a.s.l. Matatiele Nature Reserve lies due south of the town and abuts directly onto it. The landscape is steeply to gently undulating and ranges in altitude from 1 500 to 2 066 m a.s.l.
About the Birding Site
The dramatic Drakensburg Mountain range consists of a continuous, abrupt and rugged scarp or mountain wall along the national boundary between South Africa and Lesotho. Lesotho’s Thaba Ntlenyana (3 484 m a.s.l.), the highest peak in Africa south of Kilimanjaro, lies along this scarp. There are a number of other outstanding topographical features in this formidable barrier of cliffs and peaks, including, from north to south, the Amphitheatre, a semi-circle of high cliffs with a sheer drop of 613 m; Mont-aux-Sources (3 282 m a.s.l.), Cathedral Peak (3 004 m a.s.l.), Cathkin Peak, …
Other Related Information
Mountain Lake Nature Reserve is located 12km from town, on a plateau of rolling grasslands and wetlands.
The Wilfred Bauer Nature Reserve is situated 5Km to the west of town on the Lesotho Road and offers picnic facilities, fishing, walking and game viewing.
Recommended accommodation nearby:
The nearest Birder Friendly Establishment is in the small village of Cedarville, on the Cedarberg Guest Farm. The farm itself is situated midway between Kokstad and Matatiele, making it the perfect base from which to explore this rich area.