Southern Zululand – Melmoth Sappi Mooiplaas
About the Birding
Mooiplaas consists of nine farms that were bought from private farmers and exchanged with companies in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s. The plantation is subdivided into 5 blocks, namely A – E. The total area of the plantation covers 10 980 hectares, of which 6 500 hectares are planted to eucalyptus, wattle and pine. The remaining 4 480 hectares consists of the 1 140 hectare natural heritage site in block C, the 1 200 hectare site of conservation significance in block D, and the remainder under valley bushveld.
About the Birding Site
Southern Zululand is perhaps the premier forest birding route in all of KwaZulu-Natal, home to a rich diversity of species in a mix of different habitats. Starting on the warm coast of Zululand, between Mtunzini and Richard’s Bay, the route offers many estuarine swamp forests supporting impressive numbers of threatened species including the Mangrove Kingfisher and Black-throated Wattle-eye. Coastal forests here are equally rich in species and are perhaps the best areas anywhere in South Africa to search for the Spotted Ground Thrush (mainly a winter visitor) and Palm-nut Vulture.
Other Related Information
The Mooiplaas offices are in block A which is next to the tar road running from Melmoth to Babanango. From Melmoth, take the Babanango turn-off, approximately 4 km past Melmoth. On the Babanango road continues for 20 km and the offices will be found on the left hand side.
Notable points of interest include the:
Sappi offices: -28.5228, 31.2697
The nearest towns to the Sappi Mooiplaas are: