Transkei – Mkhambathi Nature Reserve
About the Birding
Situated along the Pondoland coast – Mkhambathi Nature Reserve lies 180 km’s south of Durban, the nearest major city. The ± 8 000 hectare reserve is bounded by the Mtentu River in the north and the Msikaba River in the south. The gently undulating topography is broken by two ridges parallel to the coastline (ancient shorelines) and the deeply incised gorge of the Mtentu River valley. The forested gorge is flanked by impressive sandstone cliffs that tower 300m above the river to meet the surrounding Pondoland coastal plains.
About the Birding Site
Until very recently, the vast Transkei has been the least explored region of the Eastern Cape province – extending from Kei Mouth to as far as Port Edward at the border of the KwaZulu-Natal province, and bound to the north by the Drakensburg Mountains. Many parts remain difficult to access, given that the region was considered as an unrecognised state for ‘separate development’ until as recently as 1994. Post-Apartheid, the Transkei was reclassified as part of the Eastern Cape though the region remains almost totally under-developed.
Other Related Information
From Umtata: Travel north for about 162 km along the N2 from Umtata to Brooks Nek (13 km south of Kokstad). Turn east towards Binzana and, after 36 km, turn right into the R61 leading to Flagstaff. After 30 km turn left towards the Holy Cross Mission and follow the signs to Mkhambathi Nature Reserve. The gravel road from Flagstaff (70km’s) is in poor condition and a vehicle with high clearance is necessary.
The nearest towns include:
Port Edward: 170Km