Waterberg – Nylsvley Nature Reserve
About the Birding
The expansive floodplain supports a plethora of interesting waterbird species including the largest breeding concentrations of Great Egret, Black Heron, Squacco Heron, and Black-crowned Night-heron in the country. All three bittern species – Great, Little and Dwarf – occur and breed here though sightings of these species are far from guaranteed. Other notable wetland species include the occasional Streaky-breasted Flufftail, Striped Crake, Lesser Moorhen, and Allen’s Gallinule; all of which are known to breed in wet years. Up to 15 species of duck and goose have been recorded including the African Pygmy Goose, White-backed Duck, Fulvous Whistling Duck, and the Knob-billed Duck.
About the Birding Site
The Nylsvley Floodplain, around which the Nylsvley Nature Reserve is centered, is the single largest and most intact seasonal floodplain in the country. When full, the floodplain extends over 16,000 hectares though only 10% of this area is protected within the Nylsvely Nature Reserve. Given its national importance as breeding habitat for waterfowl, the site was listed as a RAMSAR site in July 1998 boosting its protection. The site supports over 360 bird species, over 104 of which are waterbirds and many of these species breed locally. The floodplain is inundated every 2-4 years though remains a prime birding destination in drier years.
Other Related Information
The reserve is accessed via the R101 between Modimolle and Mookgophong by taking the Boukenhout turning, the reserve gate is 8 km down this road on the left just after the railway line. The reserve is open from 06:00 to 18:00 daily and a nominal entrance fee is charged.
For further information, please contact the Limpopo Tourism and Parks Board on:
Tel: +27(0)15 290 7339
Alternatively, please contact the Nyslvley Reserve using:
Tel: +27(0)14 743 1074
Text prepared by:
Daniel Danckwerts (Rockjumper Birding Tours)