Hiking, Trails and Routes

ID #4528

Zululand Birding Route – Melmoth District, Zululand, Northern Kwa-Zulu Natal.

The area is known for its grassy plains and dense indigenous bush. With the adjacent valleys and forests, it is home to a variety of birds.

• Weni Farm. Grassland and riverine birds, including grassbird, short-tailed pitpit, white-backed night heron, Shelley’s francolin, black stork, half-collared kingfisher, bald ibis, buff-streaked chat, blue crane, yellow and orange–throated longclaws, streaky-headed canary, plum-coloured starling, Southern ground hornbill, mountain wagtail, African finfoot, green sandpiper, African black duck, Lanner falcon, African hawk eagle and numerous other raptors. Permission required from Bertus or Caroline De Waal +27 (35) 450 2314 telephone. Proceed along the R66 in the direction of Eshowe for 6-km. Turn left onto the D256 and continue for 9-km. Turn left into Weni Farm. 15 km from the Melmoth Post Office.
• Kortbegrip Farm. See narina trogon, brown crowned and Southern tschagras, African broadbill, yellow-streaked greenbul, sharp-billed honeyguide, Rameron pigeon, Drakensberg prinia, Barratt’s warbler, striped pitpit, forest weaver and nesting crowned eagle.  Permission required from Dudley or Caroline Leitch +27 (35) 450 2610 telephone. Take the R66 towards Eshowe. While still in town, turn right at Kwamagwaza Road and travel for 3 km.  Take the right fork and continue for 5 km. At the next fork (at the end of the tar) keep going straight.  Continue for 5 km and turn right at the DM Leitch sign.
• Nkandla Forest. See Knysna lourie, orange thrush, white-starred robin, malachite sunbird, bush blackcap, yellow-throated woodland warbler, grey cuckoo shrike and forest canary. Home to 147 species. Kwa-Zulu Natal Nature Conservation Services. No permit required. 67 km from Melmoth Post Office. Strongly recommended that you take a guide with you.
• Wintershoek Farm. Grassland and bushveld birds, including secretary birds, Southern ground hornbill and crowned eagle. Permission required from Gavin or Sandi Calverley +27 (345) 450 7042 telephone. Travel north on the R66 towards Ulundi for 20 km and turn left at the Ntonjaneni Lodge sign. 27 km from the Melmoth Post Office.
• Upata Ranches. See a variety of Thornveld birds, including ”specials” such as bushveld pitpit, gorgeous bush shrike, crested francolin, wattled plover, red-breasted swallow, Wahlberg’s eagle and brown snake eagle. Permission required from Paul Smith +27 (82) 492 3314 cell. Travel north on the R66 from Melmoth towards Ulundi for 27 km. One km beyond the Ulundi turnoff turn left into Upata Ranches.  28 km from Melmoth Post Office.
• Mgungundlovu Museum Grounds. Look for cardinal woodpecker, dusky flycatcher and a variety of swallows at the Phokwe Bridge. The museum is a good spot for seeing arrow-marked babbler, grey-headed bush shrike, bokmakierie, black-bellied korhaan, tawny eagle and other thornveld birds. Picnic sites and ablutions. Travel north from Melmoth on the R66. Pass the Ulundi turnoff and continue towards Vryheid. Three km past the Upata Ranches turnoff you will reach the Phokwe Bridge.  Continue a further 200-m and turn left to the museum.

Melmoth is on the R68 northwest of Gingindlovu, which is on the N2 northeast of Durban, which is at the intersection of the N2 with the N3. AUZumel.

Contct:   Hamish McLaggan
   Box 266 Eshowe 3815
   +27 (3547) 41234 telephone office
   +27 (3547) 42531 telephone home
   e-mail: zulubird@iafrica.com
   web: www.birding.co.za/zulubird/


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Last update: 2009-07-12 02:42
Author: Alan McIver
Revision: 1.0

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