KwaZulu-Natal Mountains Birdwatching & Wildlife Tour
This 4-day KwaZulu-Natal Wildlife & Birding Tour is a moderately-paced trip available on request where you can expect to see over 200 species of bird, including seven endemics and approximately 15 mammals. This birding and wildlife tour KwaZulu-Natal is focused on exploring several magnificent and picturesque midland and mountain regions of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Each destination we visit en-route offers unique habitats, extraordinary scenery and breath-taking beauty.
We explore pristine grasslands in the midlands region, a highly-rated Ramsar wetland, the famed Maloti-Drakensberg Park mountain range, the Sani Pass up into Lesotho, and the serene wetlands and moist forests of the Karkloof and Krantzkloof.
Habitats include wetland, grassland, mountains and cliffs, rocky slopes, and indigenous moist forests, which host numerous regional endemics, threatened and endangered bird and mammal species, as well as great floral diversity. The route caters to a bird list in excess of 220 species, with an average list of 130 species recorded on a typical visit.
This KwaZulu-Natal Wildlife tour commences and ends at Umhlanga or King Shaka International Airport. We visit a multitude of areas, beginning with a stop at the Thurlow peninsula of Midmar Dam, before we press on to the indigenous forests of the Creighton area, before our first night's stop in the remote and peaceful Ntsikeni Vlei Nature Reserve, at the foothills of the Drakensberg mountain.
Day 2 sees us push on to even higher altitudes as we enjoy birding en-route to Underberg and Himeville. This afternoon we undertake the exciting guided Sani Pass 4x4 tour into the mountain kingdom of Lesotho in search of several alpine species, before returning to our mountain cottage overnight.
On Day 3 we head to Marutswa Forest first, before proceeding to Tillietudlem Private Nature Reserve in search of certain treasures. After lunch, we push on to bird the magnificent wetlands, moist grasslands and moist forests of the Karkloof region, where we overnight.
Our final morning has us heading into the extraordinary private botanical gardens of Benvie before we proceed to the impressive Howick Falls. Our final stretch leads us into the mist belt scarp forests of Krantzkloof Nature Reserve, and then we head back to Umhlanga or King Shaka International Airport.
On the accommodation front we typically use affordable and comfortable private guesthouses and community lodges, but should you prefer, at an added cost, more luxury lodging options, these can also be arranged.
The tempo of our KwaZulu-Natal Wildlife and Birding Tour is typically medium-paced, with optional mid-day breaks (advisable on hot days), and some walking. In several areas the opportunity exists for slightly more strenuous hiking, should you which to view the species that frequent the higher slopes. If you are keen on photography, well so are we, and we can offer many opportunities to capture the moments that will make you the envy of your wildlife-watching friends.
Expected weather conditions: Subtropical and mostly hot during the day in the summer, and cooler in the evenings, with a chance of mist. Rain is possible, usually in the form of summer convection thunderstorms, and cool wet weather is possible in the event of a cold front moving up from the south. On a climate level, the region falls in the summer rainfall region, with an average rainfall of between 900mm and 1,100mm per year. Temperatures range from -8˚C in winter, to an average maximum of 18˚C and an average minimum of 10˚C. The driest month is July, the most rainfall falls in January, and the warmest in February...
Add-ons: This KwaZulu-Natal Wildlife & Birding Tour can be combined with extensions to the Zululand and Maputaland region of KwaZulu-Natal, as well as Wakkerstroom and the Kruger National Park in Mpumalanga.
KwaZulu-Natal Wildlife Tour Highlights includes:
- Undertake a mountain-climbing guided 4x4 tour up the famed Sani Pass into Lesotho.
- Explore the breath-taking and dramatic Maloti-Drakensberg Park, a World Heritage Site.
- Discover several of Southern Africa's unique endemic bird species.
- Experience the great solitude and wilderness of a 700 hectare Ramsar wetland at Ntsikeni.
- Savour the beauty and interest of the extraordinary Benvie Gardens.
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Alternative Tour Name: KwaZulu-Natal Midlands & Berg