KwaZulu Natal Tourist AttractionsKlipfontein Bird Sanctuary
Where? To gain access to the bird hide, which is locked, collect a key from Custom Graphics shop in Market Street in Vryheid (opposite the municipal buildings).
Klipfontein resulted when sewage water was diverted into a neglected grassland in 1995, producing a small, but highly productive, wetland, particularly for flufftail and rail bird enthusiasts.
This is just one of Vryheid's forest, wetland, grassland and mountain offerings. The small town markets itself as an outdoor bolthole, with access to thousands of plants, hundreds of birds, indigenous animals and the battlefields right on its doorstep.
Klipfontein Bird Sanctuary lies south of the town's airfield, adjacent to the Klipfontein Dam. Its two bird hides, one of which recently received an overhaul after a hot burnout left it damaged, provide shade and shelter from which to spot the over 200 different birds that use this wetland during the year.
Apart from the obvious reedbed and wetland birds – African rail, African crake, red-chested flufftail, a pair of grey crowned cranes that breed in the reeds, ducks in the dams and pans and African purple swamphens in the mudflats, warblers of every description and the odd snip, heron, giant kingfisher, African fish eagle and Burchell's coucal, there are also birds that are not associated with water – a pair of Wahlberg's eagle, red-throated wrynecks, African firefinches and black-throated canaries.
The hides are padlocked. Make enquiries at Custom Graphics, a shop in Market Street in town.