Entabeni Forest

Forests in or near Louis Trichardt, Soutpansberg in Limpopo, South Africa.

Limpopo Tourist AttractionsEntabeni Forest

Where? About 35 km out of Louis Trichardt on the R524, turn onto the road marked Entabeni. Drive along this road to the gate.

Overnight? Stay in Louis Trichardt, in Limpopo

It is tempting to assume that Entabeni Nature Reserve and the Entabeni Forest are one and the same. But although they are both in the Limpopo province they are, in fact, a good three hours apart by car.

Entabeni Nature Reserve lies due west of Mokopane, whilst the Entabeni State Forest lies north east of Polokwane, just west of Louis Trichardt (the town that was called Makhado for five minutes, before reverting back in late 2014).

Entabeni forest is a strip of Afro-temperate mist-belt forest that is part of the state Entabeni plantation. As such it is one of few remaining forests of this description and harbours some of the province's most exciting birds.

It forms part of a strip of forest that runs east to west along the foothills of the Soutpansberg, from Hanglip Forest Reserve, through Nzhelehele, to Entabeni State Forest and beyond as far as The Holy Forest and Thohoyandou.

Together with Hanglip Florest and the Holy Forest, Entabeni provides hours of excellent birding. Special forest birds at Entabeni include the bat hawk, orange ground thrush, and yellow streaked greenbul. Visitors travel to this gateway of the Kruger National Park purely to catch sight of these and the white-starred robin, Knysna turaco, scaly-throated honeyguide, collared sunbird and brown scrub robin.

Entabeni Forest forms part of the Soutpansberg-Limpopo Birding Route, and a guide will usually include Roodewal Nature Reserve, Muirhead Dams, Hanglip Forest and Thohoyandou Botanical Garden as part of the route.

You will find Entabeni Forest on the R524, roughly 35 km outside of Louis Trichardt.

Follow the road marked Entabeni before arriving at a gate. It is best to go with a bird guide (Samson Mulaudzi is a specialised Limpopo bird guide for the area; you can find him quite easily with a Google search), as there are no road signs indicating the two bird sites at Entabeni.

You could just wing it, following the main forestry road that passes through the two patches of forest but without prior knowledge you may not find the birding areas.

From Entabeni it is only a further 93 km to Kruger National Park's Punda Maria Gate.

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