iGwala Gwala Nature Reserve lies just outside of Ithala Game Reserve and is a registered Heritage Site.
As such the reserve has a rich biodiversity with tracts of riverine and other forest in the lower parts of the reserve that attract a particularly rich assortment of birds, not least of which are three subspecies of robin – the red-capped, white-throated and Cape robin.
That the reserve is named for the purple-crested turaco comes as no surprise, for its noisy calls are commonplace at iGwala Gwala and their bright wings flash repeatedly in and amongst the clumps of bush.
But there are also wetlands overrun with sedge (a group of graminoid flowering plants that look a lot like grasses or rushes) that attract red-chested flufftails, renowned for their early morning hooting calls. And grasslands where you will find the secretary bird, yellow-throated longclaw and red-throated wryneck.
The main attraction of the reserve are the birds found in the forests and grasslands in the higher lying areas, which include the greater and southern double-collared sunbird, Barratt's warbler and the bush blackcap.
Whilst birders rate the reserve highly, there are other reasons to visit. Game in the form of blue wildebeest, kudu, nyala, reedbuck and blesbuck, and a series of rare, endemic plant species are an added attraction.
Accommodation is available in the form of a bush lodge, or you can stay in Ithala Thala. About an hour's drive south of iGwala Gwala is the Ngome Forest, in the heart of a Wilderness Area.
Popular Attractions near iGwala Gwala Nature Reserve
Ithala Game Reserve 4x4 Trails
The thala Game Reserve 4x4 trail is a self-drive rocky mountain track with river crossings. Booking beforehand is essential because only three vehicles are allowed at one time. The Bivine Trail is better suited to low range vehicles, while...
More info and contact details: Ithala Game Reserve 4x4 Trails
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Contact the iGwala Gwala reserve on +27 (0)34 907-5022.
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