KwaZulu Natal Game and Nature ReservesThe Mount Moreland Conservancy
Mount Moreland Conservancy is one of South Africa’s true treasures, nestled away in the natural splendour and bounty of the KwaZulu-Natal Province. Because of its unique positioning and its plethora of natural plant and animal species, Mount Moreland Conservancy is committed to the protection of a host of local fauna and flora in a very hands-on way.
When the conservancy was established in 1995, it was called the Lake Victoria Conservancy and was registered with Ezemvelo Wildlife KZN. Its name was changed to Mount Moreland in 2012 in a bid to make it more specific to the area. In order to protect the region and its natural wealth, and to educate visitors and the local community, the Mount Moreland Conservancy has spent years dedicated to various projects and events that have exposed the plight of a number of species as well as raised awareness for good and effective initiatives.
Part of the focus of the Mount Moreland Conservancy is to preserve and improve the condition of the Mdloti River and the state of its surrounding wetlands. This will also aid in providing an optimal habitat for the local wildlife and bird variety. In addition, the conservancy aims to establish healthful, positive, mutually beneficial relationships with the folk of the area so that the community benefits from and has a vested interest in the improved conditions of the region. Of course, all of these events and initiatives take funds to implement, and it is of paramount importance that the Mount Moreland Conservancy be supported financially in order to allow for the environment and its natural residents to flourish.
Thanks to the excellent and ongoing support received by the Mount Moreland Conservancy over the years, there is an impressive biodiversity that characterises its landscapes and delights its visitors. This biodiversity is threatened by factors like pollution, development, climate change and genetic modifications to both plants and animals. Amongst the many efforts made by the conservancy to fight these factors, one of the important ones is to eliminate species that are not indigenous to South Africa, as these are usually particularly invasive.
Some of the many animal species that can be found within the Mount Moreland Conservancy include dragonflies, fireflies, glow worms, Vervet monkeys, lizards and skinks, frogs, moles and snakes. The Vervet monkeys lives in familial troops of anywhere between five and 40 animals, each of which is headed by a dominant male. Most babies are born between October and December. They are often hunted or poisoned as they are incorrectly believed to be vicious or to carry diseases like rabies. By educating the communities and visitors, and by providing a safe environment for these animals, Mount Moreland is an integral part of their conservation.
There are about 20 snake species to be found within the borders of the Mount Moreland Conservancy, most of which are harmless. These make for exciting finds, and add much in terms of eco-balance, as they hunt on rodents and other animals that may otherwise begin to take over.
Trees, flowers, aloes and plants that are known for their medicinal value are important contributors to the local countryside and diversity.
This area is perhaps, best known for being the annual roosting site of the barn swallow. Every year, tens of thousands of these little birds visit the site, and are welcomed back by visitors from around the world who attend the Return of the Barn Swallow Festival. These birds swarm in their thousands, creating an impressive spectacle. Keen bird-watchers are also invited to enjoy the various viewing decks and hides that have been set up specifically for them to get the most out of their birding experience.
Popular Activities near Mount Moreland Conservancy
The Mount Moreland Swallows
Every evening from mid October to mid April, millions of these tiny birds gather for about half an hour before sunset and fly in vast numbers over the Lake Victoria Wetlands. As dusk falls, the swallows drop down in the reeds and are gone - until...
More info and contact details: Witness the Mount Moreland Swallows