Hlatikulu Crane Sanctuary

Birdlife or Wildlife Sanctuaries in or near Hlatikulu Valley, Drakensberg in KwaZulu Natal, South Africa.

KwaZulu Natal Tourist AttractionsHlatikulu Crane Sanctuary


N3 to Nottingham Road turn off. Head to the Kamberg Valley and Giants Castle for 40 km. After Northington Estate, take the D11 following the signs to Hlatikulu Sanctuary

When? 08h00 to 17h00 Monday to Friday (weekends by appointment only)

Note The exact GPS coordinates are unknown and have been placed in the Hlatikulu Valley

How? Call +27 (0)33 263-2441

Overnight? Accommodation in Hlatikulu Valley, in KwaZulu Natal

The Hlatikulu Crane and Wetland Sanctuary is a rescue, rehabilitation and captive breeding facility for all three of South Africa's cranes the blue crane, wattled crane and grey crowned crane.

It is located at Hlatikulu Vlei, Giant's Castle, between Kamberg and Highmoor in the Drakensberg.

The vlei is also home to just under another 80 species of birds, a veritable feast of bird watching with specials like Denham's bustard, the Cape vulture, African marsh harrier and freckled nightjar. As a result the vlei forms a very important part of the Southern KwaZulu-Natal Bird Route.

Injured or poisoned cranes are brought to the sanctuary from the surrounding areas, the natural habitat of all three cranes but in particular the wattled crane, which is critically endangered in South Africa.

There are only around 90 pairs of wattled cranes in the country who are exceptionally dependent on quality wetlands to breed. Most of the wattled cranes in South African are found in the KZN highlands. Yet scientists estimate that around 80% of the wetlands have been degraded to the point where the birds can no longer use them for breeding.

Hlatikulu is part of the Wattled Crane Recovery Programme, co-ordinated by the Jo'burg Zoo. The wattled crane eggs come from the vlei and the surrounding areas.

As a rule wattled cranes lay one egg, and then a couple of days later possibly a second. However they begin incubating as soon as the first egg is laid, meaning that it develops ahead of any second egg. As soon as the first egg hatches, the chick and the parents leave the nest, in effect abandoning the second egg.

Field workers watch the nests and once the first is hatched they remove the second, incubate it in Pietermaritzburg, and then fly it to the Johannesburg Zoo where they are raised using puppets and costumes to prevent any human imprinting.

The sanctuary has an adoption scheme allowing people to adopt a bird for 6 months to a year. The fee includes living expenses of a crane, an adoptive 'parent' sign on the bird's pen, and regular updates.

Why not overnight? Find Accommodation in Drakensberg

Moorcroft Manor Boutique Hotel

Guest House in Himeville

Moorcroft Manor Boutique Hotel

We are perfectly situated to provide rest for the weary but at the same time we are surrounded by places offering ... more

Penwarn Country Lodge

Hotel / Self Catering in Underberg

Penwarn Country Lodge

Penwarn Country Lodge is nestled in a beautiful valley in the Southern Drakensberg. Traversed by the Ngangwane river, ... more

Ingeli Forest Resort

Hotel in Kokstad

Ingeli Forest Resort

Nestled below the Ingeli Mountains and surrounded by beautiful indigenous forests, Ingeli Forest Resort is the ideal ... more


Please let us know if anything on this page is outdated or contains inaccuracies. Click here to send us feedback if this is your attraction.

©Unauthorised use of the
photos is strictly prohibited.

Accommodation convenient to Hlatikulu Crane Sanctuary

FIND / South Africa Accommodation / KwaZulu Natal Accommodation / Drakensberg Accommodation / Hlatikulu Valley Accommodation

SA-Venues.com has been assisting travellers with their South Africa travel plans since 1999, and is the largest online travel guide for South Africa available in both English and German.

SA-Venues.com © 1999-2018. All Rights Reserved. Find and book hotels and accommodation in South Africa. Sitemap