About Midlands Birding Route

The Midlands Birding Route is a sub-section of the Southern KwaZulu-Natal Birding Route, which boasts not only all three of the country's crane species (blue, grey crowned, and wattled) but also includes the rare blue swallow, the crowned eagle, bearded vulture, mangrove kingfisher and the southern bald ibis. And a lot more besides.

It is one of two major birding routes of the province. The other is the Zululand Birding Route.

The Southern KwaZulu-Natal Birding Route is extensive, incorporating beaches, forests, the Lowveld and the Drakensberg Mountains - a terrain of such extensive variety that it is not surprising to learn that it holds in excess of 550 bird species.

Which is why the route is subdivided into five shorter routes, making it easier for bird lovers to follow and to easily divide up to suit itineraries.

The Midlands Birding Route takes in the most northerly terrain of the Southern KZN Birding Route. Starting at the Giants Castle vulture hide it heads down from the basalt cliffs and buttresses of the Drakensberg into the green hills of the Natal Midlands, well endowed with many species of birds.

Highlights include

• Karkloof Crane Information Centre - see all three crane species

• Hlatikulu Vlei – walk the trail up Mount Lebanon to see all three crane species

• Beacon Vlei, a 23 hectare dam and surrounding wetland – see purple heron, sedge warbler, African jacana, half-collared kingfisher

• Dargle Valley – wetlands, grasslands, mist belt forests for a huge variety of birds

• Albert Falls Nature Reserve – specials include: Cape grassbird, Coqui francolin, black-winged lapwing, African pygmy-kingfisher

• Matatiele Commonage in the foothills of the Drakensberg – high altitude grassland, rocky gorges, a dam and wetlands hold a wonderful variety of birds

Need to Know

WhereThe Natal Midlands, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa

WhenBest during daylight hours

OvernightStay in Karkloof Accommodation, KwaZulu Natal

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