About iGwala Gwala Nature Reserve

You will find the relatively unknown iGwala Gwala nature reserve on the Louwsberg leg of the Zululand Birding Route in the far northern reaches of KwaZulu-Natal.

Did you know? 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.

About an hour from Vryheid the 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.

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.

About an hour's drive south of iGwala Gwala is the Ngome Forest, in the heart of a Wilderness Area.

Need to Know

WhereiGwala Gwala Nature Reserve, Louwsburg, Zululand, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa

WhenBest during daylight hours.

Telephone+27 (0)34 907-5022

OvernightStay in Louwsburg Accommodation, KwaZulu Natal


Please note, business details can change. While we endeavour to ensure all information provided by the service provider is correct at the time of publication, we do not assume any liability caused by errors or changes, such as price, cost, time, and location. Please check with the provider that the activity/business is still offered as described, before making any travel plans.


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