About Impendle Nature Reserve

The Impendle Nature Reserve lies just south of the little town of Impendle, roughly 62 km west of Himeville, in the foothills of the Drakensberg. One of the largest blue swallow populations is in evidence at Impendle, the only conserved area to attract a large population.

Did you know? Birders use the Impendle reserve on a regular basis because it is such a good birding spot, mostly because the reserve allows visitors only by appointment.

Impendle reserve is made up of former farmland used mostly to graze cattle, but also to grow mielies and other vegetable crops, by colonists who settled here over 100 years ago.

Despite its value as land set aside for conservation since 1983, the reserve has yet to be formally proclaimed. In the interim limited grazing is allowed with a permit. Which is good news for the blue swallow, a little bird under threat, that makes its home at Impendle Nature Reserve. In fact, one of the largest blue swallow populations – about 10 pairs - is in evidence here, the only conserved area to attract such a large population.

The blue swallow occurs in mist-belt grasslands of the midlands of KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga / Limpopo and in the high-lying districts of Zululand.

This little bird is so threatened that conservationists fear its extinction. Surveys in 1986 and 1987 showed only 63 pairs in the country and Swaziland combined. One of the Given Gain's 2012 registered projects – to raise awareness and funds for these birds by the Endangered Wildlife Trust – sites only 40 swallows remaining in South Africa.

The reserve is also home to other animals like reedbuck, grey duiker, vervet monkeys and bushbuck, but oribi, serval and blue duiker, caracal, genet, Cape clawless otters and rock hyrax have also put in an appearance.

Need to Know

WhereImpendle Nature Reserve, Impendle, Natal Midlands / Drakensberg, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa

WhenBy appointment only.

Telephone+27 (0)33 996-9613

OvernightStay in Himeville Accommodation, KwaZulu Natal


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