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About Marutswa Forest

The Marutswa Forest is home to the rare Cape parrot. The forest does not lie in the Cape, however, but just outside Bulwer in KwaZulu-Natal in Marutswa Nature Reserve.

Did you know? Marutswa forest is recognised as one of the country’s top bird-watching destinations.

That it lies in the Natal Midlands gives you an idea of where to find it, but not how beautiful it is. It rains a lot here and the Marutswa Forest is filled with rare yellowwood trees (which is where you'll find the Cape parrot, as they eat the fruit), looked after by a local community who have taken on their heritage as part of an empowerment project.

Nothing, however prepares you for the lush beauty of the forest, which looks like something out of The Hobbit. Mosses hug rocks, monkey ropes and the roots and branches of trees entangle ahead of you through the density of the trees, whilst benches pepper your journey with vantage points at which to sit and drink in the silence that comes with a forest of this magnificence.

On the other side of it you come out on a hill, the rolling hills of KwaZulu-Natal effortlessly rounded ahead of you.

The Matswaru forest is where you will find the Marutswa Forest Trail and boardwalk, an initiative of the SappiWWF TreeRoutes partnership. Through the forest are a series of arterial trails that lead through and around the forest, incorporating a number of lookout jetties, picnic decks and view points that allow one access to all aspects of the forest, including the canopy.

Other birds whose calls will pepper the trees include the orange ground thrush, bush blackcap, white-starred robin, narina trogen, grey cuckooshrike, the African crowned eagle and yellow-throated woodland warbler, and if you're very quiet you might see a herd of bush pig that roam the forest floor, mongoose or little buck.

Need to Know

WhereMarutswa Forest Nature Reseve, Bulwer, Natal Midlands, KwaZulu Natal

WhenBest during daylight hours.

OvernightStay in Bulwer Accommodation, KwaZulu Natal

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