Author: Cheryl King

What you need to know when visiting Mkuze Game Reserve

This little gem is part of Isimangaliso Wetland Park and is well worth a visit especially if you are a keen birdwatcher. It hosts over 450 different species and has a wide range of habitats including sand forest, acacia savannah, woodland, riverine forests, rivers, pans, grasslands, cliffs and rocky ridges. You need a minimum of two to five days to do this reserve any justice. I wouldn’t for the less than three. Due to the diverse habitat you will find black and white rhino, elephant, giraffe, the beautiful nyala, wilderbeest, warthog (my favorite animal), hippo, impala and other small...

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Day 3 – Morning around Nsumu Pan

Just as the sun was rising I found myself making coffee and at the same time packing a picnic basket for breakfast at Nsumu Pan. One of my best moments is sitting in a game reserve, drinking coffee dunking a rusk while listening to the cacophony of birds celebrating the beginning of a new day. It’s amazing how much a person sees just sitting quietly. In just a few minutes I saw a pair of Yellowbellied greenbuls, a Whitethroated Robin-chat, starling, a raptor fly-over and a small family of Nyala. We planned to get to Nsumu Pan in time...

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Day 2 – Enchanting Walk through the Fig Forest in Mkuze Game Reserve

The Fig Forest Walk along the uMkhuze River is truly enchanting. A guided walk through it is a must for any visitor to uMkhuze. The best time to go is in the morning, however all the morning walks were fully booked so we had to settle for the afternoon walk.   After meeting our guide, Patrick Mathe and along with a few other visitors at Reception we climbed onto a game vehicle and headed for the forest. All along the way Patrick kept us informed on the various birds and animals we passed. Now again he would stop for...

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Day 1 – Weekend in Mkuze Game Reserve

It has been many years since I last visited uMkhuze so this year, instead of visiting Ndumu like I normally do, I decided to spend the weekend in this magical game reserve in Zululand, Kwa Zulu Natal. The drive from the gate to Mantuma Camp where we had booked a safari tent is about 10 Km. As soon as we drove through the gate, off went the safety belts and air conditioner and down went all four windows.   Ah, the sights, smells and sounds of the bush warm my  soul.   I had three whole days to drink in this pleasure...

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The Crazy World of Twitchers, a Birdwatcher’s Viewpoint

My dictionary says that a twitcher is “a person or thing that twitches”. The same dictionary states that the meaning of ‘twitch’ is “to give or cause to give a short, sudden jerking or convulsive movement”. Most dictionaries also state that a Twitcher is an enthusiastic bird-watcher – but it is much more than that. You see, a twitcher is a birder who will do everything possible to see a vagrant or very rare bird that arrives in his part of the world. This will include taking time off work, travelling far distances for many hours, forsaking prior commitments...

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