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Birding Weekend

Two Day Birding Tour to Ntsikeni Nature Reserve.

Ntsikeni Nature Reserve comprises 9000ha of pristine flower-filled grasslands 60 Km's from Creighton and 30 kms from Franklin in Southern KZN. It features a large and very important wetland of some 1200 ha at 1800m amsl (the same height as Wakkerstroom so it can get cold!). It is surrounded by impressive buttresses with evocative names like Mangeni, Tsawule, and Elephant Hill. Visible forever, Ntsikeni Mountain towers above all, with its unmistakable shape making sense of the name.

The central support of a traditional home is an 'ntsika'.

The reserve has enjoyed natural protection and secrecy due to its remoteness, isolation and inaccessibility.

Yellow Breasted Pipits, Cape and Bearded Vultures, Black and Montague's Harriers, African Marsh and even the rare Western Marsh Harriers and other exciting large species like breeding Wattled Cranes, can be found.

Bird Watching Tours

Day One
Ntsikeni Lodge - Hikers to arrive at Ntsikeni Lodge by midday.
After lunch you visit the Vulture Restaurant for Cape and Bearded Vultures. Thereafter head out for the reed-beds and walk 1.5 kilometres carrying your folding chair, binoculars, cameras, telescopes and insect repellent. Here you will sit at the edge of reed beds waiting for the Great Bittern to Boom and show itself.!!!
Dinner will be enjoyed at the lodge listening out for night birds such as Striped Flufftail, African Snipe and Cape Eagle Owl.
Overnight Ntsikeni Lodge.

Day Two
Early morning Tea or coffee and rusks. Once again head out to the wetlands for the Great Bittern Hunt Return at around 07h00 for breakfast at Ntsikeni Lodge before hiking up Ntsikeni Mountain to look for Barratt's Warbler, Sentinal Rock-thrush, Eastern Long-billed lark, Drakensberg Rock-jumper and Red-winged Francolin.

Lunch
Drive out to the grasslands for Pipits, Yellow-Breasted and Short-Tailed (hopefully), and Harriers, African Marsh-, Montague- and Black-.
Back at the lodge you will set out late afternoon for a birders bash searching for the elusive Striped Flufftail and Grass Owl.
Overnight Ntsikeni Lodge.

Field Guides Association of Southern Africa
© 2009 - 2011 Drakensberg Ventures

Nico Els is a FGASA Certified Guide with many years experience guiding in the Drakensberg and Wild Coast.

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