Home to about 500 species, North West Zululand provides the visitor with a wide variety of birds. From the low altitude, subtropical thickets in the east to the high altitude temperate grasslands in the west, this region covers many habitats and their accompanying birds.
The North West Zululand is well known for its large wetlands, rolling hills and wide variety of big game, including the big five. 58 of Southern Africa’s endemic and near endemic birds are found here too, many of them confined to the extensive grasslands and wetlands.
Birding is best in the warmer summer months, but winter provides large congregations of water birds around nationally important wetlands.
Rainfall varies from 500mm to well over 1500mm per annum. The hot, wet season – best for birding – starts in September and ends in March. The cool, dry season runs from April to August. Average maximum summer temperatures are around 30 degrees, with winter temperatures dropping to around 20 degrees. Frost occurs at altitudes above 900m above sea level for the two coldest months (June and July). Snowfalls are irregular at altitudes above 1300m above sea level, and never last longer than two days.
Excellent to fair roads link all birding spots mentioned, but drivers are cautioned on gravel roads when they are wet as they can become impassable to normal vehicles.
Accommodation ranges from ultra luxury to basic camping sites – the choice is yours!
North West Zululand was also the venue for at least six Anglo Zulu and Anglo Boer War battles including the battle of Kambula where 1000+ Zulus lost their lives.