Situated in thick valley bushveld, Tangami Safari Spa lies within the private ThakaZulu Game Reserve in western Zululand. The Black Umfolozi and Thaka Rivers have created a lush valley with riverine bush, dense thornveld and forest patches. Open grassland occurs on the hills, with wetlands being found on the floodplains.
The camp itself is a great place to start birding. African Green Pigeon, Golden-tailed Woodpecker, Purple-crested Turaco and Scarlet-chested Sunbird commonly forage in the taller trees. The water from the outlet for the mineral baths has created an artificial forest where Red-capped Robin-Chat, Terrestrial Brownbul, African Pygmy-Kingfisher and Olive Bush-Shrike can be seen. There is a path that travels down through the forest and onto the floodplain. White-throated Robin-Chat, Burchell’s Coucal, White-fronted Bee-eater and Tambourine Dove can be recorded along it. Red-chested Flufftail can be heard from the reedbed on the floodplain, and look out for Thick-billed Weaver, Southern Red Bishop and White-winged Widowbird displaying above the reeds.
The thornveld areas below the camp are home to a variety of birds. Emerald-spotted Dove, Grey Go-away-bird, Levaillant’s and Jacobin Cuckoo, Lilac-breasted Roller, Arrow-marked Babbler, Sabota Lark, Grey Penduline-Tit, Burnt-necked Eremomela, Bushveld Pipit, Gorgeous Bush-Shrike, Brown-crowned Tchagra, Green-winged Pytilia, Long-tailed paradise Whydah and Red-billed Firefinch are regularly recorded.
The mixed woodland and riverine bush hosts Crowned Hornbill, Red-fronted Tinkerbird, Brimstone Canary, Violet-backed Starling, Mountain Wagtail and, if you are lucky, Narina Trogon might also be seen.
Raptors are present and conspicuous. African Crowned, Martial, Tawny, Verreaux’s, Wahlberg’s, African Fish and African Hawk Eagles are all found in the reserve.
Open grassland areas should be searched for Barrow’s Korhaan, Southern Ground-Hornbill, Yellow-throated Longclaw, Orange-breasted Waxbill, Secretarybird and Red-breasted Swallow.
Travelling from Vryheid, proceed along the R34 towards Melmoth. Turn left about 35km south of Vryheid at the sign “Gluckstadt”. Continue along this dirt road for approximately 24km and turn right at the Swart Umfolozi shop. Proceed for another 17km to the gate. Coming from Melmoth in the south, turn right at Gluckstadt (about 90km from Melmoth) and follow above directions.
Available at Tangami Safari Spa, including camping, bushcamps and bungalows.