Theunissen’s Dam

This is a dam located on private property at which some 85 bird species have so far been recorded. Visitors should be cautioned that there are several crocodiles present in this dam and that visits here are entirely at one’s own risk.

At the top end of Theunissen’s dam, look for Great Painted Snipe, which is a “special” here. Also to be seen here are Black- crowned Night Heron (scan the forested slope on the western side of the dam for them), Goliath Heron, Squacco Herons, Black Crake, African Jacana, Dabchick and all the white Egrets, Spurwing and Egyptian Geese, Wire-tailed and Lesser-striped Swallows, Martins Whitewinged Terns, Hottentot Teals, White-faced Ducks, Wood Sandpipers and Fish Eagles Duck.

In the shorter damp sugarcane fields around the dam – Redwinged Pratincoles along with of Grey and Kittlitz’s Plovers can be seen in summer as well as Woolly-necked Storks, Common Quail, Black-backed Cisticolas and Fan-tailed Widowbirds.

At the far end of the dam there is a breeding colony of White-breasted Cormorants. Near the spillway, Water Dikkop, African Fish Eagle, Waders and Crowned Crane may be seen. Some 85 species have been recorded here so far.


From Mtunzini take the N2 South towards Durban for 18 km. After bridge No 8, turn left, following the Gingindlovu, Eshowe, Ulundi signs. At the bottom of the glide off, turn right and continue for 4.7 km along the R 66. Pass under the Eskom powerlines over the main road and turn right at the “Highrain Farm, Craig Theunissen” signboard.

The alternative route from Mtunzini is to head out of town, crossing over the N2 and continuing down the road until you meet the R102 at the BP Road Island Service station (which is on the right hand side). Turn left and continue for 18.5 km at which point you meet the R 66. Turn left (turning right here will take you to Eshowe) and continue for 2.2 km, passing the Fairbreeze / Gingindlovu intersection. This time the “Highrain Farm, Craig Theunissen” sign will be on the left.

From Durban take the N2 North. After crossing the Tugela River the bridges will be numbered. After bridge No 9 and 23.5 km from the Tugela River, turn left following the Gingindlovu, Eshowe, Ulundi signs. At the bottom of the glide off, turn left and continue along this road, being the R 66 and follow the same directions as are mentioned for those from Mtunzini, via the N2.

Having turned into the entrance over the cattle grid, continue along the farm road for another 500 meters. At this point there will be a small dam on the left hand side. Look for African Yellow and Thick-billed Weavers, Red Bishop and Dabchick. Directly after this dam turn left between the dam and the sugar cane. This will bring you to the main dam after some 500 meters.

Additional Information

Permission to visit this dam should be obtained from Craig Theunissen prior to your visit.


Craig Theunissen

  • Tel: +27 (0)35 337 1504
  • Mobile: +27 (0)83 452 3299