Mzingazi/Sharks Board Area

This large lake, which is the primary water supply of Richards Bay extending from the suburbs into the tribal area in a N.E. direction. There are no protected areas around its perimeter with the possible exception of the “proposed conservation area” stretching from the Sharks Board to Ferelli Alley along the lake edge and to the John Ross highway to the south. The forested areas comprise climax dune forest and, an area mainly described as “sand forest”. The latter is a rare biome and requires confirmation regarding its supposed pristine nature. The lake edge is largely swamp forest, papyrus and phragmites reed beds with good views over the lake along the private road which connects Meerensee suburb with Arboretum. The lake drains through a small culvert at Ferelli Alley and becomes the Mzingazi river, which flows into the Ngodweni canal via a berm designed to prevent sea water access.

The best way to bird this area is to simply walk along the various tracks around the area, the track heading in a Westerly direction leads to the edge of Lake Mzingazi.

The forest along the lake edges gives good birding opportunities with Green Coucal, Wattle-eyed Flycatcher, Narina Trogon, Scaly-throated Honeyguide, Forest Weaver, Blue-mantled, Paradise and Fan-tailed Flycatcher being regularly seen. This area does produce African Finfoot, Half-collared, Giant and Pygmy Kingfishers regularly and at the Sharks Board, Southern Banded Snake-Eagle is sometimes observed. All the Bulbuls (Black-eyed, Sombre, Yellow-bellied and Terrestrial) and the rarer Eastern (Yellow-spotted) Nicator are also evident at the Sharks Board.

Directions

Head down main John Ross Highway towards Meerensee.Take the “Greenhills” turn to your left. After 300m’s Turn left onto dirt road. Follow sign to “Parks Depot”. After 200m turn left away from the Parks Depot and follow this road for another 500m turn left into the parking area at the Offices.