This important Bird Area (SA079) comprises the Umhlatuze Lagoon and sand banks to the south of the harbour berm wall extending east to the new mouth. Habitat comprises estuarine mud / sand banks and mangroves, the latter gradually encroaching on the sand banks. These banks comprise a most important roosting / feeding area for shorebirds and waders.
The area is gradually silting up from material brought down by the Umhlatuze River and access to the areas frequented by the rarities is difficult. There are plans on the cards for the short tern to improve access to the area. Please contact the Zululand Birding Route for updated information
Recently Rarities such as Broadbill Sandpiper, Redshank, Pacific Golden Plover and European Oystercatcher have been recorded recently. The sanctuary also has Crab Plover in summer, Osprey, Terek Sandpiper, Greater and Lesser Sand Plover and a host of terns including Lesser Crested, Sandwich and Swift Terns.
Also in the area is a reed lined seepage pan know as New Mouth Pan – this also has good numbers of water birds and is considered and important breeding area.
Access to the harbor is with a guide only