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Impendle Nature Reserve, near Boston in the Natal Midlands consists predominantly of mid-altitude grasslands. Some rocky outcrops are present within the grasslands and a large mist belt forest is situated at the far reaches of the reserve overlooking the Umkomazi Valley. This infrequently visited and relatively unexplored reserve has some incredible birding potential. The reserve is controlled by Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife, and although not open to the general public, permission can be obtained to visit the reserve by phoning the officer in charge on +27 33 996 9613. Approximately 60-70 species can be recorded on a day spent exploring this scenic reserve.



Blue Swallow, Red-winged Francolin, Denham's Bustard, Ground Woodpecker, Cape Rock-Thrush and Buff-streaked Chat.



1) The speciality of the reserve are the breeding Blue Swallow - about ten pairs nest here and are not too difficult to find from October to March as they forage over the grasslands. Their nests can be located by watching the birds dive into sinkages along the stream courses. Be careful not to disturb the birds or approach too closely during breeding season. The reserve staff regularly monitor all the known nests so can provide directions if difficulties are encountered.

During a stroll through the beautiful grasslands one may encounter some of the following birds: Red-winged Francolin, Common Quail, Denham's Bustard, Corn Crake (in moister areas during summer), Wing-snapping Cisticola, Pale-crowned Cisticola (very common), Wailing Cisticola, Croaking Cisticola, Cape Grassbird, Broad-tailed Warbler and Dark-capped Yellow Warbler (predominantly in rank vegetation.) Rufous-chested Sparrowhawk often dash over the grasslands. Banded Martin are also common in summer and Common House-Martin is regular. Keep an eye out overhead for Horus Swift.

2) The rocky areas hold the following species: Ground Woodpecker, Cape Rock-Thrush, Buff-streaked Chat and Bokmakierie. Delalande’s Sandveld Lizard are commonly found under rocks.

3) The forest which drops down into the Mkomazi Valley can be viewed from vantage points above the canopy thereby allowing good views of feeding Knysna Turaco and African Olive-Pigeon. Other birds occurring here are Narina Trogon, Red-fronted Tinkerbird, Olive Bush-Shrike, Yellow-throated Woodland-Warbler, Blue-mantled Crested-Flycatcher, Southern Double-collared Sunbird, Swee Waxbill and Forest Canary.



No facilities are available to the general public.

Contact detail: Tel: +27 33 996 9613

Adam Riley 2001.

Hillside Lodge

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