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Hanglip Forest consists of approximately 354ha of indigenous Afromontane forest and is situated in the heart of the Soutpansberg Mountains. Hanglip is easily accessible, is really beautiful and offers a great opportunity to experience the Soutpansberg forest birds. The forest reserve is flanked by SAFCOL-controlled pine plantations and overlooks the town of Louis Trichardt.

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Specials

Yellow-streaked Greenbul, Blue-spotted Wood-Dove,Crested Guineafowl, Olive Woodpecker, Grey Cuckooshrike, Olive Bush-Shrike, Lemon Dove, Steppe Buzzard (summer), Forest Buzzard (winter).

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Facilities

Two walking trails run through the forest and cover approximately 1km and 3km. The trails are well marked and maintained and the easy Red Duiker trail, while only 1km long, is likely to produce many of the forest ‘specials’. The trail winds through moss-covered boulders and trees covered in ‘old man’s beard’ lending a certain mystique and serene beauty to the forest

A lovely picnic site has been established under large canopy trees. Tables, benches and braai areas have been provided. Ablution facilities are rudimentary.

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Birding

Hanglip represents an excellent example of the forests to be found in the Soutpansberg. Large trees and a canopy of over 20 metres provide ideal habitat for many forest ‘specials’. Some time spent relaxing in the picnic area is likely to be rewarded with the trilling mimicry of the local Chorister Robin-Chat. Listen out for a cell phone ringing from the bushes or for the bird in the bushes 'spishing' back at you!

Crested Guineafowl are common in Hangklip and with patience, one can get quite close to them. Blue-spotted Wood-Dove have been reportedly recorded in the picnic site but beware of confusion with the ubiquitous and common Emerald-spotted Wood-Dove (note bill colour).

The real prize at Hangklip is the Yellow-streaked Greenbul, which is really common in the reserve. The Yellow-streaked Greenbul is easily spotted and very vocal (especially on overcast and drizzly days) and has been recorded at a rate of 1.6 individuals per 100m of birding (D.Forbes; unpubl. data 2001).

The reserve also boasts many of the other forest ‘specials’ including Olive Woodpecker, Grey Cuckooshrike, Olive Bush-Shrike and Lemon Dove. Steppe Buzzard are extremely common in summer but keep a look out for Forest Buzzard in winter. African Black Swift and Alpine Swift can be seen foraging over the forest.

Red Duiker, Samango Monkey and Bushpig are commonly encountered on quiet, early morning walks. The Transvaal Forest Rain Frog (Breviceps sylvestris) is quite common in the forest and can be heard calling on drizzly and misty days.

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General

Hanglip is situated just outside Louis Trichardt in the northern Province. Approaching Louis Trichardt along the N1 from Pietersburg, turn left at the third four-way stop, turning into Stubbs Street (opposite Noise Boys). Proceed to the second four-way stop (at the Hervormde Kerk) and turn right into Forestry Drive. This road leads directly through SAFCOL plantations to the picnic site. The route up the mountain is clearly sign-posted. Access roads are generally good and suitable for sedan cars. However, rain can make the roads very slippery. Much of the area’s rain falls in late summer, restricting access at these times.

Dale Forbes 2001.



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