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Mkuze Game Reserve is definitely among the top ten birding spots in Southern Africa. It boasts a list of over 450 species, a wide range of habitats, and relatively easy access to most areas. A two to five day stay is recommended. Lists of over 100 species are usual and over 200 for longer visits in summer.

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Specials

Southern Banded Snake-Eagle, Pel's Fishing-Owl, Broad-billed Roller, African Broadbill, Flappet Lark, Eastern Nicator, Olive-tree Warbler, Rudd's Apalis, Gorgeous Bush-Shrike, Neergaard's Sunbird, Pink-throated Twinspot, African Pygmy-Goose and Dwarf Bittern.

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Habitats

Include acacia savannah, mixed woodland, sand forest, riverine forest, rivers and pans, grassland, cliffs and rocky ridges.

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Facilities

Include a good network of roads, game viewing hides, self-guided and guided trails, picnic sites, night drives and private bush camps. The popular Fig Forest walk is now escorted and booking is required.

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Birding

The park office will provide detailed directions, maps, and arrange game guards if required. Booking (on arrival) is generally necessary for guided walks and night drives;

1). The sand forest around Kubube and Kumasinga hides supports Crested Guineafowl, African Broadbill, Eastern Nicator, Rudd's Apalis, Gorgeous Bush-Shrike, Neergaard's Sunbird and Pink-throated Twinspot. (1 hr)

2). Nsumo Pan has a number of hides and a pleasant picnic site where you can watch hippos. Birds include Pink-backed Pelican, Yellow-billed Stork, Goliath Heron, African Pygmy-Goose, Lesser Jacana, Whiskered Tern and occasionally, Pel's Fishing-Owl. (Allow 2 hrs from camp)

3). The Fig Forest walk (escorted) is best in the early morning, and birds include Southern Banded Snake-Eagle, Green Malkoha, Broad-billed Roller (summer), White-eared Barbet, Scaly-throated Honeyguide, Blue-mantled Crested-Flycatcher and Green Twinspot. (2+ hrs walking + 1hr travelling).

4). A short walk from the main camp down to the river for Southern Banded Snake-Eagle, Broad-billed Roller (summer) and Half-collared Kingfisher. (1 hr)

5). Night drives yield a variety of owls, nightjars, plovers, coursers and nocturnal animals. (3 hrs)

6). The Airfield for Senegal Lapwing and Olive-tree Warbler in summer.

There are a number of guided trails through various habitats, including ;

7) Good birding at Nhlonhlela Pan (3Hrs),

8) The south side of Nsumo Pan for large colonies of Yellow-billed Stork and Pink-backed Pelican in the breeding season (6 hrs).

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General

Gate Opening and Closing Times:
Summer ( October to March ) 05h00 to 19h00
Winter (April to September ) 06h00 to 18h00

Day visitor Entry fee R35.00 per adult R18.00 per child PLUS R35.00 per vehicle11-20 passengers R70.00. More than 20 passengers or mass above 3000 kg R140.00.

The office is open from 08h00 to 16h30

Distance and Time from Gate to Camp: 9 kms and 20 minutes

Camp Telephone Number: +27 35 5739004 / 573 9001 or cell +27 82 799 1491 Camp Fax: (035) 5730031

Facilities:
Tented Safari Camp, night game drives, swimming pool and hunting in the Control Hunting Area (CHA).

Shop:The shop sells curios and a limited range of supplies.

Special Precautions: Mkhuze is in a malaria area and special precautions are necessary.

The nearest town which has a full range of services is Mkuze which is 27 kms away.

How to get there:
For visitors from the south, the turn off to Mkhuze is signposted 35 kms north of Hluhluwe. From this point, the road is gravel. Approxametly 15 kms further is another signposted road through the Lebombo mountains. The entrance to the reserve is 10 kms along this road which is clearly signposted.

Visitors from the north must travel to mkuze village which is 18 kms from the entrance gate and 28 kms from Mantuma camp.

KZN Wildlife Website

Guy Gibbon 2002.

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