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Page History: Midmar Dam

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Page Revision: 2008/10/27 15:43

Midmar Dam is a 2 857 ha resort operated by the Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife and situated in the Natal Midlands near Howick. The primary area of interest to birders is the Orient Park Game Reserve situated on the southern shore of the dam. No facilities are offered.

From Thurlow Gate entrance situated along the Boston/Bulwer Road off the N3, follow the main entrance track until a turn to the game reserve is indicated. Follow this road until it leads to a loop road in the main section of the park. Allow 1-2 hours for the drive or more if some exploring is anticipated.


1) The main loop road encompassed some good quality grasslands. The specials to look for here are Black-rumped Buttonquail, which has been seen with chicks from the roadside, Short-tailed Pipit, Denham's Bustard (resident and often fairly easy to spot), Blue Crane and Grey Crowned Crane. At night (or if you are lucky during the day) Marsh Owl and African Grass-Owl may be seen. African Marsh-Harrier and African Fish-Eagle (the nest is situated in the row of gum trees bordering the loop road) are also resident and an Osprey is summer regular. Amur Falcon may also be found at this time of year. Four species of Vanellus Plovers including Black-winged Lapwing are common. Wing-snapping Cisticola and African Quailfinch are particularly common.

In winter, especially once the firebreaks have been burnt, different birds move in, including Sentinel Rock-Thrush, Eastern Long-billed Lark, Red-capped Lark and Buffy Pipit. Sickle-winged Chat has been found after a particularly cold snap.

2) If you scan the hillside just above the row of gums on the loop road, you may be lucky in spotting the resident family of Ground Woodpecker.

3) The moister grasslands before the loop road are a good site for Yellow-crowned Bishop, Cuckoo Finch and Pale-crowned Cisticola.


Day visitor Entry fee: R15.00 per person, R10.00 per person after 12h00 midday

Contact information:
Tel: +27 33 845 1002 email:

KZN Wildlife Website

Adam Riley 1997.

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