Zinkwazi Birding Experience...
Klaus Achtzehn, one of your hosts at Zinkwazi, has compiled
a SPOTTING GUIDE TO THE BIRDS of the area, to facilitate
finding those specials and endemics amongst the more than
250 species identified. For those from up-country it's
a great place to add a feather to your cap, so to speak.
On site this can be achieved with little effort on the
elevated sundeck over a cool drink , or during similar
non strenuous activities on offer.
The camp is set in lush riverine forest, constantly ringing
with a chorus of song from a multitude of species. Further
species are found along the extensive lagoon, with its
extensive reed beds and estuarine trees, the dune- and
rare coastal lowland forests and the pristine beaches.
The Zinkwazi Conservancy also includes the subtropical
woodland and moist thorn-veld of the Harold Johnson Nature
Reserve. This diversity offers prime habitat for many
bird specials, unique to the North Coast.
Specials to be seen include: Wattle-eyed Flycatcher, Grey-
and Olive Sunbirds, Crested Guinea Fowl, African Finfoot,
White-eared Barbet, Goldenrumped Tinkerbarbet, Scalythroated
and Lesser Honeyguides, Squaretail Drongo, Spotted Thrush,
Bluemantled Flycatcher, Yellow- Forest- and Brownthroated
Weavers, Green Twinspot.
The emblem of the resort is the Fish Eagle (Nkwazi in
Zulu) and the committed visitor can be assured of at least
one sighting, especially when enjoying an up-river cruise
with the boatman.
With very little encouragement, the cruise raft can be
equipped with a few jars of wine and tasties. You bring
the binoculars, kids, and a warm sweater, a memorable
bird watching late evening up the lagoon. The wine, of
course, is only to encourage good eyesight and in the
unlikely event that the birdlife is unco-operative, then
sufficient wine will ensure that you won't feel disappointed
For the more brave there are canoes, to explore the quiet
backwaters of the lagoon for those skulkers and L.B.J's.
Should you feel the need to get fit, there are also many
trails and walks beckoning with rich rewards. Then treat
yourself to a leisurely drive to one of the many well
known birding venues in the vicinity.
Back in camp the Purple Crested Lourie, one of Natal's
favourite species can be heard and seen bounding along
the overhead branches, accompanied by the haunting call
of Trumpeter Hornbills. Beware of the mimicry of the tame
Natal Robins, which are known to imitate the call of the
African Fish Eagle. Do not confuse the Pygmy Kingfisher
with a Malachite, when seen bobbing on low branches overhanging
Other Bird Spotting opportunities ( guides are available
for some areas):
Zinkwazi is ideally situated for birders wanting to visit
some of the top birding destinations in southern Africa.
The Zululand Birding Route is to the north with prime
forest habitats around Eshowe and Ngoye (all approx. 70
km) hosting bird specials such as Green Barbet, Delegorgue's
Pigeon, Green Coucal, Yellow-streaked Bulbul, Emerald
Cuckoo and Narina Trogon.
In the wetlands and thornveld around Eshowe and the Goedetrow
dam, Red-chested Flufftails, White-backed Night Herons
and the most southern Rudd's Apalis population occur.
At Mtunzini (60 km) and Richards Bay (100 km), unique
eastern subtropical estuarine habitats support massive
wader populations, wetland birds and specials such as
Palmnut Vulture and Mangrove Kingfisher.
To the south there is the well known Jex Estate (Umvoti
mouth 30 km) with Redwinged Pratincole and many unusual
Stanger Tranquila Hide (20 km) also regularly makes birding
* Harold Johnson Nature reserve (woodland and thorn veld
* South bank of the Tugela river (waders and waterfowl
* Dhlokweni coastal lowland forest (forest specials) -
* Tugela Gorge at Kranskop (Raptor specials - 80km)
* Amatikulu Game reserve (Palm veld and forest 30km)