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Best South African Park for Birding: Ndumo
Source: The text for this article was written by Rita van den Heever and taken from the Wild Magazine and the photos were taken by Graham and Beverly Theobald of ShowMe.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re a serious birder looking for an elusive tick or a beginner still trying to tell a sunbird from a humming bird, there’s one park that should be at the top of your list.
Ndumo Game Reserve in northern KwaZulu-Natal. It has the highest bird count of any park in South Africa, with some 430 species recorded. That’s about 60 per cent of all bird species found in the country.
Ndumo is sometimes called the Little Okavango because of its beautiful saline pans and extensive wetlands and reed beds. The reserve is classified as a Ramsar site, a habitat for migratory wader species associated with wetlands of significant integrity.
I recommend going out with one of the field guides, who are all walking bird encyclopaedias.
They not only know the name of every bird in Zulu, English and Afrikaans, but can tell you if the name has changed and what it used to be. They know the calls of the birds, will identify them by sound and can even call a particular bird to you by imitating it.
You don’t have to go out on a hike to enjoy Ndumo’s birds. You can spend happy hours in one of the two beautiful hides on Nyamithi Pan. Aquatic and wetland bird photographers, bring your long lenses.
Ndumo is an old-school safari destination with camp sites ( from R106 a person a night) or huts equipped with the basics (from R620 a night). There’s a camp cook who’ll work magic with the ingredients you supply. Guided walks R100.
Wild’s other birding favourites
Head to Geelbek hide in the West Coast National Park for migrant waders between September and March. In the Pafuri section of Kruger try the picnic spot on the river or the Flycatcher Trail in Punda Maria camp.
|More info on the area of Elephant Coast||More info on the KwaZulu-Natal area|
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