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Marutswa Forest Trail and Bird Watching, Natal Midlands

Marutswa Forest, Bulwer, Natal Midlands

Photo courtesy of Michael Cowell

The Marutswa Forest Trail & Boardwalk is situated in the indigenous mist-belt forest near Bulwer in the Natal Midlands region of KwaZulu-Natal.

The trail  sponsored by SAPPI as part of  their Tree Routes Project, is managed by the Bulwer Biosphere, hand in hand with Wildlands Conservation Trust and  KZN Ezemvelo incorporating the local community.

The beautiful network of trails offer ancient trees, home to endemic birds popular on any birders’ tick list. There are a number of very large and old yellowwoods, that were too small to harvest for logging during the late 1800’s, as well as a large range of other trees.

The giant yellowwoods attract rare and endangered Cape parrots that nest in the hollows and feed on the seeds. The upper contour of the walk has lovely ancient vines that are spread through the tree canopies and a plethora of indigenous plants that are home to other specials – green twinspot, African crowned eagle, orange ground thrush, bush blackcap, white starred robin, narina trogon, buff-spotted flufftail, yellow throated woodland-warbler, crowned and southern ground hornbill and grey cuckooshrike.

Mammals are also attracted to the pristine forest habitat – bush buck, bush pig, genet, reed buck, dassies and mongoose are roaming in the undergrowth.

Marutswa Forest Trail and Bird Watching, Natal Midlands

Photos by Ria Fokkens, Michael Cowell and Ria Fokkens

Picnics or a cooked lunch can be provided if ordered in advance and there is a very interesting craft shop with beautiful local handmade items.

Opening Times: 6h00 – 16h00 (7 days a week including public holidays): Entrance fee: R20.00 per adult: R5.00 per scholar: Pre-scholars free, reception and the craft shop are open 5 days a week  8.30 am – 4.30pm   and there is an honesty box for entrance fees out of these hours.  Accredited birding and cultural tour guides are available on request. Large parties are also catered for with pleasure. E-mail  for further information and  your advance bookings or picnic requirements.

Site Manager: Tel: +27 (0)71 419 5238

Directions:

From Howick:  Take the R617 to Underberg. Travel through the village of Bulwer. Just past the Police Station on your left hand side you will see the Marutswa Forest Boardwalk sign. Turn left here and travel down the road for a few hundred metres. You will then see another sign on your right hand side. Turn right here and proceed to the parking area.

From Underberg:Take the R617 to Bulwer. Just past the Engen Garage you will see the Boardwalk signs on your right. Turn right here and travel down the road for a few hundred metres. You will then see another sign on your right hand side. Turn right here and proceed to the parking area.

More info on the town of Richmond More info on the Natal Midlands area