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uMkhuze is unquestionably 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. To ensure you make the most of your birding experience, a two to five day stay is recommended. Lists of over 100 species are usual and over 200 for longer visits in summer. 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.

owl Birding specials include 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. The sand forest around kuBube and kuMasinga hides supports Crested Guinea fowl, African Broadbill, Eastern Nicator, Rudd’s Apalis, Gorgeous Bush-Shrike, Neergaard’s Sunbird and Pink-throated Twinspot. 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 and the south side of Nsumo Pan for large colonies of Yellow-billed Stork and Pink-backed Pelican in the breeding season. Fish eagles swoop over the pans, snatching prey spotted from their perches in the fever trees.

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. Look out for Senegal Lapwing and Olive-tree Warbler at the Airfield in summer. Night drives yield a variety of owls, nightjars, plovers, coursers and nocturnal animals.

Three game viewing hides have been constructed next to the kuBube, kuMasinga, kwaMalibala pans. Visitors park their cars and enter the hides on foot. Depending on the surface water in the reserve, but normally during the drier winter months, large concentrations of game may be seen at the waterholes. Visitors are therefore offered excellent views of most of the reserve’s larger mammals. These hides offer unique opportunities to photographers and many famous wildlife pictures have been taken there.

Facilities include a good network of roads, game viewing hides, guided trails, picnic sites, night drives, private bush camp, tented Safari Camp, camp site, swimming pool and hunting in the Control Hunting Area (CHA). The shop sells curios and a limited range of supplies.