Price range, per nightmin R max R
*All distances listed are as the crow flies, and not actual travel distances.
More critically endangered than the rhino, the beautiful and graceful fluorescent-coloured blue swallow is currently numbered at roughly 1000 birds worldwide. Their numbers are dwindling rapidly and scientists are at a loss to explain why. Some blame the removal of their habitation and artificial forests as a possible reason but in areas where they once thrived, development has not occurred. In South Africa, less than 40 pairs arrive annually to breed along the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands mist belt. This is the only remaining destination in the country for birders to get a glimpse of the swallow.
The blue swallow breeds in underground aardvark holes and natural sinkholes and scientists have resorted to creating artificial breeding holes where the aardvark population has been affected. Tracking the bird’s migration path is difficult as the bird is too light to carry a standard satellite transmitter and until such time as a lightweight device becomes available, tracking cannot occur.
Watching the bird in flight is a treat, its agility in capturing insects in flight is spectacular and their tendency to fly low to the ground is truly amazing. The blue swallow colouring is striking too, the feathers shine an iridescent navy blue with an occasional spot of white on the underbelly. Poet Howard Nemerov 1967 poem The Blue Swallows describes the bird’s feathers as “tails as nibs, dipped in invisible ink, writing…”
A large retail store sells their ‘Wild About Blue Swallows’ shopping bag and part of the proceeds go towards the Threatened Grassland Species Programme. We recommend purchasing a bag to help with the cause.
Unless greater efforts are made to save the blue swallow, the only time we will get to see it will be in logos and old books.