Price range, per nightmin R max R
*All distances listed are as the crow flies, and not actual travel distances.
The 205ha Dlinza Forest Nature Reserve bordering Eshowe in the KwaZulu-Natal Province is a birdwatcher’s paradise. Here, the variations of birdlife amongst the forest trees are plentiful and birders can enjoy a civilized walk through the forest to reach an elevated boardwalk from which to view birds high up in the canopy. Dlinza and nearby Ngoye is where the renowned Zululand birding route begins.
Dlinza Forest consists of huge trees – fig, yellowwood and stinkwood to name a few, and is densely wooded, an ideal environment for small buck, monkeys and colourful birds. Buck species include the rare blue duiker and secretive bush buck. Many of the trees are labelled for information purposes and those used for traditional medicines are mentioned.
Paths through the reserve were originally cut by British troops stationed at an old mission station in the forest during the Anglo-Zulu wars of the mid-1800s and Dlinza forest is also believed to be a burial site for Zulu impis (soldiers) who died in battles fought around Eshowe town.
There is a 2-hour forest trail through the reserve and birders should look out for the glimpses of colour that reveal the presence of the narina trogon and trumpeter hornbill, whereas the rare green barbet and spotted thrush blend in well to their surroundings and require patience to detect. The forest is home to a pair of crowned eagles that keep the vervet monkey population under control. Along the route is Bishop’s Seat, a natural amphitheatre and a good place to rest up.
Dlinza is well known too for the 70-odd species of butterfly recorded here and mostly present during the autumn months.
There is a lovely picnic site in the reserve, when visiting Dlinza be sure to bring along a lunch to relax here.