The Karkloof Conservancy covers an expanse of about 40,000 hectares in the Karkloof, KwaZulu-Natal. Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife has identified the Karkloof as being of significant value in terms of conservation and has earmarked it as a “biodiversity hotspot”. The area includes pristine wetlands, mistbelt grasslands and huge tracts of mistbelt forest, which are all protected biomes. Numerous endemic and near-endemic species of fauna and flora thrive in this unique environment.
The Karkloof Conservation Centre is located at the entrance to Gartmore Farm, with the Karkloof Range of Hills and the largely unspoilt natural bush that adorns it as the backdrop. A rich diversity of birdlife abounds on the farm where agriculture is practised in harmony with birds, antelope and an abundance of frog and insect life. The fertile farmland in KwaZulu-Natal boasts numerous oxbow lakes, with the flood plains of the Yarrow and Karkloof rivers, which creates ideal habitat for waterfowl and all three species of Crane which are regularly seen here.
Specials that can be sited here include: Wattled Crane, Grey Crowned Crane, Blue Crane, Southern Bald Ibis, African Spoonbill, Buff-spotted and Red-chested Flufftail, Black-winged Lapwing, Verreaux’s Eagle-Owl, African Fish-Eagle, Denham’s Bustard, Secretary Bird, Southern Ground-Hornbill, Lesser Moorhen, Baillon’s Crake and in wetter years, Lesser Jacana.