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The Foreigners are Flocking In

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The Foreigners are Flocking In

The Europeans have kicked out the migrants and the flight paths will soon be littered with travellers to Southern Africa! Are you ready to welcome them? Being a warm, friendly nation, I would imagine the answer to be an overwhelming YES! I am, of course, referring to our feathered friends.

For those twitchers looking to catch a glimpse of some of South Africa’s endemic or migratory birds, do plan a trip to view the likes of the White-winged Flufftail in the Free State Birding Route or the Drakensberg Rockjumper in the Southern KwaZulu-Natal Birding Route.

Should you be an avid birdwatcher or, perhaps, eager to learn more on the subject? Then do come and enjoy a full weekend of all things: birds! BirdLife SA has arranged The African Bird Fair taking place at the Walter Sisulu National Botanical Garden, Roodepoort, Gauteng Tourism Authority on the 3rd and 4th of September.

Spring brings lots of cheer to our route: not only do we start spotting migratory birds, but also splashes of colour that demand our attention. The Drakensberg Experience certainly offers you an exceptional variety of opportunities to capture on camera. We heard from esteemed author and botanical artist, Elsa Pooley, on what to expect to see in early Spring.

“With good winter rains and spring showers, the brown, grassy, mountain hillsides are starting to show signs of new life. The first spring flowers are appearing along the walks and mountain bike trails. Pretty blue Pentanisia and Aristea, Pink Ground-bells, Graderia scabra, pink and white Aster daisies in the grassland, with lovely small bushes of Gnidia kraussiana with round heads of bright yellow flowers.Along the streams, the Large Golden Vlei Iris Moraea huttonii will be coming into flower, the large clumps growing at the water’s edge.

“Still to look forward to are the Giant Wild Anemones, Anemone fanninii, with large white flowers and the Blue Squill, Scilla natalensis/Merwilla plumbea, which come into bloom from a very large bulb, commonly found on rocky hillsides and the banks of streams.

“Some of the trees are coming into spring leaf – the new pink leaves of Protea caffra are as pretty as flowers. Some of the Berg Bottlebrush trees are in full bud, ready to burst into scarlet flowers.”

Spring Newsletter 2

Places to view this colourful spread: Royal Natal National Park, Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife. Don’t forget you can pick Elsa Pooley’s brain at The Cavern Resort and Spa on one of her organised wild flower weekends.

Accommodation that offers guided nature walks: Drakensberg Sun Resort, The Nest,  Champagne Castle Hotel, Montusi Mountain Lodge, Mount Splendour and Three Tree Hill at Spioenkop.

Let’s not forget the mammal newborns making their debut. The Drakensberg Experience houses: Spioenkop Lodge, Zulu Waters Game Reserve, Mount Everest Game Farm and Kwaggashoek Game Ranch.

Spring Newsletter 3

Please do capture your Spring moments on camera and tag us in your social media posts on @n3gateway. We look forward to viewing Spring through your lens.

Lori Voss

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