Report by Paul and Sally Bartho
28th to 30th December 2015
This was intended as a family gathering but the location is spectacular and the birding was good so I thought to share the experience with readers of this blog.
Injisuthi is located in the Drakensberg Giant’s Castle Reserve (E29.07.140; S29.26.441). Directions: Follow the N3 from Durban. Take exit 179 to Loskop. After 20 kms turn left at the brown sign for Injisuthi. The camp is a further 30 kms along this quite variable road. The main issue is potholes and it can be narrow in places – mostly tar.
The scenery gets more spectacular as you approach the camp.
There are 16 four bed (2 bedroomed) cottages; one 8 bed cottage in grassy and shady grounds. There is also a large grassy campsite with 3 two bed Safari tents.
For prices and booking visit: http://www.kznwildlife.com/accommodation-rates-in-injisuthi.html.
The camp has numerous walks some quite daunting. The habitat is typical of the Drakensberg: riverine, pools, wetlands, rocky slopes, grassland, forests and mountains.
Power is only available in the cottages at certain times: 08h00 to 10h00 and 18h00 to 22h00. There is no power in the campsites.
The campsites are grassy; slightly slopey with some shade here and there. Costs R90 per person per night – no discounts which I find surprising. There are 2 ablution blocks – which I would imagine to be inadequate when the camp is full.
Whilst my brother-in-law and my two sisters went for long walks, Sally and I stayed round the camp enjoying the birding. We did take a testing walk to the Yellowwood Forest.
We found a Dusky Flycatcher’s nest with 3 babies.
Red-chested and Black Cuckoos were calling all the time – with an occasional Klaas’s and Diderick’s joining in.
Outside one of the cottages was a Red-chested Cuckoo juvenile squeaking for its Cape Wagtail foster parent to feed it. I was lucky to see it catch a caterpillar perhaps for the first time feeding itself.
Under the eves of another cottage there was a Rock Martin’s nest – we saw a parent fly out.
The walk to the Yellowwood Forest was worth it despite the steepness and rocky nature of the path. It did, however, put pressure on Sally’s knees following her double knee replacement 6 weeks earlier. The forest is not too extensive but between us we spotted White-starred Robin, a pair of Bush Blackcaps, Cape Rock-Thrushes and a family of Cape Batises.
The grassland beside the camp gave us good sightings of Southern Red Bishops; Lazy, Levaillant’s and Wailing Cisticolas; African Firefinch; an adult Black Flycatcher feeding its young; Cape Grassbirds nesting; Neddicky; African Stonechat; Red-collared Widowbirds; Malachite Sunbirds; Swee Waxbill; Spectacled Weavers nesting in the trees beside the grassland area and a Dark-capped Yellow Warbler.
At a bridge we saw up to 4 African Olive Pigeons.
In all we identified 53 different species. Click here to see the list.
This is possibly a good venue for a weekend away – only 2.5 to 3 hours from Durban.
Paul and Sally Bartho
In case you missed it – Click here to read the report on the African Skimmer at Kosi Bay.