Cwebe and Dwesa Nature Reserves
In the forests you should find most of the specials including Spotted Ground-Thrush, Knysna Woodpecker, Grey Cuckooshrike, Blue-mantled Crested-Flycatcher, Narina Trogon, Forest Canary, Brown Scrub-Robin, White-starred Robin, Red-capped Robin-Chat and Chorister Robin-Chat. In the summer months Black Cuckoo, African Emerald Cuckoo and nesting Mangrove Kingfisher are particularly vocal. African Crowned Eagle can often be heard circling high overhead, while African Wood-Owl can be found at night.
At the forest edges one should look for Barratt's Warbler, Forest Canary, Southern Tchagra, Olive Sunbird and Grey Sunbird. Forest clearings also produce Broad-tailed Warbler, Swee Waxbill and Red-backed Mannikin.
Along the estuaries running through the forest one can find Half-collared Kingfisher, African Black Duck, Mountain Wagtail, Green-backed Heron and possibly African Finfoot. Also look out for African Crowned Eagle, which are regularly seen at the Mbanyana River causeway in Cwebe.
In the short, well-grazed grasslands one should locate Plain-backed Pipit and Black-winged Lapwing in winter. Wailing Cisticola and Yellow-throated Longclaw can be found in the longer grass, while Croaking Cisticola occurs in the moist grasslands. In the adjacent acacia scrub there is often Black-crowned Tchagra, Red-necked Spurfowl, and White-browed Scrub-Robin Scrub robin.
The estuaries and adjacent coastline often produce African Black Oystercatcher, Caspian Tern, Sandwich Tern, African Fish-Eagle, Osprey, Common Whimbrel and Ruddy Turnstone. The mangroves on the Mbashe River are also worth investigating.
One should also walk through the grasslands near around the office; there one can find Wailing Cisticola, Plain-backed Pipit, Broad-tailed Warbler and Yellow-throated Longclaw. Look in the moist grassland around the estuary east of the campsite for Croaking Cisticola and a pair of Grey Crowned Crane that frequent the area. Venturing further into Dwesa will take you to more extensive grasslands especially around the Mendu estuary.
Dwesa Nature Reserve is the bigger of the two reserves situated on the western side of the Mbashe River. There is a campsite and a few Chalets, beautifully situated adjacent a small estuary spilling into the ocean. For bookings or enquiries phone: 047-499 0073 /22
The only accommodation offered in Cwebe Nature reserve is the Haven Hotel, which is situated about two kilometres from the Mbashe River, a popular spot for anglers. The rooms are all individual chalet style accommodation. Bookings and enquiries can be made by Cell: +27 83 996 5343 or fax: +27 47 576 8905 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org .
The turn-off to Dwesa is in the town of Idutya, 80km from Umtata. The turn-off is well signposted.
To get to Cwebe there is a turn-off 40km from Umtata that is sign boarded Bityi/Elliotdale, here one should follow the signs to Elliotdale. After 19km along the gravel road there is a tarred road, immediately upon reaching the tar, take a right turn back onto gravel and follow the signs to The Haven Hotel. The Haven is another 45km along the same gravel road.
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