Wildlife on the Isibindi Eco-Reserve

Isibindi Zulu Lodge

Isibindi Zulu Lodge is situated within the 2000 hectare Isibindi Eco-Reserve which offers diverse habitats ranging from montane grassland and valley thornveld to riverine forests.

The reserve is home to abundant plains game, morning and evening game drives are offered and there is excellent bird watching. It is also quite safe to walk or take a picnic along one of the meandering river beds and view giraffe, zebra, wildebeest and other plains game.

Fauna and Flora

A pair of crowned eagles have nested in a remote corner of the farm since 1995. We believe they have reared a chick every year since.

Black storks nest in the cliffs downstream from Kwantula Camp.

Fish eagles are often spotted along the Isibindi River in the summer months.

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Below is a checklist of the most visual species:
Rare sightings **
Aardvark ** Wahlbergs epauletted bat Little free tailed bat Mauritian tomb bat
Lesser bushbaby Thick tailed bushbaby Bush buck Bush pig
Caracal African wild cat Civet Common duiker
Eland Large spotted genet Small spotted genet Giraffe
Scrub hare Brown hyena (rare) Black backed jackal Kudu
Impala Leopard (rare) Banded mongoose Dwarf mongoose
White tailed mongoose Multimammate Natal mouse Vervet monkey Nyala
African clawless otter Porcupine Striped polecat Elephant shrew
Serval Steenbok Warthog Blue wildebeest
Burchells zebra Mountain reedbuck Klipspringer Black wildebeest (only 2)
Blesbok Rooi hartebees African rock python Spotted bush snake
Mozambique spitting cobra Black mamba Boomslang Berg adder
Marsh terrapin Leopard tortoise


Isibindi Eco-Reserve has an extensive list of birds, some of which are not found anywhere else in South Africa.

Coqui francolin

Crested francolin

Grey-wing francolin

Shelley’s francolin

Natal spurfowl

Swainsons spurfowl

Common quail

Harlequin quail

Helmeted guineafowl

Fulvous duck

White-faced duck

White-backed duck

Maccoa duck

Egyptian goose

Spur-winged goose

Comb duck

Cape teal

African black duck

Yellow-billed duck

Cape shoveller

Red-billed teal

Hottentot teal

Southern pochard

Kurrichane buttonquail

Greater honeyguide

Lesser honeyguide

Brown-backed honeyguide

Red-throated wryneck

Golden-tailed woodpecker

Ground woodpecker

Cardinal woodpecker

Bearded woodpecker

Olive woodpecker

Red-fronted tinkerbird

Acacia pied barbet

Black-collared barbet

Crested barbet

Southern ground hornbill

African hoopoe

Green wood hoopoe

Common scimitarbill

Narina trogon

European roller

Lilac breasted roller

Purple roller

Half-collared kingfisher

Malachite kingfisher

African pygmy kingfisher

Woodland kingfisher

Brown-hooded kingfisher

Striped kingfisher

Martial eagles

Long crested eagle

African crowned eagles

Secretary bird

Lesser kestrel

Rock kestrel

Red footed falcon

Amur falcon

Eurasian hobby

Lanner falcon

Peregrine falcon

Little grebe

Great crested grebe

African darter

Reed cormorant

White breasted cormorant

Black heron

Little egret

Yellow billed egret

Great egret

Grey heron

Black-headed heron

Goliath heron

Purple heron

Cattle egret

Squacco heron

Green backed heron

Black crowned night heron

Little bittern

Eurasian bittern


Glossy ibis

Hadeda ibis

Southern bald ibis

African sacred ibis

Yellowbilled stork

Black stork

White stork

African pitta

Black headed oriole

Fork tailed drongo

African paradise flycatcher


Black backed puffback

Black crowned tchagra

Brown crowned tchagra

Southern boubou


Orange breasted bush shrike

Olive bush shrike

Scarlet-chested sunbird

Malachite sunbird

Greater double collared sunbird

White bellied sunbird

Gurneys sunbird

Red billed buffalo weaver

White browed sparrow weaver

Spectacled weaver

Cape weaver

Southern masked weaver

Village weaver

Yellow crowned bishop

Southern red bishop

Yellow bishop

African pied wagtail

Cape wagtail

Yellow wagtail

Grey wagtail

Mountain wagtail

Yellow throated longclaw

Cape longclaw

Striped pipit

African pipit

Plain backed pipit


Giant kingfisher

Pied kingfisher

Little bee-eater

European bee-eater

Speckled mousebird

Red-faced mousebird

Jacobin cuckoo

Levaillant’s cuckoo

Great spotted cuckoo

Red-chested cuckoo

Black cuckoo

Common cuckoo

African cuckoo

Diderick cuckoo

African palm swift

Alpine swift

Common swift

African black swift

Little swift

Horus swift

White rumped swift

Purple crested turaco

Grey go away bird

Barn owl

African grass owl

Southern white-faced scops owl

Cape eagle owl

Spotted eagle owl

African wood owl

Marsh owl

Fiery necked nightjar

Freckled nightjar

European nightjar

Pennant winged nightjar

Rock dove

Speckled pigeon

African olive pigeon

Lemon dove

Laughing dove

Cape turtle dove

Red eyed dove

Emerald spotted dove

Namaqua dove

African green pigeon

Denhams bustard

Blue korhaan

White bellied korhaan

Black bellied bustard

Buff spotted flufftail

Red chested flufftail

Gorgeous bush shrike

Grey headed bush shrike

White crested helmet shrike

Cape batis

Chinspot batis

Cape crow

Pied crow

White necked raven

Red backed shrike

Lesser grey shrike

Common fiscal shrike

Black cuckooshrike

Grey penduline tit

Southern black tit

Sand martin

Brown throated martin

Banded martin

Barn swallow

White throated swallow

Greater stripped swallow

Lesser stripped swallow

Red breasted swallow

South African cliff swallow

Rock martin

Common house martin

Black saw wing

Dark capped bulbul

African red eyed bulbul

Somber greenbul

Terrestrial brownbul

Eastern nicator

Fairy flycatcher

Cape grassbird

Long billed crombec

Yellow-bellied eremomela

Little rush warbler

Barratt’s warbler

Sedge warbler

European reed warbler

Marsh warbler

Great reed warbler

Lesser swamp warbler

Icterine warbler

Willow warbler

Arrow marker babbler

Chestnut-vented tit babbler

Garden warbler

Cape white eye

Red faced cisticola

Buffy pipit

Long billed pipit

Cape canary

Yellow fronted canary

Black throated canary

Forest canary

Brimstone canary

Streakyheaded canary

Cinnamon breasted bunting

Cape bunting

Golden breasted bunting

African fire finch

Jamesons firefinch

Bronze manikin

Village indigobird

Long tailed paradise whydah

Cuckoo finch

House sparrow

Cape sparrow

Southern grey headed sparrow

Yellow throated sparrow


Striped flufftail

African rail

Corn crake

Black crake

Baillons crake

Striped crake

African purple swamphen

Common moorhen

Red knobbed coot

African snipe

Common sandpiper

Water thick knee

Spotted thick knee

Black winged stilt

Pied avocet

Common ringed plover

Kittlitzs plover

Three banded plover

Blacksmith lapwing

African wattled lapwing

Black winged lapwing

Crowned lapwing

Temminck’s courser


African cuckoo hawk

Black shouldered kite

Black kite

Yellow billed kite

African fish eagle

White backed vulture

Cape vulture

Brown snake eagle

African marsh harrier

Black harrier

Pallid harrier

Montagu’s harrier

African harrier hawk

Lizard buzzard

Gabar goshawk

African goshawk

Little sparrow hawk

Red breasted sparrowhawk

Black sparrow hawk

Steppe buzzard

Long legged buzzard

Jackal buzzard

Steppe eagle

Tawny eagle

Booted eagle

Wahlbergs eagle

Lazy cisticola

Rattling cisticola

Levaillant’s cisticola


Croaking cisticola

zitting cisticola

desert cisticola

cloud cisticola

wing-snapping cisticola

tawny flanked prinia

bar throated apalis

yellow breasted apalis

rufous naped lark

flappet lark

sabota lark

spike heeled lark

chestnut backed sparrowlark

red capped lark

cape rock thrush

sentinel rock thrush

groundscraper thrush

kurrichane thrush

pale flycatcher

southern black flycatcher

fiscal flycatcher

spotted flycatcher

African dusky flycatcher

Ashy flycatcher

White starred robin

Cape robin chat

White browed robin chat

Red capped robin chat

Chorister robin chat

White browed scrub robin


African stonechat

Buff streaked chat

Mountain wheatear

Capped wheatear

Familiar chat

Anteating chat

Mocking cliff chat

Red winged starling

Cape glossy starling

Violet backed starling

Pied starling

Wattled starling

Common myna

Red billed oxpecker

Amethyst sunbird

Fan tailed widowbird

White winged widowbird

Red collared widowbird

Long tailed widowbird

Thick billed weaver

Orange breasted waxbill

African quailfinch

Red headed finch

Swee waxbill

Common waxbill

Blue waxbill

Green winged pytilia

Red billed firefinch


Tailor-made birding safaris are available from both Isibindi Zulu Lodge and Plains Camp.



The most common trees are :

Acacia Karoo (Sweet Thorn)
Acacia Siberian (Paperbark Thorn)
Ziziphus Macronata (Buffalo Thorn or Wag ‘n Bietjie)
Berchemia Zeyheri (Red Ivory)
Many of the Rhus (Sears) family
Combretum Erythrophyllum


The Aloe Marlothii is a brilliant sight in the months of June and July when in bloom.
Aloe Mudenennis also blooms in July.