The Fish Eagle is often seen soaring high in the sky above our valley. His distinctive cry is an African landmark for many of us. You may be lucky and catch a glimpse of the mighty Crowned Eagle that live on the farm. We are thrilled to have the rare and beautiful Narina Trojon in our river bush. Many species of Kingfisher are also to be found along the river.
“Apart from the sheer beauty and serenity of Nyala Valley Game Park nestling in the Kleinemonde West River valley there is also a good mix of habitats. This generates a variety of bird species and offers good birding opportunities. The meandering river flows through riverine forest and sections of valley thicket while nearby are patches of acacia and grassland. My current bird list for Nyala is 161 species of which the following specials for the area may be sighted: African Finfoot, Narina Trogon, Mountain Wagtail, Knysna Turaco, Half-collared Kingfisher, African Black Duck, African Pygmy Kingfisher, European Honey-Buzzard, Booted Eagle, Lemon Dove, Black Cuckoo, European Roller, African Wood-Owl, Trumpeter Hornbill, Scaly-throated Honeyguide, Knysna Woodpecker, Grey Cuckooshrike, White-Starred Robin, Brown Scrub-Robin, and Black-bellied Starling. Both Hamerkop and African Crowned Eagle have nested there in past years,
Of course the frequent encounters with game enrich ones experience as do the large indigenous forest trees like yellowwoods and wild figs and many flowering plants – one of my favourites is the cyrtanthus, a red lily that adorns the river banks. There is plenty of scope here for walking the whole length of the property to fully appreciate all these aspects.”
Anne Williams Birding
“Nyala Valley is certainly one of the most beautiful spots in our area to go birding. With different habitats come different birds – and Nyala Valley has variety. Red-throated Wryneck, Cardinal Woodpecker and Lazy Cisticola are just some of the birds to be found in the mixture of fairly open scrub and large trees bordering the reserve. The heavy scrub and bush on the way down into the valley supports species such as Yellow-breasted Apalis, White-browed Scrub Robin, Terrestrial Brownbul and Grey Sunbird. At Simplicity Lodge and the surrounding area, Black Cuckooshrike, Chinspot Batis, Golden-breasted Bunting and Orange-breasted Bush Shrike are found in the open thornveld. Closer to Lily Pad, the lush forest bordering the river, one can see Chorister Robin-Chat, Brown Scrub Robin and Cape Batis. Walking along the paths and trails, one could disturb Tambourine or Lemon Dove, which feed on the ground. The canopy-dwellers to look for are Scaly-throated Honeyguide, Narina Trogon, Knysna Turaco and the occasional Grey Cuckooshrike. The river itself provides the perfect habitat for Half-collared and Giant Kingfishers, Mountain Wagtail and the elusive African Finfoot.”
Tim Cockcroft Birding
From the moment you enter the gates of Nyala Valley and start descending into the valley below, a sense of peace and tranquillity settles over you. Nyala Valley is unique in that once you are ensconced at either Simplicity Lodge or Lily Pad hikers’ acommodation, you hear nothing but the sounds of nature around you. At night there is not a light to be seen except your own, and the night sky lit up by a thousand stars.
Nyala Valley is very popular with people who like to walk/hike as there are no dangerous animals and you are able to get up really close to nature - don’t leave your binoculars behind as it is well known for the variety and abundance of bird life.
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