The Horseshoe Cottage, Horseshoe Walk and Usheleni Trail.
An amble down the Horseshoe Walk or the Horseshoe road will provide good opportunities to see Little Bee-eater, Red-faced Mousebird, Acacia Pied Barbet (uncommon), Black-crowned and Southern Tchagra, Greater Honeyguide, Common Scimitarbill, Long-billed Crombec, Croaking Cisticola and Neddicky. Violet-backed Starlings are also common during the summer months.
Between the months of October and April, look out for the Western Osprey in this area, usually seen perching at the top of dead trees or flying overhead.
As you near the end of the horseshoe road, listen out for the calls of the Orange-breasted, Olive and Grey-headed Bush-shrikes. Red-capped Robin Chat, White browed Robin-Chat and Southern Boubou are also common.
A stroll up the Horseshoe Road at night should yield Fiery-necked Nightjar. Spotted-eagle and African Wood Owls may be heard and seen around the cottage at night.
Giant Kingfishers are common along the stretch of the Umgeni River on the Horseshoe side of the Reserve, listen out for their distinct calls. African Black Duck are sometimes present on the flat- water sections of the river. Village and Eastern Golden Weavers nest in the reeds and trees on the banks of the river, where Lazy and Levaillant’s Cisticola, Little Rush Warbler and Common Waxbill are also found. African Pied and Mountain Wagtail can usually be seen flying up and down the river.
African Fish Eagle are almost always present along the stretch of the Umgeni directly below the horseshoe cottage providing fantastic photographic opportunities as they land, perch and take off from the dead gum trees along the river banks.
The Palmnut Vultures are often seen overhead on this side of the Reserve. When at the horseshoe cottage, take the road/path that heads away from the cottage to the left. Keep an eye out for Palmnut Vulture on the rocky hillside across the Umgeni river. They often perch on top of trees catching the first rays of sun in the early morning.
Purple-banded Sunbird, although slightly out of range, are seen around the Cottage from time to time.
Check the path ahead for White-browed Scrub-Robin in search of insects in the short grass path. Common birds along this trail are the very vocal Southern Boubou, Collared Sunbird whose call is very similar to that of the Cape White-eye, Southern Black Tit, Olive Sunbird, Chinspot and Cape Batis, Emerald-spotted Wood Dove, Olive Thrush, African Firefinch, Bar-throated Apalis and the noisy Terrestrial Brownbul.
Next... Part 4 - The bottom of the gorges