The Isimangaliso Wetland Park offers birders some of Zululand's best birdwatching. With over 420 Species recorded in the area, one can be assured of some great birding in one of South Africa's most bio-diverse areas. One of the great things about birding around Isimangaliso Wetland Park is the series of amazing new bird hides and boardwalks.
Cape Vidal Road
Now tarred; the 40 Km’s is a pleasure to drive and also gives you excellent opportunities for viewing big game such as White Rhino. There is a daily limit on cars allowed into the reserve, so get there early in peak season.
The 40km's from Isimangaliso Wetland Park to Cape Vidal is certainly not boring, along the road being one of the best places to see a host of different raptors. Look out for Brown and Black-chested Snake-Eagles soaring overhead. Southern Banded Snake-Eagle is best seen along here (especially on telephone poles) if you missed it at Iphiva.20km from the gate (almost opposite the Mission rocks turn-off) is the Mfazana Pan and the start of the trails for which a ranger is needed (organised from Cape Vida)l to do this trail. This area is good for seeing Chorister Robin-chat, Narina Trogon, Rudd's Apalis, White-starred Robin (in winter months) and Olive Bush-Shrike. Look out around here for African Wattled Lapwing and Osprey in summer. Closer to Cape Vidal just before the road veers left (about 4km from Cape Vidal) is the parking area for the Iboma Trail, (to do this trail you need to organise a ranger from Cape Vidal) a great little walk offering many grassland birds, including Croaking Cisticola and Rosy-throated Longclaw in the damp areas, it is also worth checking around the numerous palmtrees along the trail for roosting Swamp Nightjar. The southern portion of the trail runs runs close to the Mfabeni Swamp which you can see clearly along the road just before Cape Vidal. Red-chested Flufftail is often heard here and keep an eye open for Rufous-bellied Herons. The whole range of reed dwelling warblers can also be heard. The campsite at Cape Vidal is an excellent spot in the winter months for Spotted Ground-Thrush which feeds around the campsites. Buff-spotted Flufftails and Brown Scrub-Robins are also known to come right out and forage around the campsite (especially if you are camping close to the dune thickets). The walk up the Whale Hide is probably the easiest place to find Green Twinspots which spend their days flitting about under the casuarinas trees in front of the log cabins. The Imvubu Trail (a ranger is also needed to do this trail) which starts at the campsite is excellent. It is about 7km's long and leads through incredibly beautiful bush with great sea views and runs along the shores of Lake Bhangazi for a while. The first section of the hike through the dune forest is great for the forest specials of the KwaZulu-Natal coast, Yellowspotted Nicator, Woodward's Batis, Grey Sunbird and Green Malkoha are all easy to find. Other fairly common forest birds to look out for on the trail are Chorister Robin-Chat, Narina Trogon, Scaly-throated Honeyguide, Olive Sunbird and African Broadbill.