A treat awaits birding enthusiasts at Vultures View as the skies etch the graceful shapes of vultures floating on the updrafts.
The montane grassland of the central Drakensberg with its slopes covered in protea trees and pockets of evergreen forests, are inhabited by 300 species of birds, of which 32 are endemic.
You can be assured of adding a few birding gems to your life-list whilst staying at Vultures View.
For your convenience we made a list of some special and rare species that have been spotted at or near Vultures View. Feel free to print and tell us how many of these you have spotted.
Birding enthusiasts can expect to see the following special bird species:
• Bearded Vulture
• Cape Vulture
• Gurney Sugarbird
• African Crowned Eagle
• Forest Canary
• Chorister Robin Chat
• White-Starred Robin
• Bush Blackcap
• Barratt's Warbler
Vulture Feeding Site - Unique Birding
The vulture feeding site which is within easy walking distance from Vultures View, offers a unique birding opportunity. See the "Bone eaters of the Drakensberg" - the endangered Bearded Vulture.
A 25% reduction in numbers of breeding pairs of the Bearded Vulture has been recorded in the last 25-30 years. There are only about 30 pairs of birds left in Kwazulu-Natal and at Vultures View birders will be rewarded with seeing this magnificent bird.
A vulture count is held annually in September at the Vulture feeding site to monitor the number of Bearded Vultures in the area. This is to ensure the long-term survival of this spectacular bird and create international awareness of both the Bearded and Cape vultures.
Bearded Vulture - Bone Eaters of the Drakensberg
By Sonja Krueger, Regional Ecologist uKhahlamba Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife
The Bearded Vulture Gypaetus barbatus, is a large solitary bird that inhabits mainly mountainous regions. In southern Africa, a drastic decline in the Bearded Vultures' range and numbers during the past century has resulted in an isolated population.
These birds are restricted to the highlands of Lesotho and immediately adjacent areas of the Maloti-Drakensberg mountains.
Because of the Bearded Vultures' small and declining population size, restricted range, range contraction, and the susceptibility to several threats in Lesotho and South Africa, it has been classified as "endangered" in the South African Red Data Book.
There are only 92 breeding pairs left in SA, of which two are in the Drakensberg.
Southern Ground Hornbill (Bacorvus Leadbeateri)
By Roy Strydom
The Southern Ground Hornbill is the largest of the 58 Hornbill species distributed mainly in Asia, India and Africa.
These birds are easily identifiable by their appearance and signature call.
Sexes are very similar in appearance but once fully mature, the males have fully red facial skin.
The Hornbill lives in family groups of between two and eleven birds with a dominant alpha breeding pair. The dominant pair only breeds on average every 2-5 years and successful fledglings only occur on average every 9 years.
Birders have noted sightings right on the doorstep of Vultures View, at Dragon Peaks and Cathkin Estates.
Click on image for more bird images taken at or near Vultures View