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Nature


The Midlands Meander is centred in a region where the preservation of our wildlife is a priority. From the numerous smaller nature reserves to the vast majesty of the 243,000 hectares of the uKhahlamba-Drakensberg Park, now declared a World Heritage Site, there are many places where one can go to see the indigenous flora and fauna of the Midlands. But this natural splendour is not limited to these conservation areas. Travel down any of the routes of the Midlands Meander and you might catch a glimpse of the small grey duiker or white-tailed reedbuck, an owl sitting on a fence-post at dusk, or a long crowned eagle perched on a telephone pole. Even the rarer species, such as the lovely, golden oribi antelope or the wattled crane, can be seen in and about the fields and country lanes if one is lucky enough. Many of the endangered species found in the Midlands are under threat because their natural habitat is being changed through encroaching development or agriculture. Bodies such as the KZN Crane Foundation (based at the Usher Centre in Nottingham Road), the Oribi Working Group, the Cape Parrot Working Group and the KZN Blue Swallow Working Group work closely with Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife to protect and preserve these species, through protection of their habitat and far-reaching educational programs.


Similar vigilance is also focused on protecting the anthropological roots of the region. Rock art sites abound in the area, and measures are in place to ensure that these sites are made accessible to the public without harming the delicate pictures that depict a long-lost land. Perhaps the best-known of these is at Game Pass Shelter in the Kamberg Nature Reserve, where some of the most breathtaking paintings of eland and other game attract scholars from across the world.


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SOUTH AFRICA


  Quick Facts:

  • uKhahlamba-Drakensberg Park occupies 243,000 hectares and declared World Heritage Site
  • Rare Golden Oribi Antelope and Wattled Crane can be seen in the area
  • Midlands Meander official symbol is the Butterfly

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