Just walk around the village of Munster from whichever cottage you are in and you will find abundant birdlife. On the beach, through the dune forest and into the village the species change as the habitat changes. If you are at Eden Wilds you are on the river at the lower entrance to the Umtamvuna Nature Reserve, which will cost you R10 to go on any of the trails, or nothing if you have a Wild Card.
Birdlife South Africa established the Southern KwaZulu Natal Birding Route in 2007. The Official Guide to the route is available from any Hibiscus Coast Tourism Office. The route includes the South Coast Birding Route. This is comprised of a variety of habitats from coastal and wetland environments to forest, woodland and grassland. It is only in the region of the South Coast Birding Route that South Africa’s two distinct avifaunas (afromontane and tropical forest) overlap. For this reason forest birding in this area is extremely profitable. There are local guides trained through the Birdlife SA Guide Training Programme who can take you through the Umtamvuna, Mpenjati and Oribi Reserves.
The nine Nature Reserves on the South Coast boast a combined list of 386 species. Some of the rare birds one might hope to see include the Magpie Mannikin, Narina Trogon, African Broadbill, Spotted Thrush, Blue Swallow, Cape Parrot, Knysna Warbler, Knysna Woodpecker, Half-Collared Kingfisher, Finfoot and Broad-Tailed Warbler. Pelagic birds also abound especially during the annual sardine migration around mid-year. The African Oystercatcher is frequently seen on the rocks at low tide. Near to our cottages is the small Mpenjati Nature Reserve but with wetland, riverine, estuary and dune forest habitats, home to the unmistakable cry of the Fish Eagle. The Umtamvuna Nature Reserve encompasses riverine forest and rocky cliffs rising to montane grassland high above the river’s gorge, where Cape Vultures soar and Gurney’s Sugarbird can be sighted. There are short to fairly long and steep walks in this Reserve.
The Birdlife Trogons Club is one of the most active in the country and has an outing every second weekend that you would be welcome to join. They also organise an annual art competition that saw children from over 30 Primary Schools on the South Coast enter in 2008. Prizes are sponsored by Natal Portland Cement.
If for no other reason, come and visit us because of our bird life and the Blue Duikers, and the Common Duikers, and the Bushbuck, and the Nile Monitors, and the Vervet Monkeys, and the Genets all of which are to be found in the bush in our village.