PICS: Want to see vultures? Head to iSimangaliso Wetland Park
Travellers from all over the country visit the uMkhuze section within the iSimangaliso Wetland Park in KwaZulu-Natal to get a glimpse of vultures.
Bheki Manzini, the Communication and PR Manager for iSimangaliso Wetland Park Authority, told IOL Travel that the park has six species of vulture, including the White-backed, Cape, Lappet-faced, White-headed and the Hooded vulture, with a very occasional sighting of the Palm-nut vulture.
“Vultures are an essential element in the natural functioning of the ecosystem as the clean-up crew that helps rid the landscape of rotting carcasses, which limits the spread of disease to animals and humans alike.
“The uMkhuze section is the only part of the World Heritage Site that hosts vultures. As endangered species, their wellbeing is a critical priority for conservation. With a recent surge in mass vulture poisoning incidents in Southern Africa, there has never been a more urgent need to educate and protect,” he revealed.
Manzini said management objectives were in place to protect the vulture.
“To understand the status of vultures in KZN, annual surveys have been conducted in the province since 2005. It became standardised in 2013 after Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife developed plans prescribing monitoring standards for some of the vultures.
“There are two vulture restaurants in uMkhuze where vultures are fed as part of a scavenger support programme. If you spot any vulture with a tag on, please report the sighting to the resort office," he added.
Travellers can travel with a tour guide or go on a self drive.
Manzini recommended that if travellers go on a self drive, they should purchase a map of the park for easy navigation.
He said travellers could also spot the Big 5 and around 420 species of birds. Visit here.