Back from another epic trip at the one and only Kurisa Moya retreat in the Magoebaskloof forest.
This time we stayed in the second cottage (Tree Tops cabin) which is deeper in the forest than cabin 1 - check out our first trip "Kurisa Moya: The Most Magical Place in Limpopo" - but is just as awesome.
We set out as a party of five (not trying at all to mimic the Neve Campbell 90s classic), taking up both forest cabins.
If you haven't been to Kurisa Moya, you should make a plan to go. It's an unrestricted retreat, where you are left alone in thousands of acres of natural yellowwood forests that caress the upper points of the Drakensberg. The plot itself is broken into what seems around 4 different habitats or biomes, from Rwandan forests, a weirdly Avatar aligned section of green moss enveloping the trees, to a typical bushveld setting which breaks into open plains by the two dams, and a pine tree forest which approached the upper farmhouse area.
Kurisa is renowned for its birdlife, which is particularly special. On day 2 we set out with Paul, a local bird guide and employee of the lodge, and were once again blown away by his incredible talent and astounded (once again...again :) ) by how immersed in nature you truly are.
On our trip we had 4 narina trogon sightings...yes 4. And they weren't nestled miles away in the trees, they were damn close. One was so chilled, that he allowed us to take photos less than 2 metres away during his mating low "hoot" as the female flew in and perched a branch above. The other, well, came to us, as we were in the cabin, allowing me to snap up this photo.
On one of the mornings, we were greeted by an entire troop of Samango monkeys that moved their way above our cabin in a very relaxed fashion, barking and squawking as they passed by. These guys are very interesting looking, with a thick brow, alluding to what seems like chronic philosophical thinking on behalf of these primates.
The bark is infectious, and fills the forest in the morning and night. A remarkable call that reverberates for miles on end and stamps what could be a Dian Fossey mark of wild approval.
A real opportunity of a life-time, with one of the best hosts you could ask for in Lisa Martus and her incredible staff accompaniment. We're already planning our next visit.
THE BIRD COUNT : 36 (good ones!)
Not a bad innings for forest birding...
Bar-throated apalis, cape batis, chinspot batis, dark-capped bulbul, golden-breasted bunting, black-fronted bush-shrike, green-backed camaroptera, forest canary, pied crow, African emerald cuckoo, grey cuckooshrike, dab chick (little grebe), lemon dove, square-tailed drongo, African firefinch, dusky flycatcher, blue-mantled crested flycatcher, sombre greenbul, yellow-streaked greenbul, african hoopoe, haededa ibis, brown-hooded kingfisher, black-shouldered kite, red-backed mannikin, cape parrot, chorister robin-chat, brown scrub-robin, house sparrow, natal spurfowl, southern double-collared sunbird, white-bellied sunbird, olive thrush, knysna turaco, narina trogon, swee waxbill, thick-billed weaver, cape white-eye, olive woodpecker.