Ongoye Forest Reserve is a large remnant patch of coastal forest covering approximately 3900ha and is the only known location of the Green Barbet, making it one of the Zululand Birding Routes must see locations.
Ongoye Forest Reserve is best visited with one of Birdlife South Africa’s birding guides as they know the best locations for the elusive species and increase the opportunity to see the Green Barbet from below 50% up to over 80%. The reserve will be tricky to reach without a high clearance vehicle. Good birding can be done by slowly walking through the various forest patches while the Eastern Bronze-Naped Pigeon is best viewed by climbing one of the granite outcrops at dawn and waiting to see where the birds perch high in the forest trees at sunrise. The grasslands also provide a good variety of birdlife.
Ongoye is also one of the few forests that has its own endemic mammal, the Ongoye Red Squirrel. Samango monkeys, busbuck, blue duiker and thick-tailed bushbaby may also be seen and in summer months there is an excellent diversity of insect life that includes endemic butterflies. The Zululand dwarf-chameleon is a localized Kwa-Zulu Natal endemic that can be viewed here.