On Friday we did something I’ve been wanting to do for a while – we headed out to Mt Moreland (just outside of Durban) and watched the barn swallows congregate around Lake Victoria and then swoop down to roost in the reedbeds of the lake. They join up in large groups and circle around the lake for about half an hour before descending en masse to the reeds. It was quite spectacular. Not sure of the exact number of swallows but they were in their thousands.
We had some friends visiting from Ireland and, coincidentally, there was an Irish film crew there who are planning to follow the swallows back to Europe.
More on the swallows: The first Barn Swallows of Mt Moreland arrive at the begin of October and reach numbers of + 3 million and provide amazing displays every evening. Swallow watchers need to get there by 5pm – latest 5.30 pm – to see the display and watch the swallows go down at 6.15pm. Times vary with the sunset. Traditionally November, December and March are the best viewing months although sunsets in January, February provide a better backdrop. There is no entrance fee but there are swallow booklets and memorabilia available. You need to bring chairs, drinks and snacks, anti mossie spray, binoculars. Toilets are available during viewing times over weekends and usually on weekdays.
Directions: From Durban go towards Umhlanga on the N2 and take the Umdhloti/Verulam offramp just after Umhlanga. Turn left and then take the very next dirt road to the right. There are signs on that dirt road that will direct you to the swallows.