The small, privately owned iGwala Gwala Nature reserve is located a short
distance outside Ithala Game Reserve near Louwsburg, and is home to a wealth of
biodiversity. The reserve consists mainly of mixed woodland, riverine forest and
cliffs, as well as grassland and wetlands. iGwala gwala Nature Reserve hosts a
large variety of rare plant species, as well as twenty two species of mammal,
which include Kudu, Common Reedbuck, Blesbuck, Nyala, and Blue Wildebeest.
The iGwala Gwala nature reserve is also renowned as one of KwaZulu Natal's premium bird watching areas, with a list of two hundred and twenty two species being recorded there. The riverine forest, and the other forest and bushclumps found in the lower section of the reserve, are inhabited by three sub-species of Robin: the Red-capped, White-throated and Cape. Purple-crested Turacos, also known as Loeries (after which the reserve is named) are commonly sighted, making noise and displaying their bright red wings as they move between bush clumps.
Also to be found within the reserve are a series of rare Iron Age rock engravings, a seventy meter high waterfall, and awe inspiring views over the valley. The reserve also offers visitors a number of 4X4, mountain bike and hiking trails, which allow for more convenient exploration of the mountainous terrain. Activities at iGwala Gwala include abseiling, bush drives, horseback riding, fishing, picnics and a spectacular "Sundowner-trip" to the reserve's prime viewpoint.