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Ongoye Forest

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Title: Ongoye Forest  
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Subject: Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife, Dhlinza Forest, KwaZulu-Natal, Encephalartos woodii
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Ongoye Forest

Ongoye Forest is also known as Ngoye Forest or Ngoya Forest. It is situated on a granite ridge; inland from the town of Mtunzini in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.


The Zulu king Mpande is the first known person to have afforded protection to Ongoye Forest in the 1800s. Commercial logging occurred in the forest between 1909 and 1924. The area became an official conservation area in 1992.


This ancient Coastal Scarp Forest is home to rare and endemic species. It was home to the giant Wood's Cycad (Encephalartos woodii) which has been extinct in the wild since the early 1900s.

It is home to an endemic subspecies of Red Bush Squirrel (Paraxerus palliatus ornatus), the endemic Woodward's Barbet (Stactolaema olivacea woodwardi), two undescribed Dwarf Chamaeleons similar to the Qudeni Dwarf Chamaeleon (Bradypodion nemorale)[1] and the rare Forest Green Butterfly (Euryphura achlys) and Ongoye Centipede (Cormocephalus grandulosis).

This forest is an important breeding area for the Eastern Bronze-naped Pigeon (Columba delegorguei) and home to the endangered Spotted Ground Thrush (Zoothera guttata). At least 165 species of birds have been identified in the area.[2]

Rare trees include Giant Umzimbeet (Millettia sutherlandia), Forest Mangosteen (Garcinia gerrardii), Forest Waterberry (Syzygium gerrardii), Giant Pock Ironwood (Chionanthus peglerae), Zulu Bead-string (Alchornea hirtella), Natal Krantz Ash (Atalaya natalensis), Natal White Stinkwood (Celtis mildbraedii) and the Pondo Fig (Ficus bizane).



  • Pooley, E. (1993). The Complete Field Guide to Trees of Natal, Zululand and Transkei, - ISBN 0-620-17697-0.
  • Pooley, T. and Player, I. (1995). KwaZulu-Natal Wildlife Destinations. ISBN 1-86812-487-8.

External links

  • Zululand Birding Route: Ongoye Forest
  • Satellite photo of Ongoye and surrounds

See also

Coordinates: 28°50′48″S 31°43′56″E / 28.84667°S 31.73222°E / -28.84667; 31.73222

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