Berghouse and Cottages is situated a short drive from Bergville off the R74 heading towards Royal Natal National Park. Co-ordinates: S28.373'14" E29.035'37”. Here’s a link to the venue - From a butterfly perspective there are plenty of trails through the grasslands and along the uThukela River. The prime spot is the ridge overlooking the accommodation (a brisk 15-minute walk) where hilltopping by many species was seen. Rainfall had been erratic up to the visit and the flowers had not reached their full potential, and the 3 dams on the property were very low, about 2-3m below the highwater line. However, these were rich in numbers of various dragonflies and damselflies. Here is a Google Map overview of the property. Red arrows indicate dams, and the ridge is outlined in red:

Google Maps Berghouse Cottages

Daily walks were conducted each day, the target insects were photographed and entered on the Animal Demography Unit (ADU, or Virtual Museum) for confirmation of ID. The weather throughout was hot and dry (max. 36C), and best sightings were early to mid-morning, and late afternoon.

1. Dragonflies and damselflies

9 species were recorded, two of which – the Blue Emperor and the Sapphire Bluet – had previously not been recorded on the ADU from the area. Most were photographed around the small dam below the rock pool. Note the low water level:


The uThukela River – on the Otter Trail; good Dropwing (and yellowfish) territory!

2. Butterflies and moths

The grasslands on and around the farm were a rich haven for many species of butterflies and daytime-flying moths. Most moths did not have positive IDs and are not included.3 Here are some of the habitats where butterflies occurred:

Views of the hilltop overlooking the accommodation

Butterflies & Moths

An assortment of small, unidentified daytime-flying moths was also observed

A wide variety of plants was in flower, and some of those popular with butterflies for nectaring, or merely on which to settle, can be seen below

The visit was too short, and I look forward to spending more time at this delightful venue.

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