This IBA lies 15 km south-west of Sabie and consists of gently undulating grassland slopes between 1 400 and 1 740 m a.s.l. Receiving more than 1 000 mm of rain per year, the high-altitude site lies within the extremely wet South African mist-belt. Its vegetation is predominantly grassland, with thickets along the rivers, scrubbier forest on precipitous slopes and mountain thornveld on less steep slopes. Much of the natural vegetation has been replaced by large, dense stands of tall exotic trees, including wattles, eucalypts, pines and jacarandas. Other habitat types include rocky outcrops, kloofs and open cliff faces that form part of the Mpumalanga escarpment.
This site previously held small numbers of Blue Swallow Hirundo atrocaerulea but breeding was last recorded in 2008. Larger birds such as Secretarybird Sagittarius serpentarius and Denham's Bustard Neotis denhami occasionally visit the area, but the site is too small to sustain them. Grassland species such as Buff-streaked Chat Campicoloides bifasciata can be found in the IBA.
The key species is the globally threatened Blue Swallow, which has not been recorded in the IBA in recent years. Buff-streaked Chat is the only biome-restricted species.
Although none of these species is confirmed, the site may hold berg adder Bitis atropos, black-spotted dwarf gecko Lygodactylus nigropuncatus, spotted dwarf gecko L. ocellatus, giant legless skink Acontias plumbeus, montane dwarf burrowing skink Scelotes mirus, Sekukhune flat lizard Platysaurus orientalis, Swazi rock snake Lamprophis swazicus, plaintive rain frog Breviceps verrucosus and the rare, localised and endemic Natal ghost frog Heleophryne natalensis.
It is not clear why Blue Swallows no longer breed at this site and further investigation is needed to determine the reason. The impact of neighbouring plantations, air pollution and climate change could all play a role.
The land is privately owned but the owner has set aside this patch of grassland for the conservation of Blue Swallows. The status of this IBA must be re-evaluated during the next IBA assessment.
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