Revel in peace and quiet by trailing through the beautiful indigenous forest at Midlands Forest Lodge. This forest offers fantastic birding opportunities with sightings of Forest Canary, Greater Double-collared Sunbird, and Brown-headed Parrot, African Harrier-Hawk and White-starred Robin.
The forest with its abundance of indigenous trees such as the Yellowwood offers well-constructed trails and a viewing platform for both bird and botanical enthusiasts. An Interpretation Centre, for both education groups and enthusiasts alike, will be available depicting the different fauna and flora occurring on this 25 ha property, as well as the history of the area.
Midlands Forest Lodge offers ten double rooms in timber chalets raised on stilts (each room sleeping two guests). Each room has en-suite shower, basin, toilet, small lounge area, and a quaint wooden balcony.
There are also two self-catering chalets, sleeping four guests in two bedrooms per chalet. These units have en-suite showers and toilets, a compact kitchen area and barbeque facilities. A large, well-positioned function room can be hired out for corporate imbizos/getaways, conferences, weddings, or any other type of function.
Situated in the heart of the Midlands Meander, a drive on the easily navigable roads will lead one to a range of country experiences from being pampered at a Spa, cheese making, micro-brewing and hand crafts to woodwork, pottery, weaving, ironwork, glassware and furniture. For those not inclined to drive around, spread a picnic blanket in a scenic spot with waterfalls and gorges coupled with rivers and nature reserves, and soak up the country air.
A number of ranches and stud farms in the neighbourhood offer hay-rides or easy horse trails. The Midlands is legendary for its well-stocked trout dams. Natural rivers also offer excellent fly-fishing opportunities. Some of the country's finest golf courses are situated in the Midlands.
The renowned Caversham Mill Restaurant, under the same ownership, is situated on the Caversham Mill Estate 3 km down the road. It is a first-class, well-priced restaurant which offers breakfasts, lunches and intimate dinners. It is also open during the day for tea/coffee, cakes and drinks. The Chef prepares a variety of mouth-watering daily specials. Sit in the restaurant, on the deck, or on a fine day sit on the lawns overlooking the tumbling waterfall and enjoy!
Diana and Terry Acres
Physical address: R103 (4km from Balgowan), Midlands Meander
Tel: +27 (0)33 940 0145 or +27 (0)33 234 4524
Fax: +27 (0)33 234 4633 or +27 (0)33 234 4524
Mobile: +27 (0)72 125 3392 or +27(0)82 389 1395
Little Switzerland Resort is situated on the slopes of the mighty Drakensberg, set in a 3000 hectare private reserve of rolling hills, indigenous forest, mountain streams and breathtaking views. The iconic mountain peaks offer every excitement, from serious hiking and hairpin drives to gentle strolls through forested glades. Here at Little Switzerland, you’ll find yourself in the middle of it all. The Little Switzerland staff is extremely helpful and always on hand to point out trails and not-to-be-missed sights.
Nearby is the Royal Natal National Park, a beautiful place far from the well-trodden tourist paths, where you can climb, bike, ride horseback, fish and spot birds and wildlife to your heart’s content.
For those who love privacy and a combination of creature comforts and independence, the comfortably furnished chalets are a world apart. Choose between luxury or family rooms in the hotel which includes breakfast or self-catering units. All have magnificent panoramic views of the amphitheatre or lush surrounding forests.
Sporting amenities include: tennis, swimming, hiking and leisurely strolls. We offer horse-riding, bowls, croquet, Putt-putt, volleyball, mountain bikes, guided quad biking and fishing.
Little Switzerland also offers a great birding experience and species like Dwarf Bittern, Bush Blackcap, Denham’s Bustard, Common (Kurrichane) Buttonquail, Corncrake, Southern Bald Ibis, Blue, Grey Crowned as well as Wattled Cranes can be observed. You could also spot various birds of prey like Booted and Crowned Eagles, Lanner and Peregrine Falcons, Harriers, African Cuckoo Hawk, Bearded Vulture, just to mention a few.
GPS coordinates: 28.57972S, 29.05028E
Architecturally designed and delightfully comfortable, our three AA Highly Recommended Crab Apple Cottages are set on the edge of a pristine wilderness, the Dargle Valley Conservancy. Each thatched, self-catering cottage has a different character whilst being furnished with every comfort including underfloor heating to keep you snug. The bedroom has a queen-sized bed and there is an antique cast iron Victorian tub and shower in the en-suite bathroom. The spacious, open plan living area, with sleeper couch for children, leads onto a sun deck. Starred Robin Cottage has an additional loft with two single beds. Starred Robin and Wood Owl cottages have multi-fuel cast-iron stoves as fireplaces, while Crowned Eagle cottage has a large Spanish-style fireplace. Our delicious spring water, from the taps, is drinkable. Pets are permitted by arrangement.
It was at this very spot that Austin Roberts spent school holidays and which inspired his fascination with birds. The Roberts Book of Birds is a South African classic. Visitors can explore the same paths and enjoy the same bird life that he did all those years ago. Allow the peace and serenity to refresh you. Listen to the Jackal calling from the hills and the hum of the bees deep in the forest. Generations of visitors have experienced the soul restoring reassurance that comes with being surrounded by the beauty of creation. It is filled with ancient trees and abundant birds and animals including: porcupine, caracal, bushbuck, bush pigs, blue duiker and genes. Over 200 bird species are recorded in the Dargle and it teems with insect life, with 30 butterflies recorded in our valley. Special birds to be seen at Crab Apple include: Cape Parrot, Starred Robin, Crowned Eagle, Narina Trogan, Knysna Turaco. A full bird list and walking trails map are available on our website.
Birds of Paradise, an upmarket guest house, offers a secluded environment with a relaxed atmosphere. The rooms are spacious and tastefully decorated and are separate from the main house, each have their own entrance. There are 8 comfortable rooms and 2 self-catering rooms, all non-smoking. You can be assured of quality up-market accommodation with comfortable beds, fitted with fine percale linen, fluffy towels and luxury amenities in the bathrooms. All rooms are en suite, with well stocked tea trays, DSTV, and fans and heaters are available for your comfort. Breakfast includes home-made muffins, scones, fruit, a selection of yoghurts and a delicious English breakfast. Dinners are offered on request, a home cooked three course meal at a very reasonable rate. The property is securely fenced and walled with electric gates and there is plenty of secure off road parking. There are barbeque facilities, laundry facilities and babysitting can be arranged.
Bird-watching attractions in and around the area include the Dhlinza Aerial board walk (20m high tower overlooking the canopy of trees) and the self-guided forest trails in the Dhlinza and Entumeni forests.
Attractions in and around Eshowe:
Quentin and Delise Powell
Chase Guest House is a comfortable family home on a sugar farm, situated 1.5 km from Eshowe town centre and offering personal service and country hospitality. Relax in two spacious double Garden Cottages with private braai areas, or a three-bedroomed Farm Cottage with two bathrooms (none en-suite) ideal for families or birders. Self-catering or bed-and-breakfast options are available. Enjoy free WiFi, DSTV, fans, heaters. Tea, coffee and toiletries are provided.
The beautiful garden is a birder's paradise, with a tennis court, swimming pool and trampoline for the more energetic. Walkers will enjoy the indigenous forests on the farm. Cycling and fishing on the estate are also permitted. There are numerous farm animals, and children are most welcome. Sugar, banana and Protea farm tours can be arranged.
There is a great variety of birds both in the garden, and in the farm's indigenous forests, grasslands and around the dam (over 75 species recorded). The garden is 'home' to two resident Spotted Eagle Owls, which have produced much-photographed owlets annually for the past eleven years. The magical Dlinza Forest Aerial Boardwalk, a 'must' for all birders, is nearby.
Game reserves are an easy 90 minutes' drive away, whilst good swimming beaches are only 40 minutes away. Eshowe itself has many attractions including:
Jane and Jonathan Chennells
Experience 1880 borders the Ntsikeni Nature Reserve, situated in the midst of the Natal mountain ranges. The absence of electricity will take you back in time and create a wonderful and romantic ambience. Ntsikeni Nature Reserve is known for its diverse bird population. Some species often migrate to the solitude of the farm. Yellow-breasted Pipits, Cape and Bearded Vultures, Black and Montagu's Harriers, African Marsh and even the rare Western Marsh Harriers and other large species like breeding Wattled Cranes, can be seen around the farm.
Activities available at Experience 1880 includes horse riding, hiking, rock art viewing, birdwatching and stargazing. For the less adventurous there is a small library where you can pick from a vast range of books to read.
The Farmhouse was the old hotel and sleeps 10. It has a beautiful wraparound veranda where you can enjoy your morning coffee while taking in the breathtaking views. Every room has its own fireplace to keep you warm in the cold winter nights. The living room and kitchen have doors leading to the veranda. You will find benches placed under luscious trees all around the farm to allow you to sit back and enjoy the beautiful scenery.
The cottage was the old Post Office, located next to the main house and has a nice sunny veranda. There are three cosy loft bedrooms which can comfortably sleep 6, each with its own bathroom located downstairs
Rozelle du Plessis
Address: Mooifontein Experience 1880, Kilrush Farm, Swartberg, Franklin
Tel: +27 (0)73 522 1839
GPS Coordinates: -30,323324; 29,45916
Bonamanzi is a privately owned Game Reserve, 4000 hectares in size with the Hluhluwe River forming our Eastern border. Proclaimed a Natural Heritage Site in 1995 in recognition of the biodiversity of the Reserve we offer Sand Forests, Savanna & Wetland Areas. This diversity is why Bonamanzi is recognised as one of the best birding destinations in Southern Africa.
From the Eastern side of the Reserve we offer magnificent views over False Bay – on the Western side a Viewing Deck overlooking the Lalapanzi Dam where one can relax and watch the sun set.
Bonamanzi Game Reserve offers an array of accommodation to suit most needs. From our Ten Front Rooms overlooking the Lalapanzi Dam to the comfortable 3 Star Combination Rooms (Combo"s) - Dinizulu Lodge, Game Lodge, Tree Lodge, and our Rustic 2 & 4 sleeper Tree Houses to name a few.
For Caravan/Camping options we have a good selection and take great pride in the layout of the sites. Nestled amongst the Sand Forest it allows for peace & tranquillity, good bird sightings with the odd game wandering through.
With three different eco-systems on the Reserve Bonamanzi is a Birding Paradise. There are few places where you can find 29 birds on the red data list and over 408 recorded bird species. The Sand Forest area is home to the Pink-Throated Twinspot, Lemon Breasted Canary, Rudd’s Apalis, African Broadbill, Narina Trogon and the Green Malkoha to mention a few.
Equally rewarding, is a Game Drive with a guided walk out onto the Floodplains where you can see different birding habitats, rare birds like the Rosy-throated Longclaw and a whole host of waterbirds like Greater Flamingo, African Spoonbill and Great White Pelican. This drive leaves the Reserve, goes through a local village to reach the Plains.
Traditional, Quirky or Cosy!
Choose between self-catering, dinner bed & breakfast or all inclusive packages. Bushwillow Collection offers 3 totally different accommodation style options to suit your mood.
Stay at our LODGE with warm wooden floors, reed ceilings and muted colours for a feeling of serenity and oneness with nature, together with good, honest home cooking.
Choose one of our BOUTIQUE self-catering chalets with private pool and quirky design and let the bright and cheerful colour schemes lift your spirit whilst still allowing nature to bring balance.
Retreat to our self-catering COTTAGE with thatched roof set under tall and rare Lebombo Wattles for a cosy and relaxing escape. Relax in the spa bath on the outside deck and listen to the sounds of the African night.
Approximately 280 bird species can be seen on the property alone and 4 Different habitats are accessible from Bushwillow - Sand forest, Thornveld, Wetlands, and Grasslands.
Self-guided walking trails allow guests to encounter game up close and the sand forest offers great birding opportunities. We offer a complimentary Bush walk to all our guests that is done by a qualified and experienced guide from Ukuhamba Guiding.
Bushwillow Collection is close to renowned birding spots like False bay Park, Hluhluwe Umfolozi Park, Mkhuze Game Reserve and the Isimangaliso Wetland Park, Mpempe pan, Muzi pan as well as Nibela Peninsulia and day trips can be organised along with Ryan Tippett, an experienced bird guide and owner of Ukuhamba guiding.
Birds to look out for: Pelicans, Flamingos, Sadle-billed stork, Avocets, African Fish Eagle, Narina Trogon, Rudd's Apalis, Gorgeous Bushrike, African Broadbill, Neergaards Sunbird, Woodwards Batis, Southern Banded Snake-Eagle and Plain backed Sunbird to name just a few.
Dylan and Christa Panos
Malala Lodge, located 14 km south of Hluhluwe town, is situated on a 300 acre estate which has a variety of vegetation types, including lowland forest, woodland, grasslands and a dam and pans, both permanent and temporary.
Strips of lowland forest and thickets hold a diversity of forest species. Grey Sunbird is common here, and Purple-banded Sunbird is conspicuous on the fringes. Many species here are elusive, and are best located using their calls. Scaly-throated Honeyguides can be heard calling for long periods, while Gorgeous and Orange-breasted Bush-shrikes are seldom out of earshot. The hoot of Narina Trogons can sometimes be heard. Two sought after species, Green Malkoha and Eastern Nicator are fairly common in these habitats, but require determination in finding! Rudd's Apalis is common throughout, and Grey Waxbills and White-throated Robin-chats are easily seen on forest edges. Rarer species found in woodland and on forest edges include Southern Banded Snake Eagle, Broad-billed Roller, Woodland Kingfisher and Grey-Tit Flycatcher.
In the grassland and scrubby woodland, several species of swallows and swifts hawk insects, and various raptors can be seen including Martial Eagle and Brown and Black-chested Snake Eagles. One of the main specials for this area is the Lemon-breasted Canary. Small groups of these special birds can be seen foraging near Acacia and Lala Palm thickets. Black Coucal is another sought after bird, and has been seen in rank grass. Collared Pratincole has also been seen in these grasslands, and Black-bellied Bustard is resident. A checklist is available for the property.
Physical address: Bushlands Road, Hluhluwe, KwaZulu-Natal
Tel: +27 (0)35 562 2259 & +27 (0)82 578 0021
Fax: 086 670 7740
Mobile: +27 (0)82 462 3859
Thornwood is situated on the private game park of Kuleni, which is home to four different ecosystems: sand forest, grasslands, wetland and thorn scrub.
A unique blend of luxury timber frame units, fit seamlessly into the indigenous bush with an abundance of bird life and game. This luxurious villa offers guests absolute privacy with a large living area, a private pool, private waterhole and a fully equipped kitchen, which opens up onto a large deck with a fire-pit.
The secluded lodge-style villa features four bedrooms. Two bedrooms are stand-alone cottages while the other two bedrooms are connected to the main house. All are en-suite and are fitted with air conditioning, ceiling fans and an additional feature of an outdoor shower. Relax in spacious comfort without losing intimacy with nature.
Predominantly self-catering, Thornwood can also cater for B&B or Dinner B&B bookings on special request. During your stay at Thornwood you can partake in self-guided walking trails around the park or sign up for a variety of excursions offered around the area. Join us for a Yoga or Business retreat and enjoy expanding your knowledge on our designated retreat deck found next to the private waterhole.
We pride ourselves of giving accommodation of a very high standard and making your holiday one to remember. Registered as a Birder Friendly Establishment with Birdlife SA and rated four stars by TGCSA.
Zululand Lodge is a privately owned tented camp on the 800 hectare uKuwela wildlife conservancy north of Hluhluwe town and bordering Phinda Game Reserve, in northern KwaZulu Natal. The lodge is built on a slope with breath taking views of the Msinene River valley and surrounding bushveld.
The lodge offers 9 tastefully decorated en-suite permanent canvas rooms sleeping up to 18 people. Our elegantly furnished central lodge area allows you to put your feet up and relax in the open-air cushioned lounge area. Enjoy tasty home-made meals in the spacious dining area included in your Dinner, Bed and Breakfast rate. Venture upstairs to our viewing deck which offers uninterrupted scenery, boasting spectacular sunsets for enjoying sundowners.
Our locally guided bush walks give the opportunity to observe the abundant birdlife of the area, and to try and spot some of the plains game on our reserve (or you can take a short drive to a nearby Big 5 game reserve for a more adventurous experience).
The lodge is accessible by sedan car on +/-5km gravel road. The camp was designed and built from the ground up as an environmentally sustainable project. We have a solar power system, LED lighting throughout camp, and are completely off grid. Rain water is collected in tanks and used for cleaning, and grounds irrigation, and the small waterhole in front of camp. The black water is treated in a double septic tank system and we provide only biodegradable bathroom soaps. The camp is staffed 90% from the local community and we have an in-house staff training and development program.
The uKuwela Conservancy
The conservancy land was originally mixed cattle and game farm, which is being rehabilitated to wildlife conservation. This ongoing project includes soil erosion control, reintroduction of wildlife species, fence removal and anti-poaching efforts. We are very proud of our resident leopard population and the hippo pods.
Address: Zululand Lodge, Portion 32, Farm Msinene Estate number 14137, Hluhluwe
Tel: +27 (0) 11 465 4905
GPS Coordinates: S27° 53.985' E32° 18.794'
Set on 2000 hectares in a secluded valley on the southern side of the Inhluzane Mountain, in the Upper Dargle in the KZN Midlands, Tillietudlem offers an extraordinary eco-experience with a variety of activities available. Fly fishing, birding, horse rides and game walks, there are many ways to explore the diversity of this ecological treasure, available exclusively to guests. If it's a quiet retreat you prefer, simply relax amidst the tranquility of Tillietudlem – host to a myriad of wildlife including rare and endangered animal and bird species plus a plethora of wild flowers and indigenous trees.
Accommodation is available in two lodges and a cottage. Whether you are looking for the pampered surrounds of the lovingly restored 105 year old Ogram's Colonial house (rated 4-star and AA Superior Accommodation status with full catering) with its splendid views of the dams and mountains, or the seclusion of the self-catering Helga Manzi Lodge set over a spectacular 30 m waterfall and indigenous forest, or the Milk Parlour Cottage, perfect for two!
Tillietudlem is a part of one of the most threatened eco-systems in Africa – the mist-belt (or mountain) grasslands. More than 60% of the grasslands biome has already been modified, mostly under forestry or arable agriculture, and only 2,2% of the South Africa's mountain grassland biome is under formal conservation, despite it being one of the world's most bio-diverse habitats, hosting a plethora of wild flowers and grasses, greater than the acclaimed cape fynbos. The bio diversity of the eco-system supports a huge array of animal and bird species that come to feast on the treasures it holds.
The owner and management of Tillietudlem are passionately committed to protecting and encouraging the conservation of the area. Although the vast majority of Tillietudlem is in pristine virgin condition we have to continually fight the encroachment of invasive alien plants and are returning previously farmed areas to natural grassland. Due to the diversity of habitats at Tillietudlem, including wetlands, grasslands, indigenous forest, open waters and rivers, the birdlife is plentiful, from tiny sunbirds to commanding Secretarybirds.
Whether you are an avid twitcher or a novice birding enthusiast, you will definitely be able to add to your checklist. This will hopefully include a number of rare, protected or endangered birds: Grey Crowned, Blue and Wattled Crane, Blue Swallow, Cape Parrot and Half-collared Kingfisher. It is remarkable to think that the reserve has 5 different kingfishers and three species of sunbirds.
For those interested in raptors Tillietudlem is truly a Pandora's box with more than seven species of eagles, five species of buzzards, kites, harriers, kestrels, hawks and vultures. You may even be fortunate enough to see the massive secretary birds hunting as they stride through the grassland.
Guided game walks, bird-watching and flora walks with our ranger are a great way to learn more about the flora and fauna of the area. Alternatively self-guided trials are provided for those keen to explore this African jewel of nature.
Nestled in a tranquil valley and surrounded by the rolling green hills of Ixopo, Kwazulu-Natal, King's Grant invites you to take a step back in time and enjoy a well-earned break from the daily rush of life. Tastefully decorated B & B accommodation plus two fully-equipped self-catering suites, weddings, conferences, museum plus a licensed restaurant where one can enjoy delicious country cuisine.
King's Grant is nestled in the valley of the St Isidor Estate and is surrounded by lush farmlands, dams, bushveld and wetlands. The varying habitats play host to extensive birdlife and invite you to explore their diverse beauty. In September of 1996, the farm was bought by neighbouring farmers David and Cheryl Biggs who have renamed it 'King's Grant' – though retaining the name 'St Isidor' for the mill and chapel.
We encourage our guests to explore the estate and offer a number of walks and mountain biking routes with breath-taking views and hidden estate attractions. Tantalize your senses with a stroll around the lavender and herb gardens with their exquisite scents or relax on the edge of the small pond and stream that has been landscaped with indigenous splendour.
For keen birders, King's Grant boasts abundant birdlife. The dams and wetlands, bushveld, grass and farmlands provide a rich variety of habitats attracting over 200 different species of birds, including fish eagles, crowned cranes and the Critically Endangered and Vulnerable blue swallow.
Gourmet picnic baskets and Sundowners can be arranged for those wanting to expand on their outdoor experience. Sites such as the secluded 'Brickfield Valley', home to the old Brickwork buildings and the tranquil dam which nestles amongst the reeds, the viewpoint from 'Schreiber's Hill' as well as 'Schreiber's Dam', all make for an unforgettable and scenic experience.
Address: Sutherland Farm, D527, Ixopo 3276
Tel: +27 (0)39 834 2730 or +27 (0)39 834 1509
Fax: 086 909 5606
Mobile: +27 (0)76 909 5606
Situated on an expansive 700 hectare game farm, Spion Kop Lodge is the perfect base from which you are able to explore battlefields, berg, bush and birds of this region of the majestic Drakensberg Mountains, on the Kwazulu-Natal
The lodge offers visitors an awesome sense of space and beauty, supreme comfort and warm hospitality. The turn of the century farmhouse has been beautifully restored in Natal colonial style. The converted barn now forms the magnificent dining room that boasts spectacular views. Guests are offered the choice of full board or self-catering facilities. Colonial style chalets are located in the park-like grounds, each individually furnished and appointed to offer luxury.
Lynette & Raymond
Address: On the R600, Between Ladysmith and Winterton
Tel: +27 36 488 1404 Reservations
Tel: +27 82 5730224 Lynette Mobile
Tel: +27 82 5730225 Raymond Mobile
Umzolozolo Private Safari Lodge, situated in the heart of the Kwa Zulu Natal Midlands, is a privately owned, luxury game lodge where you will be able to enjoy the biodiversity of the reserve in near solitude. This Malaria free area provides an ultimate safari experience with the opportunity to view Africa’s Big 5, including cheetah. Experienced, enthusiastic game rangers will accompany you on game drives in open topped 4×4 game viewers, tracking the Big 5 and sharing their vast knowledge of the surrounding wildlife.
With almost 200 species of birds, the Nambiti Private Game Reserve is a bird lover’s paradise. The lodge has a comprehensive range of birding reference books and our rangers are knowledgeable of the birds on the reserve.
The lodge features 9 luxurious chalets and suites with panoramic views, freestanding, constructed with local materials and thatch. The air conditioned rooms are spacious and secluded with private viewing decks where guests can relax and observe the herds of zebra, wildebeest and impala as they graze below. The suites have been designed to allow maximum game viewing from every room with large picture windows looking out onto the valley. In addition to a private bathroom, each suite has an outdoor shower so that even while showering, our guests can immerse themselves in the sights and sounds of Nambiti.
Bayete Zulu is perfectly placed in the heart of the Manyoni Private Game Reserve, which is considered to be one of the most densely stocked and ecologically balanced in northern KwaZulu-Natal. The big five roam freely around the reserve along with a wide variety of other wildlife.
The Manyoni Private Game Reserve covers 23 000 ha that consists of a varied landscape of mountains, open plains and dense riverine woodlands. The diversity of the flora and high carrying capacity make this an animal Eden, ensuring that regardless of weather conditions or circumstance guests will always enjoy excellent game viewing equally from the deck or a comfy seat in one of our land cruisers.
Bayete Zulu offers comfortable self-catering accommodation with breath-taking views.
Address: Bayete Zulu - Manyoni Private Game Reserve, District Road P450 Mkuze
Tel: +27 (0) 35 595 8089
Cell: +27 (0) 74 100 5221
GPS Coordinates: S: 27.83591 E: 32.08380
Rocktail Beach Camp is found within the iSimangaliso Wetland Park, a lush region of forested dunes, wetlands, sandy beaches, woodlands and warm seas on the north-east coast of South Africa. Shaded by the sanctuary of the lush Maputaland Coastal Forest, the camp is a brisk 20 minute walk from the beach and the protected Maputaland Marine Reserve just offshore which offers sanctuary to prolific marine life including coral reefs, huge shoals of fish, and various dolphin and whale species. World-class diving, snorkelling and other beach adventures on remote, unspoilt beaches will keep everyone in the family busy. Rocktail is excellent for viewing whales and encountering nesting turtles at certain times of the year.
Few sections of the South African coastline are as unspoilt and secluded as this 40 km stretch of beach, known for its superlative, pristine dive spots as well as the loggerhead and leatherback turtles that come to lay their eggs and hatch on the beaches.
On land, this lush area abounds with a variety of animals, birds and plants that provide a natural counterpoint to the bushveld. Birding is outstanding, with a number of typical coastal forest species – Green Twinspot, Green Malkoha, Grey Waxbill, Purple-crested and Livingstone's Turaco, Red-capped Robin-chat, the jewel-like African Emerald Cuckoo in the forests and Rosy-throated Longclaw in the grassland areas.
Rocktail Beach Camp has 17 tented rooms (including 7 family rooms) each with en-suite bathroom and a honeymoon suite with wonderful views over the ocean and dune forest. There is also a central dining room, bar and lounge with a large wraparound veranda and raised viewing deck with wide views that extend out to the ocean.
Physical address: D 1850 Rd, Manzengenya Plantation (37km south of Kosi Bay)
Tel: +27 (0)11 807 1800
Fax: +27 (0)11 807 2110
River Valley Nature Reserve falls within a horseshoe of a picturesque section of the Ivungu River. It boasts a variety of different ecosystems within a small area. Abundant birdlife, antelope and small mammals can be seen on the reserve.
The River Valley Nature Reserve hugs a section of the iVungu River which meanders down through a valley of hills into the Indian Ocean at the well-known Uvongo Beach, where one finds the iVungu falls (the onomatipoeic Zulu word for the reverberating roar of the falls). It is a small reminder of the once untouched natural coastline with its varied ecosystems consisting of grassland, riverine and coastal forest.
The Nature Reserve boasts a large herd of impala, nyala and the shy bushbuck as well as the elusive blue duiker and the more common grey duiker. Smaller mammals such as porcupine, the large grey, banded and water mongooses as well as the cape clawless otter are evidenced by the presence of their tracks. They are sometimes spotted if you are at the right place at the right time. The lesser known tree hyrax and the more common rock hyrax can be seen too.
As many as 145 species of birds have been sighted in the iVungu area and these include the unusual sightings of the beautiful Narina Trogon, the majestic African Crowned Eagle, the colourful Knysna and Purple-crested Turaco, Green Malkoha (Coucal), Fiery-necked and Freckled Nightjar, Blue-Mantled Crested Flycatcher and Mountain Wagtail. Early mornings and still days are the most productive times to satisfy any birders hunger for these diversely-created feathered creatures.
Physical address: Portal Ave, Margate, Kwazulu-Natal
Tel: +27 (0)39 317-3474
Fax: +27 (0)39 317 3101
Mobile: +27 (0)83 263 5537
At the foot of the legendary Ghost Mountain lies the privately owned 4 Star Ghost Mountain Inn - a perfect setting to experience the allure of Africa in stylish comfort. This intimate and beautiful hotel is in the heart of South Africa's Zulu Kingdom and is the ideal location from which to explore the array of wildlife and coastal reserves in Zululand and the Elephant Coast.
Nature enthusiasts will appreciate the abundance of wildlife and the scenic splendours of this rich and diverse region during game drives in nearby uMkhuze and Hluhluwe Game Reserves, guided walks, boat cruises and tiger fishing on Lake Jozini. The area is a bird-watcher's paradise with the Pink-throated Twinspot, Rudd's Apalis and Neergaard's Sunbird, among many other specials such as African Broadbill and Green Malkoha. Enjoy a guided walk through the rare and unique giant sycamore fig forest in uMkhuze Game Reserve and hear the haunting cries of the Trumpeter Hornbill echo through the treetops. Ghost Mountain Safaris offers specialist birding guides should they be requested.
Back at the hotel, the spa offers a range of pampering skin and body treatments, healthy lunches in a tranquil environment and an exercise facility for the more actively-inclined. Those who prefer the relaxing sound of birdsong and the warmth of the African sun will find their respite at the poolside within the glorious gardens of Ghost Mountain Inn.
For those travelling to southern Mozambique, or between Kruger Park, Swaziland and Durban, Ghost Mountain Inn makes an excellent stopover or memorable getaway.
Mavela Game Lodge offers a unique, all-inclusive rate as a luxury, tented lodge in the Manyoni Private Game Reserve. Common sightings of “Big 5”, cheetah, wild dog and hyena compliment the diversity of birdlife with over 400 species recorded. The habitat in this 23 000ha reserve is varied and ranges from beautiful serene riverine forests, rocky hillsides with jagged cliffs, to moist- and dry savannah.
Avid bird and wildlife photographers enjoy open-backed safari drives that allow for intimate encounters and opportunities for optimum photography. Bird baths are positioned in front of each of the five, thoughtfully decorated, tents where guests can rest between safari drives or relax at the pool or upper deck to soak in the sweeping bushveld vista and listen to the serene sounds of the African “chorus”.
After the morning game drive, breakfast takes place in the form of a buffet/cooked brunch. An afternoon high-tea is served before the late afternoon game drive. Following this safari, guests are welcomed back with a hot towel and a refreshing drink before seating for a sumptuous, gourmet, three-course dinner - either under the stars, or in the open-plan lounge/dining area.
The lodge has a maximum occupancy of ten people and the camp is not fenced which bodes to the adventure of being in the wild. This intimacy also allows for flexibility of game drive times and not rush if something special is viewed on the “home run”.
At Mavela, what you see, is what you get, in that the daily rate includes: VAT, conservation levy, luxury en-suite accommodation, meals, fine choice of wines, spirits and refreshments, snacks, and two safari drives.
The journey from Gauteng is approximately five and half hours (485km) via the N17 and N2 highway. From Durban, the drive is three and half hours (305km) via the N2.
Whether your time is limited or not, Mavela is a hidden gem to discover and offers an opportunity to boost your bird list.
|In the Riverine Forest and Thickets the following species can be found:||The mixed Savannah offers the following bird species:
African Crowned Eagle
Bearded Scrub Robin
African Cuckoo Hawk
African Emerald Cuckoo
Blue-mantled Crested Flycatcher
Cape and White-backed Vultures
Spotted Eagle-Owl and Verreaux's Eagle-Owl
Marsh, Grass and Barn Owls
Pearl-spotted and African Scops Owlets
Mocking Cliff Chat
Contact person: Chantelle Smith
Mpeti Lodge invites you to relax and treat yourself to being close to nature whilst sampling the delights of a Contemporary Culinary Safari. We believe your stay will offer you a natural haven with a feast for all your senses. Mpeti is easily accessible from the N2, on route to Mozambique, or through Jozini dam from Mpeti bay.
Mpeti provides luxury and self-catering accommodation as well a world-class restaurant headed up by renowned chef, Paul Eaton. The main lodge consists of 6 luxurious Deluxe suites and 1 Executive suite with a Jacuzzi. All suites are private and have their own patios, naturally screened by the beautiful Zululand Bushveld. The setting and the views are such that you will feel close to nature whilst affording the perfect chance to relax in a truly serene environment. All suites are stylishly fitted and come equipped with king sized beds, air-conditioning, mini bar, a safe, walk-in shower and raised oval bath where you can soak and take in the magnificent Natal vistas.
With a large deck area set amongst majestic Murula Trees, it is perfect for long lazy lunches and romantic dinners under the stars. This flows out onto a green oasis with a big rock pool for guests to enjoy.
Ngoye Lodge is situated in the heart of Mtunzini, a nature rich coastal village on the North Coast of KwaZulu Natal. The village is filled with indigenous bush, birds, butterflies, duiker, monkeys and zebra and our beaches are vast and unspoilt. Mtunzini offers a host of outdoor activities for visitors to enjoy such as nature hikes, barge trips on the Lagoon, bird safaris with excellent guides, fishing, paddling or even a round of golf on our 18 hole course.We are less than an hour north of the King Shaka airport and an excellent first stop over for those on the Zululand Route 66 or traveling further to the Hluhluwe/Umfolozi Game Reserves.
The Lodge sleeps 10 guests sharing but a maximum of 14 guests can be accommodated should Nguni Cottage be booked simultaneously. The communal areas are all spacious and open plan, leading off to our veranda and large swimming pool – perfect for entertaining outdoors and enjoying the warm Zululand climate. Our games room is equipped with a finger board and ping-pong table and a foosball machine ensuring that groups with children are kept well entertained.
The spacious kitchen is well equipped for self-catering and a tropical breakfast is available for our guests to help themselves to. A weber braai is also available for guests to use whilst staying with us. The lodge is centrally located with the local shopping centre and Fat Cat Restaurant all within walking distance.The property is fully secured with an electric fence, electronic gate and ample safe parking for our guests. The lodge is serviced daily by our friendly, efficient staff. Laundry services are available at a small extra fee.
Address: 7 Station Road, Mtunzini, KwaZulu-Natal
Tel: 079 501 5342
GPS coordinates: S 28 degrees 55’5, E 31 degrees 44’04”
Ndumu River Lodge, in the Ndumo area, is one of the few destinations where a visitor can see the Big 5 at a game reserve and within a short half hour’s drive be able to watch dolphins and whales. Nestled between two of South Africa’s most beautiful game reserves, Tembe Elephant Park and Ndumo Game Reserve.
There is a variety of excellent accommodation to suit every pocket and a holiday to the Elephant Coast will be enjoyed by everyone from adventure lovers to those who just want to escape to the bush and commune with nature. Ndumu River Lodge offers air-conditioned, en-suite rooms, self-catering units and a camp site. We offer a delicious array of meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner which can be enjoyed in either our Bar Lounge restaurant or our restaurant that overlooks our inviting swimming pool. We have a well-stocked bar to quench your thirst or for that special bottle of wine to be enjoyed with your meal.
Besides the abundance of plants and wildlife, a spectacular array of birdlife can be found in the area. A paradise for beginner and seasoned birders alike. From the waterfowl at the pans within five minutes from the lodge to the Raptors soaring above the Game Reserves to the smallest insect feeders bustling in the shrubbery within the Ndumu River lodge grounds, we are certain any birder will be kept enchanted by the incredible variety nature has on offer.
Ndumu River Lodge is located in a diverse eco system that traces from the Lebombo Mountains neighbouring Swaziland to the Laquit Sand Forests of the Mozambique boundary.
Dense evergreen forests of towering fig trees stand in a lush undergrowth of ferns and wild orchids hanging from the trees. Palm savannah’s with thousands of wild date and lala palms dot the white sand of the undulating landscape. Swamp forests with large raffia’s and tangled masses of greenery that are home to myriads of exquisite birds and behind them mountainous sand dunes that appear to shift with the sighing of gentle winds.
Forming part of the north western route of the elephant coast, Ndumu River Lodge is only 500km from Johannesburg and 450km from Durban. Guests are able to fly directly to Richards Bay and journey northwards on the N2 to Ndumu River Lodge. The park also supports the Lion, Buffalo, Leopard, Rhino and Giraffe along with the Suni deer which are found exclusively in the Laquati Sand Forest.
Bramleigh Manor is tucked away on a secluded hillside providing a quiet, country getaway with no TV or cellphone signal (high speed WiFi offered throughout). Over 50ha of pristine indigenous forest is home to over 200 species of birds. Birdsong is the soundtrack to life at Bramleigh Manor, from the territorial call of the Knysna Turaco, the plea of the Narina Trogon, night-time laughter of the Wood Owl, Emerald cuckoo, hornbills, cranes - an idyllic setting to be interrupted only by the sound of birds. Enjoy a soul-restoring walk through the forest, below giant Yellowwood trees, with the shy Samango monkeys swinging above, abundant birdlife and calming streams. Hot, dry grassland trails provide panoramic views of Drakensberg. Or curl up with a book next to the fire, relax on the patio and soak up the fresh country air, be soothed by nature.
Our accommodation supports sustainable tourism, without minimising comfort; powered by the sun, complete with electric blankets, energy efficient lighting and appliances. Wood burning stoves efficiently heat the rooms, using sustainably harvested alien wood. Water is supplied from a forest stream, filtered and ready to drink, cool, straight from the tap. Natural cleaning products provide a fresh fragrance. Sample farm fresh organic produce and eggs. Picnic breakfasts and light dinners available on request.
The Garlick Cottage:
This private little cottage was the original Bramleigh house. It retains the vintage charm to offer a comforting home-from-home feel. Large bedroom with doors opening onto a private patio, bathroom with bath and shower, fully equipped kitchen, and lounge with wood burning stove. This cottage has exquisite views onto the forest, ideal for birdwatching. Sleeps 2.
The Coop Family Suite:
Large open plan bedroom with king sized four poster bed, lounge with fireplace and doors opening onto a private patio with a Weber braai. A second bedroom has twin beds and en-suite bathroom. The unit has two bathrooms, each with shower and vintage style bathtub, as well as a kitchen equipped for self-catering. Sleeps 4.
2 suites, each sleeping 2, set in the fruit orchard, with king sized beds, wood burning stoves and an en-suite bathroom with shower and Victorian style bathtub. Each has tea and coffee making facilities, a mini bar fridge and private patio.
Andre and Kaitlynn Kauerauf
Physical Address: 3 D544, Nottingham Road, 3280
Tel: 033 2666903 (email preferable due to poor reception)
Website: https://bramleigh.org/ (List of birds: www.bramleigh.org/birding)
Cobus and Karen Venter are the owners of this beautiful bushveld game farm in the heart of the Northern Kwa-Zulu Natal bushveld.
Situated in the centre of the farm is the lodge surrounded by lush bushveld, allowing for that connecting and intimate experience with nature.
Offering accommodation for up to 14 guests, the lodge has a total of 6 en-suite, airconditioned bedrooms, while a self – catering central kitchen, lounge, dining area, bar and swimming pool compliments the facilities. Visitors who do not wish to cook, can opt for catering during their stay.
Belvedere Game Ranch covers 1400 hectares stocked with a variety of game including Buffalo, Giraffe, Kudu, Nyala, Impala, Warthog, Bushbuck, Zebra, Bluewildebeest, Red- and Grey Duiker and other small game species. It is a paradise for bird lovers and hosts a magnificent variety of tree species.
Our butchery makes some of the best tasting venison products and is open 7 days a week.
The farm has a network of , bush tracks of 130 km you could explore with your bicycle, quad, bakkie or on foot.
Cobus and Karen Venter
White Elephant Safari Lodge and Bush Camp lies at the foot of the majestic Lebombo mountains and the shimmering waters of Lake Jozini. It is a place with magic and soul, inspired by a dream and created with passion.
The White Elephant Safari Lodge and Bush Camp (owned by the Kohrs family) is located in the beautiful Pongola Game Reserve (South) in Northern Zululand near the Swaziland border. White Elephant is easily accessible from the N2 (national route between Johannesburg and Durban) and Pongola Game Reserve (South) is a malaria-free reserve.
Pongola Game Reserve, the first proclaimed game reserve in Africa, is host to four of the 'Big 5' species. Wildlife includes buffalo, elephant, rhino, leopard, hyena, giraffe, wildebeest, zebra, warthog, 12 different antelope species, over 350 bird species and an interesting array of smaller mammal and insect life. We had sightings of the Olive Tree Warbler which was also ringed at the Safari Lodge.
The reserve consists of a consolidation of privately owned land which totals 30 000 hectares including Lake Jozini. Beautiful views, glorious sunsets, therapeutic silence, game drives, guided walks, boat cruises on the vast expanse of water, rhino walks, our unique 'elephanting' experience, scenic flights, an insight into our research projects and behind-the-scenes conservation operations, cultural tours and gemstone trails, ensure a rich, varied experience.
The Safari Lodge (Full-Board) offers a quintessential 'Out of Africa' experience. Classic, colonial décor, refined simplicity, deep verandahs and sweeping views, capture the history and romance of a bygone era.
Guests are accommodated in 8 luxurious safari tents (each with indulgent bathroom, outdoor canvas shower, private verandah, personal bar and tea/coffee facilities). Insect gauze on windows and tent-flaps, overhead ceiling fans, mosquito nets and crisp white percale bedlinen provide luxurious comfort as well as, old world romance.
Sumptuous meals are served at the main house (a restored colonial homestead) on the wide verandahs, in the dining room, garden or on the wooden deck alongside the swimming pool.
Personalised service, utter comfort and passionate attention to detail ensure beautiful memories of Africa.
The Bush Camp (Self-catering) provides an authentic 'back to nature' experience with the emphasis on simplicity, comfort and genuine hospitality.
Guests are accommodated in 7 thatched, spacious, en-suite chalets (each with private verandah, ceiling fans, crisp white bedlinen and mosquito nets).
Camp facilities include a swimming pool, well equipped open plan kitchen for self-catering, dining area, upstairs lounge and viewing deck.
Physical address: Farm Leeuwspoor, Pongola Game Reserve South, Pongola
Tel: +27 (0)34 413 2489
Fax: +27 (0)34 413 2499
Mobile: +27 (0)82 942 7173
Mseni Beach Lodge – the place of happiness - is situated in the heart of Sodwana Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The only lodge in Sodwana Bay that has private access to the beach, through the surrounding dune forest.
Our cosy Forestview Cottages sleep 2, Family Cottages sleep 4 and the lovely beach house that sleeps 10 are all air-conditioned and nestled amongst beautiful indigenous bush of the iSimangaliso Wetland Park. The accommodation was all planned not to disturb the lush dune forest, and most are tucked away amongst unspoilt surrounding bush.
An enchanting private walkway leads down to one of the most breathtakingly beautiful and secluded beaches, on South Africa’s pristine coastline. It is also a great spot for those who enjoy nature, and the views are simply breath-taking. Whale watching from our restaurant deck between June and October is a highlight. Spotting seabirds first is a sure sign that whales are close by and you can often see them breaching just beyond the surf zone.
Jabulani Mbonambi, a freelance Birdlife-trained local guide, is on hand and can be contacted for guiding. He would be delighted to introduce you to the wonderful birdlife in this area.
Special species that you could encounter are:
The other activities in and around the surrounding area, are also out-sourced. Try scuba diving, deep-sea fishing, micro-lighting, and walks around the area, or birding trips to the nearby lakes and Muzi Pans.
Lalapanzi is situated in the village of St Lucia Estuary, on the Kwa Zulu Natal coast of South Africa. This village is the gateway to the world renowned iSimangaliso Wetland Park, SA's first World Heritage Site. The village is also within a one hour drive of the Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Game Reserve, the country's oldest proclaimed Game Reserve. Daily encounters with monkeys, birds, mongoose and, on some nights, hippos are a regular occurrence in Lalapanzi's tropical gardens.
Lalapanzi Guest House has been a cornerstone of the St Lucia accommodation community for more than 15 years. Experience and professionalism shine through in the friendly service from both management and staff. We offer B&B and Self Catering accommodation options.
With nature and the beach on the doorstep, Lalapanzi is the perfect retreat for avid bird watchers, wildlife enthusiasts, and those who just need to get away from it all and relax.
The breakfast area overlooks the rock swimming pool outside.Breakfast is a full Continental / English spread, which is served on the outside deck, overlooking the rock swimming pool. Picnic baskets or breakfast packs are available upon request. Braai (BBQ to the uninitiated) facilities are onsite, in a beautiful, secluded area for those who want to do a bit of outdoor catering.
Lalapanzi consists of two properties which, combined, are able to accommodate large groups of guests comfortably.
GPS coordinates: -28.375127 (28° 22' 30.46'' S)
32.419780 (32° 25' 11.21'' E)
Wyford Farm is situated in a beautiful mountainous area off Van Reenen Pass and has a rich history being built in the 1870's as a Trading Store on the route between Johannesburg and Durban. It is now a small working farm with beef cattle, pigs, sheep and horses which visitors may interact with. We are approximately 40 km from either Ladysmith or Harrismith and day trips are possible to Battlefield sites and Northern Berg resorts.
We offer comfortable accommodation in 5 separate and private self-catering cottages which each have their own braai area and garden and are serviced daily. Wi-Fi is available in some units. Poplar and the Garden Cottages are pet-friendly being fenced units.
All bed linen and towels are supplied but please bring own swimming towels. Three of the cottages have satellite dishes but bring your own decoder and card. We have good Cell Phone reception. Restaurants are situated about 9 km away.
Situated in the tranquility of the Central Drakensberg, boasting the most spectacular view of Champagne Castle and Cathkin Peak, lies Champagne Sports Resort. This cosy hideaway's unique combination of convenient location, country club atmosphere, luxury accommodation and friendly staff makes it an idyllic holiday destination.
Champagne Sports Resort is more than just a hotel in the mountains, it's a unique experience. From the 18-hole championship golf course to the roaming herds of Blesbok and Impala and the rare birdlife that inhabit the estate, there is something for everyone to enjoy. With outstanding sporting facilities and cultural activities, this enduring resort provides a balance between recreation for sports enthusiasts and tranquility for those seeking relaxation.
The resort offers a variety of superb, serviced accommodation. All rooms are mountain facing fitted with the following: telephone, colour television, tea/coffee facilities, hairdryer, overhead ceiling fan and bathroom en-suite. The 40 new hotel rooms and 4 new luxurious executive suites enables us to offer a total of 152 hotel rooms and 91 time-share chalets of which the majority are 3 bedrooms.
The new buffet and dining areas comfortable feed up to 700 guests with little queuing and complimented by an outstanding food offering rapidly gaining a reputation in the hospitality industry. The Wellness Centre includes an upmarket salon and well fitted gymnasium. The salon has five treatment rooms, comfortable change rooms and a relaxing rest area with cane loungers which look up at the Champagne and Cathkin peaks. The gym is fully equipped for all forms of exercise including general cardiovascular and weight training.
GPS Coordinates: -29.000211, 29.469098