Western Cape


Akkerboom Country Cottages


Akkerboom Country Cottages nestled along a stream between the Langeberg Mountains and the Little Karoo on a working fruit farm. The farm lies 38km from the town of Montagu at the top of the Op de Tradouw pass between Montagu and Barrydale on Route 62 and offers stunning views of the Langeberg. The cottages offer an ideal family holiday venue two and a half hours from Cape Town.

Akkerboom Country Cottages comprises of three self-catering cottages, each decorated in a Cape Cottage style, with en-suite bedrooms, an indoor fireplace and a private braai area. The Cottages have stunning views down the Tradouw Valley and onto the orchards and mountains.

Akkerboom provides an ideal base from which to explore the attractions of the Little Karoo or simply the opportunity to relax and enjoy the silence. On the farm you will all so find Akkerboom Trading Post, a restaurant/farm stall where you can enjoy breakfast or a lovely lunch and discover a wide range of quality curios and local products, art and fresh farm products.

2There is a walking trail from the cottages to the dam and wetlands, and also hiking trails throughout the farm. Guests can also visit the Langeberg Mountains which is one of the Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas in the Western Cape. Some of the threatened bird species that can be observed are Blue Crane, Denham's Bustard, Martial Eagle, Black Harrier, Hottentot Buttonquail, Knysna Woodpecker, Knysna Warbler Karoo Korhaan, Cape Rockjumper, Striped Flufftail, Cape Spurfowl, Cape Sugarbird, Swee Waxbill and Yellow-throated Woodland Warbler. For more information see http://birdlife.org.za/conservation/important-bird-areas/iba-directory/item/255-sa113-langeberg-mountains

Contact details:

Thelanie Theron

Address: Bo Vlakte, Barrydale (R62 between Montagu and Barrydale)
Telephone: +27 (0)28 050 0145
Email: akkerboom@tradouw.co.za
Web: http://www.akkerboomcountrycottages.co.za/
GPS: S 33 55 35.80, E 20 28 45.04


The Retreat at Black Eagle Lodges

Black Eagle

Tucked away in the Overberg Mountains outside Caledon, Black Eagle Lodge and Villa offer a tranquil farm-style retreat just 90 minutes from Cape Town. Revive your soul, surrounded by nature, from the privacy of these beautiful self-catering mountain lodges, spaced nearly a kilometre apart. Awake to the call of the sugarbird and unwind on an expansive verandah, overlooking a spring-water dam and rolling wheat fields. Take the edge off hot summer days in pools of cool spring water and warm up winter nights beside a blazing log fire. Count the stars with the kids and teach them to fly-fish, collect frogs or spot a black eagle.

Offering respite from busy schedules, Black Eagle Lodge and Villa are ideally suited to a holiday of total relaxation, whether it's reading a bestseller or pedalling the road. Reconnect with family and loved ones as you take in the beauty of nature and explore the activities of this working farm. Overlooking a dam (lake), our 4 star-rated self-catering Villa is the ideal base from which to explore the area's prolific birdlife and mountainous surrounds, or to simply wile away an afternoon savouring the views. The Villa accommodates up to six guests in three double bedrooms, each with en suite bathroom.

Our 3 star-rated self-catering stone Lodge accommodates up to six people, with a loft above the fireplace offering an inviting sleeping area for two extra children. This cosy Lodge overlooks a spring-fed dam and is half a kilometre away from the new Villa, ensuring complete privacy. Being eco-friendly, there is no electricity, however solar-powered lighting and plenty of candles are offered.

Totally secluded from the world yet positioned centrally, one can comfortably explore the surrounding areas of the Western Capes' Overberg – from Gansbaai and Hermanus to Greyton. Savour the wines of the highly rated Hemel–en–Aarde and Botriver region or float in the famous natural hot springs in Caledon, a mere 20 minutes away. The choices are endless, as are the spectacular views.


Contact details:

Lucy Delport

Address: Kempsrivier Farm, Caledon, Western Cape
Tel: +27 (0)28 212 2113
Mobile: +27 (0)82 853 7838
Fax: 086 509 1696
Email: info@blackeaglelodges.co.za
Web: www.blackeaglelodges.co.za 


The Retreat at Groenfontein

Retreat groenkloof logo

The Retreat is a Victorian farmhouse set in 560ha of the beautiful Groenfontein Valley Conservancy, bordering on the 129 000ha Swartberg Nature Reserve. The house, filled with yellow-wood and mellow Oregon pine, has a lounge and dining room - each with its own ceramic fireplace to keep them cosy on chilly winter evenings - leading onto a wide verandah, overlooking the sweeping gardens and majestic Swartberg mountains. The Retreat is ideally situated for day trips to the Swartberg Pass, Meiringspoort, Seweweekspoort, Montagu Pass, the coast and more.Retreat Groenfontein 2

Calitzdorp (and The Retreat), is situated more or less in the middle (from east to west), of a new conservation area that was officially established in the Little Karoo in 2011. The Gouritz Cluster Biosphere Reserve (GCBR), covers an area from the Swartberg mountains in the north, to the Indian Ocean in the south; and from Uniondale in the east, to Montagu in the west. It aims to co-ordinate the protection of three international, biodiversity hotspots that overlap in this region, that form part of the Cape Floristic Kingdom.

There are two suites and two garden rooms away from the house with breathtaking views of the mountains from their private terraces, and 4 comfortable en-suite bedrooms in the main house, with French doors opening onto a patio.

Enjoy energetic hill walks or mountain biking in the clear air - or lazy summer afternoons cooling off in the shady, secluded rock pools that sparkle like jewels along the length of the tree-fringed river - or simply stroll along the peaceful, winding lanes of the Groenfontein Valley.

Contact detailsRetreat groenkloof 1

Tel: + 27 (0) 44 2133 880
Fax: +27 (0)44 86 271 5373
E-mail: info@groenfontein.com
Website: http://www.groenfontein.com/


Darling Lodge Guest House

Darling 1

Darling is your hub on South Africa's West Coast
Bird hides, rolling hills, vineyards, wheat fields, dairy pastures, flower reserves, lagoons and long stretches of beaches - all can be found and experienced in the immediate proximity of Darling.

Hub for 5 Birding Routes and more

  • Groote Post Wine Estate & restaurant Hilda's Kitchen with hide
  • Burgherspost & Cloof Wine Estate with nature walk trail
  • Lagoon West Coast National Park with trails and hidesDarling 2
  • !Khwa ttu – San Education and Culture Centre with hide, herb garden and trails
  • Coastal area of Yzerfontein with trails

See all route maps and a birding checklist http://swartlandtourism.co.za/birds.htm

After birding? Things to do in Darling

  • Pieter-Dirk Uys show at Evita se Perron Theatre, Museum & Shop
  • Darling Museum, Darling Art Gallery
  • Wine Shop & Wine Estates
  • Darling Brew Tab Bar
  • Restaurants & Cafes
  • Events through out the year

Darling Lodge Guest House
The charming guesthouse is birder friendly and offers a harmonious blend of old and new reflecting the romantic name of the little town. The lush garden with its ancient pepper an palm trees, fountain spraying water over blossoming roses, aloes, bougainvillea and mass of lavender with its heady fragrance invites guests to relax and unwind, be it just for one night, a weekend or for a whole week. Each room is dedicated to a local artist, whose work is on display and can be purchased.

We speak English, French, German and offer full English breakfast, secure off street parking, a swimming pool, free WiFi internet access, a cosy TV lounge (DSTV) with honesty bar, a relaxing library and individual concierge services.

ContactDarling 3

Oliver Studer & Stephan Moser

EMail info@darlinglodge.co.za
Phone +27 (0)22 492 3062
Visit us on Facebook

Physical address

22 Pastorie Street
Darling 7345, Western Cape
GPS 33 deg. 22' 44.16" S / 18 deg. 22' 42.73" E

Gans Bay

Grootbos Private Nature Reserve

bfe grootbos garden viewGrootbos Private Nature Reserve, with its two 5 star lodges, is a jewel of Cape eco-tourism and luxury accommodation. The reserve is spectacularly situated on the fynbos and forest clad hills that overlook the whale-watching haven of Walker Bay. Grootbos has carved a unique niche in the upmarket eco-lodge sector by specializing in the Cape region of South Africa's world-renowned flora and marine biodiversity. This 2500 ha reserve is home to more than 740 different species of plants, offers warm hospitality, excellent cuisine, South African wines and is a nature lover's paradise.

Biodiversity and conservation has been so important in establishing the beautiful scenery found at Grootbos. Without preserving the ecosystems in South Africa, fynbos and other plants would not be able to flourish as they do at Grootbos. Outdoor eco adventures at Grootbos and in Gansbaai provide a valuable means of helping with conservation efforts whilst creating a relaxing holiday experience for our guests.

Professional guides accompany guests on various tours on the reserve and to sites of interest in the surrounding area. Coming from different backgrounds, cultures and schooling, they have one thing in common: a true love of nature and the outdoors, and a passion to share their knowledge and experience with our visitors. They all know Grootbos like the palm of their hand and some of them even acquired their training and qualifications on site through the Grootbos Foundation's Green Futures training programme.

The Grootbos reserve and surrounding areas are a magnet to a wide variety of rare and endemic bird species feeding and breeding in the rich and diverse habitats. Malachite Sunbirds, with their bright green iridescent plumage, compete for attention with the flowering aloes and proteas. The knowledgeable guides are geared to give bird watchers of all levels a overview of these magnificent creatures that enliven our skies and flora with their beauty and procreative activities.

The beaks of the conspicuous endemic Orange-breasted Sunbird and the Southern Double-collared Sunbird are tailor-made for sipping the sweet stuff from the floral tubes of the various Erica species. You cannot miss the male Cape Sugarbird, with its ridiculously long tail, feeding on the nectar of Protea species.bfe grootbos bird

The diverse habitats - from fynbos, Milkwood and Afromontane forests to riverine scrub and mountain slopes - accommodate at least 120 different bird species, of which 30% are endemic or near endemic to southern Africa. These include specials such as Knysna Woodpecker, Cape Clapper Lark and  Southern Tchagra. Flagship raptors of the area are the majestic Black Harrier, Jackal Buzzard, Forest Buzzard and African Fish Eagle. The nearby agricultural fields are home to Blue Crane, Agulhas Long-billed Lark and Denham's Bustard.

Grootbos, in partnership with Dyer Island Cruises, also takes guests on a "game viewing" cruise to Dyer Island, where species such as African Black Oystercatcher, Hartlaub's Gull, Crowned-, Cape- and Bank Cormorant, African Penguin as well as the Cape Gannet flourish. Pelagic species such as the Shy Albatross, Sooty Shearwater and Giant Petrels are also seen from time to time.

Come explore the beauty of these winged wonders of the Overberg. Our information centres are stocked with a wide variety of the latest birding literature and multimedia. A birding file with all relevant checklists and information is available.

Contact Details


    Physical address: Situated 13km past Stanford on the R43, Gans Bay
    Tel: +27 (0)28 384 8000 or +27 (0)28 384 8053
    Fax: +27 (0)28 384 8042
    E-mail:  info@grootbos.co.za
    Web: http://www.grootbos.com


Arrabella Hotel & Spa

arabella-golf-lgArabella Hotel & Spa is just over an hour's drive from Cape Town. It is situated in the heart of the Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve, surrounded by one of the richest plant kingdoms in the world.

Embraced by the majestic Kogelberg Mountains and bordered by the vast Bot River Lagoon, the hotel invites you to indulge in a sensory experience that will leave you with treasured memories - beautiful aromas of fresh salty sea air and fynbos; distinctive sounds of exotic birdlife and enriching sights of emblematic green mountains and sparkling waters that meet an indigo sky.

The hotel is adjacent to the Rooisands Nature Reserve, bordered by the pristine Bot River Lagoon and embraced by the rugged steep cliffs of the majestic Kogelberg Mountains.
See whales cavort in Walker Bay from the shores of Hermanus or enjoy a close encounter with these gentle ocean giants from a kayak or boat. The boat trips also bring you unequalled engagements with Great White Sharks, Dolphins and other marine life. A true escape to unforgettable experiences.

arabella-view-lgThe destination offers a number of activities to guide you on your path towards complete relaxation. Explore the Overberg with its magnificent charms and treasures that await you. Be enriched by exciting quad bike rides, kayaking expeditions at sea and lazy horseback rides while golden shores and serene Botanical Gardens will leave you in awe of its unspoilt beauty. A valley of vineyards and wine and historic museums invite you to absorb the town's legacy; magnificent hiking and mountain biking trails and captivating boat rides with the ocean's big 5 will leave you inspired.

Discover indigenous fynbos, wild flowers and an abundance of rare birdlife on the Bot River Lagoon, or in the surrounding majestic mountains of the Kogelberg Biosphere. Take leisurely strolls through the Harold Porter Botanical Gardens or bask in the sun on the soft white sand of Kleinmond Beach. With its big waves and open waters, surfing is also a popular sport in this blue flagged strand.

Take scenic drives to uncover the many cultural and heritage treasures the region has to offer. The meandering mountain pass along the coast leads you to unspoilt beaches and penguin colonies. Narrow roads covered by shady trees will take you to quaint towns with old-world charm. The way to Hermanus is lined with markets, museums and arts and crafts shops, as well as the Hemel & Aarde Valley where you can absorb the culture of the Overberg.

Contact Details

Physical address: Arabella Country Estate, R44 Kleinmond, Hermanus
Tel: +27 (0)28 284 0000
Fax: +27 (0)28 284 0003
E-mail: reservations@arabellahotelandspa.com
Web: http://www.africanpridehotels.com/hotels/Pages/arabella-hotel-spa.aspx

Mosaic Private Sanctuary Hermanus Lagoon

Mosaic Private Sanctuary perfectly blends the glories of nature with country living and South African Cuisine at its finest, situated on the Hermanus Lagoon with breathtaking views of the Overberg Mountains and bordering the whale watching paradise of Walker Bay Beach.

The Lagoon Lodge has 5 safari-style chalets hidden amongst ancient milkwood trees on the edge of the Hermanus Lagoon. Dinner, B&B are included. Four self-catering cottages are also available. We welcome you to be refreshed in luxury accommodation and embrace the natural wonders of the Whale Coast and Cape Floral Kingdom. Enjoy whale watching, bird-watching, beach excursions, kayaking, wine cellar, sunset cruises, quad biking, shark cage diving, picnic lunches and fine dining in the 1892 Stanford Spookhius.

The Cape Floral Kingdom has the greatest diversity of plant life per geographic area on earth (almost 9,000 species), but 17% are critically rare or endangered. One-third of the fynbos that once existed has already been lost to agriculture, development, and the invasion of several alien plant species. These plants were imported in the mid 1800's, without knowledge of longterm consequences. Without local biological controls, they have choked out massive areas of indigenous plants, dried up water catchments and streams, and contributed to erosion.

bfe mosaicfarm

This destruction of natural habitat has also greatly diminished the numbers of mammals, insects and birds in the Cape region. As many as 29% of the mammal species are also endangered. The survival of these animals along with the insects and birds is critical for pollination and ultimately the future of the vast variety of fynbos plants.

Observe amazing birds search for the nectar of brilliant fynbos flowers, or silently glide in a kayak along the lagoon edge to encounter the stunning blue cranes in our bird sanctuary. Our trained bird guides will make our fields, shore and hills come alive. Let the songs of over 150 bird species on Mosaic awaken you in the morning and the gentle call of owls softly sing you to sleep at night.

Part of our mission at Mosaic is to eliminate these invasive plants, restoring habitat for our indigenous plants, animals and birds, and to promote the conservation of this land's extraordinary natural resources. In doing so, opportunities for employment and education for the local people are created through alien vegetation clearance and eco-tourism. Partner with us in conserving creation and supporting sustainable development for empowering the local community. We are active members in the non-profit conservancy in the Western Cape, the Walker Bay Fynbos Conservancy.

Contact Details

Tersia Botes

    Physical address: R43 / Kleine Street, Stanford
    Tel: +27 (0)28 313 2814
    Fax: +27 (0)86 276 3026
    Mobile: +27 (0)82 825 3211
    E-mail: info@MosaicSouthAfrica.com
    Web: www.MosaicSouthAfrica.com


Bartholomeus Klip Farmhouse

BKF logo

Bartholomeus Klip is an exclusive destination in the Cape Winelands, located on a working farm and game reserve in the Riebeek Valley. Discerning travellers will appreciate the peace and quiet in the exclusive five-bedroomed farmhouse, while families with children can enjoy privacy in the Wild Olive House & Cottage.

The reserve, which was established in the 1970s, has abundant herds of eland, springbuck, black wildebeest, zebra and bontebok, as well as other animals, such as baboons, bat-eared foxes, lynxes, and smaller species of antelope. Several different leopard individuals have been photographed in the reserve by trail cameras, usually at night time.


There are a variety of activities available on the farm, all of which are offered with guidance from our rangers. Explore the 10 000 acre nature reserve by mountain bike, or take a gentle stroll through the fynbos. There is also the option of hiking in the mountains to enjoy the proteas and birdlife.

Apart from Ostrich, the Verreaux’s eagle also nests in the mountains, and the enormous dam near to the farmhouse has a spectacular array of water birds, some resident like the fish eagles and the kingfishers, and others such as the pelicans and the spoonbills less regular visitors. BKF 1Flamingos have also been seen in some of Bartholomeus Klip's smaller dams and there are a host of interesting large and small birds out in the reserve and on the wheatlands, including large flocks of the blue crane, South Africa's national bird.

Also on offer is fresh water fishing in our dam, where fish such as barbel, carp, small mouth bass and bluegill can be caught.

Contact details:

Lesley Gillett

Address: Elandsberg Farms, Bo Hermon Road, Hermon
Tel: +27 (0)22 448 1087
Mobile: +27 (0)74 159 9906
Fax: 086 604 4321
Email: info@bartholomeusklip.com
Web: www.bartholomeusklip.com


Duinepos Chalets

bfe-duinepos1Duinepos Chalets is a retreat for bird and nature lovers. The charming Chalets are situated inside the West Coast National Park, located 15 km from the Langebaan Lagoon and 17 km from the Langebaan town centre. The camp is based inland amongst the natural bush.

We offer 11 self-catering Chalets which sleep four to six guests in each. It is secluded and quiet making it one of few places where one can still wake up with only the sound of birds. This is why birders from all over the world migrate here for the Duinepos experience.

We provide excellent value for money and our affordable rates ensure that we can share the experience with as many guests as possible, and they keep coming back.

Duinepos Chalets is the ideal place where outdoorsy families and groups can have quality time. No television and limited mobile reception will ensure that days are spent in nature and evenings are filled with conversation, board games and books. The West Coast National Park and surrounds offer much to do. Various hiking, biking and birding trails depart from the Duinepos camp. The Langebaan lagoon is also a water sport paradise.

At Duinepos we have a definite "greening"philosophy" that we implement in our operations from house-keeping to administration. While we are working towards becoming an official green destination, we do our bit to be kind to the environment.

A birder's paradise!

The West Coast National Park is a birding spot of note and is considered as the flagship birding destination along the West Coast. The Langebaan Lagoon, a Ramsar wetland of global importance, supports an exceptional species richness. The 16 km long lagoon area of the park provide important bird habitats.

The park, which is part of the West Coast Biosphere Reserve, forms part of the Flamingo-birding route and is a important birding area.The park is best known for the large numbers of migrant waders that to be found on the mudflats during summer. It also offers exceptional terrestrial birding opportunities.

Over 250 bird species have been recorded in the park and there is a good chance that during your visit you might also spot a few rare migrant visitors. Besides the lagoon area that is a haven for birds, the park's strandveld fynbos also supports rich birdlife.

In some years, wader numbers can increase to 50,000 in summer. These visitors are migrating from their breeding in Siberia and Greenland and live of tiny invertebrates than can be found in the nutrient rich waters of the mud banks here. The lagoon is seen as an extremely important wetland for waders in South Africa. Several bird hides (including the one at Geelbek and Abrahamskraal) have been constructed in the park.

The nearby islands of Schaapen, Jutten, Malgas and Marcus support important breeding colonies of coastal birds including African Penguin, Cape Gannet and Crowned and Bank Cormorant. During a single day of bird-watching, even novice birders will spot a significant number of species in the different habitat types of the area. Start early in the morning to ensure good birding. Make sure to pack your hat and binoculars for some world-renowned birding!

Contact Detailsbfe-duinepos 4

Janine Fortuin

    Physical address: Duinepos Chalets, West Coast National Park, Langebaan
    Tel: +27 (0)22 707 9900
    Fax: +27 (0)22 707 9901
    Mobile: +27 (0)83 704 7067
    E-mail: info@duinepos.co.za
    Web: http://www.duinepos.co.za/

Walking on Water

WOW2Walking on Water offers an affordable, informative, exhilarating and unforgettable West Coast experience. We are aBirder friendly establishment and situated close to the beach. The Western Cape National Park is 2 km from the Guest House. Accommodation includes 3 luxurious double rooms, all equipped with linen, towels, TV, bar fridge, tea and coffee facilities and full en-suite bathrooms. Secure parking and free wireless internet is available, as well as DSTV on request.

The West Coast is a beautiful and unique region with a variety of activities that can satisfy every taste. The region is famous for its eco tourism, hiking routes, birding, excellent cuisine and salt of the earth local population. The Langebaan lagoon offers a variety of water sport activities for the adventurous and provides the visitor with magnificent unsurpassed sunsets!

Arrangements for the following activities can be made through WOW and some can be included in the scheduled tours:

  • Bird watching
  • Hiking and Mountain biking
  • Wide spread beaches (2 minutes drive)
  • Lagoon cruises (Boat and Yacht cruises)
  • Fishing
  • Whale watching
  • Water sports (Kayaking, Wind surfing, Kite surfing, Water skiing, Jet skiing)
  • Horse riding
  • 4 X 4 RoutesWOW3
  • Golf
  • Flower trails (July - October)
  • Visit to the Mykonos Casino
  • Visit to a variety of Restaurants

Contact Details

Magdel Kruger

    Physical address: 3 Undulata Close, Myburgh Park, Langebaan
    Tel: +27 (0)22 772 2412
    Fax: +27 (0)86 530 4888
    Mobile: +27 (0)83 417 8459
    E-mail: info@wowlangebaan.co.za
    Web: http://www.woh2o.com


Tides River Lodge

Tides bfe

Tides River Lodge is situated on the banks of the Breede River, just outside the village of Malgas, some two and a half hours from Cape Town and half an hour from Swellendam.

We offer a selection of self-catering accommodation options, from cosy two sleepers to lodges that accommodate nine individuals. Bedrooms have queen and/or single beds. All options feature river views, verandahs and braai areas.

The Breede River attracts an abundance of waterbirds, including African Fish-Eagles and several kingfishers, hunting a variety of fresh and salt water fish. The river is tidal for up to 60km and fish like Cob and Spotted Grunter can be caught at Tides. Other activities include mountain bike trails, hiking and canoeing. Boat cruises along the river can be arranged for up to ten people.

Diverse habitat types on our property that include fynbos, riverine scrub and mountain slopes host at least 120 different bird species, of which 30% are endemic or near-endemic to southern Africa. This is a birder's paradise and specials such as Knysna Woodpecker, Cape Clapper Lark and Southern Tchagra are encountered regularly. Flagship raptors of the area are the majestic Black Harrier, Jackal and Forest Buzzards and African Fish-Eagle. The nearby agricultural fields feature Blue Crane, Agulhas Long-billed Lark, Denham's Bustard and Karoo and Southern Black Kohaans. The Fynbos surrounding the area supports Cape Sugarbird, Orange-breasted Sunbird, Protea Seedeater, Cape Grassbird and Victorin's Warbler. Cape Vultures are spotted on a regular basis, as there is a small breeding colony at Potberg Nature Reserve, roughly 20km from Tides Lodge.

De Hoop Nature Reserve is a 25km drive away and makes for a perfect day trip from your base at Tides. Other top birding destinations in the region include Bontebok National Park, Tradouw Pass and Marloth and Grootvadersbosch Nature Reserves. Come and enjoy the wonders of the Breede River and surrounds – a bird-watching wonderland.

Contact details

Andre de Bruyn

Address: 201 Lemoentuin, Malgas, Swellendam district
Tel: +27 (0)71 426 6109
Email hedleyreservations@gmail.com
Web: www.tideslodge.co.za 
GPS: 34° 18' 23.69”S; 20° 36' 05.27”E


Makapa Lodge


Nestled against the mountainside and bordering a nature reserve, Makapa Lodge is situated in Capri Village, with glorious panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean and Chapman's Peak Mountain. Positioned on the Cape Peninsula mid-way between the Atlantic and False Bay coasts, we are only 35 minutes from Cape Town city and 45 minutes from Cape Town International Airport.

Makapa Lodge is a 4 star B&B guesthouse comprising four luxury double suites and one self-catering chalet. We are adjacent to a nature reserve with spectacular views over the Noordhoek wetlands and beyond to the Atlantic Ocean. Makapa Lodge offers luxury suites and a charming self-catering log chalet. Our accommodation is in quiet, safe surroundings and we are ideally located for Cape Point Nature Reserve, Boulders Beach with its colony of African Penguin, Simons Town for pelagic trips and Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens.

Our luxury suites lead out to the large sparkling pool which is sheltered and solar heated. This lovely outdoor area is wind-protected and is ideally suited for having a gentle swim or relaxing on a lounger after a busy day's sight-seeing or birding. With its pathways and seating areas, the garden beckons guests to wander through and survey the indigenous plants and local bird life. Cape Sugar birds, sunbirds and spurfowls are regular visitors to our beautiful landscaped garden.

Your hosts are Ian and Margaret Minto, nature and garden lovers originally from the UK who settled in the Cape Peninsula to enjoy the diversity of bird and plant life of the area. We are happy to assist visitors with information on local birding spots, to help in planning your itinerary or to place you in contact with local bird guides and birding tour operators.

There are many good birding sites within easy reach of Makapa Lodge, but your bird-watching can begin in, or from our own beautiful gardens. (We normally have a spare pair of binoculars should you wish to borrow them). Species such as Cape Bulbul, Common Fiscal, Speckled Pigeon, Bokmakerie, Cape White-eye and Red-winged Starling are never far away. Fynbos specials such as Cape Sugarbird and sunbirds (Malachite and Orange-breasted) are frequent visitors to our proteas.

MakapaCape Francolin, Spotted Thick-knee, Cape Canary, Cape Weaver and Speckled Mousebird are often seen either in the garden or on the mountainside next to the lodge. Raptors such as Rock Kestrel and Steppe Buzzard patrol the mountainside and as the light fades a Spotted Eagle-Owl sometimes perches on the rocks above the house or even on the roof of the log chalet. In summer, especially, various swallows, swifts and martins display their aerial skills around the lodge.

Contact Details

Ian and Margaret Minto

    Physical address: 18 Java Close, Capri Village, Fish Hoek
    Tel: +27 (0)21 785 3512
    Fax: 086 607 5518
    Mobile: +27 (0)72 424 5909
    E-mail: info@makapa.co.za
    Web: http://www.makapa.co.za/


De Zeekoe Guest Farm


Only 7km outside Oudtshoorn, in the Garden Route, surrounded by the famous Swartberg and Outeniqua mountains is one of the world's 17 "hot spots" with 3 overlapping flower zones. Surrounded by variety attractions like ostrich farms, longest wine route in the world (R 62), Cango Caves, wildlife ranch, waterfalls and museums, makes this the ideal destination for a visit or a stay over in the Klein Karoo.

This owner managed, 2 000 ha working farm, is malaria-free, wheelchair and child-friendly. De Zeekoe Guest Farm accommodation ranges from standard to superior bed & breakfast rooms at the main house, 4 x log cabins and 3 x eco-friendly cottages only a small drive from the main house.


De Zeekoe offers many activities including birding, canoeing, free Wi-Fi, swimming, hiking, biking, fishing and stargazing in unpolluted African night skies. De Zeekoe has something for everyone, from adventure to those seeking a quiet getaway. De Zeekoe is blessed with 162 bird species, including a resident African Fish Eagle pair who form part of a research project from the University of Cape Town. De Zeekoe offers a unique in the world opportunity to walk with Wild Meerkats (Meerkat adventures) and to be part of the shy 5 experience!Treat yourself to complete relaxation in our salt water swimming pool, before sitting down to exquisite fares of seasonal, organic yield from our own gardens. Our local wine list compliments our delicious dinners with only the finest local specialties, ostrich, venison and vegetarian dishes.

Contact DetailsIMG 93851

Kristy Potgieter

    Physical address: De Zeekoe Guest Farm, Oudtshoorn
    Tel: +27 (0)44 272 6721
    Fax: +27 (0)44 272 8534
    Mobile: +27(0) 82 511 3019
    E-mail: info@dezeekoe.co.za
    Web: http://www.dezeekoe.co.za

Plettenberg Bay

Bitou River Lodge

Bitou 1

Bitou River Lodge is a farmhouse-style guest house on the banks of the Bitou River, just 10 minutes outside Plettenberg Bay. All the rooms lead into the garden and down to the river, with its water lilies and birds. Each spacious, tranquil bedroom has its own private entrance and its own patio for enjoying sunsets. The rooms are all en-suite, with a bath and shower. Two rooms have twin beds and three have king-sized beds; there is also a sleeper couch in each room for an extra guest if necessary.

Guest can watch the birds on the river from the Lodge or explore the wetlands by canoe. Bird species that have been recorded here include Blue Crane, Osprey, South African Shelduck, African Spoonbill, Cape, Redbilled & Hottentot Teals, Brimstone, Cape and Forest Canaries, Knysna & Olive Woodpeckers, Kittlitz's Plover, Ruff, Black-winged Stilt and Pied Avocet. Migrant waders such as Curlew Sandpiper, Common Whimbrel and Common Greenshank may occur occasionally.


  • Join a dolphin - & whale-watching boat trip
  • Sea kayaking
  • Hiking at Robberg Nature Reserve or Nature's Valley
  • Hike to the suspension bridge over Storms River at the Tsitsikamma National Park
  • Mountain biking on the forest trails
  • Enjoy the Garden of Eden forest boardwalk
  • Visit the Big Tree in the Tsitsikamma forest
  • Feed, ride & walk with the elephants at the Knysna Elephant Park & the Elephant Sanctuary
  • Enjoy a game drive at Plettenberg Bay Game Reserve
  • Visit the monkeys at Monkeyland & the birds at Birds of Eden
  • Experience raptors at The Heath.


Sue Scheepers

Address: Bitou River Lodge, Off R340, Plettenberg Bay
Tel: +27(O)44 535 9577
Cell: +27(0)82 978 6164
Fax: 086 2110971
Email: info@bitou.co.za
Web: http://www.bitou.co.za
GPS: -34.00195, 23.34578

Emily Moon River Lodge

Sooty falcon

Located above the Bitou River and surrounded by wetlands, Emily Moon River Lodge is a birder's paradise, and home to over 150 species of birds. One of the rarest inhabitants, the Sooty Falcon, has returned to Emily Moon for the last four years. To watch the Sooty Falcon hunt in the wetlands below, or perched his favourite tree is a sighting of a lifetime.

Emily Moon arranges scheduled birding tours with Gareth Robbins, specialist birding guide, which covers a range of habitats from sea, rivers, estuaries and wetlands to forest, fynbos, farmlands and thicket.

Emily Moon River Lodge is an exclusive boutique hotel with a quirky attitude and a distinctly African air. The hotel comprises of 10, exquisitely-appointed lodges set in an indigenous garden, with magnificent views of the river and the wetlands beyond.

The six luxury suites sleep 2 adults while the family suites can accommodate 2 adults and 2 children. Each lodge has its own deck with spectacular views of the Bitou River valley. The Honeymoon suite offers the secluded luxury you dream of.Emily Moon 2

The River House - a self-catering accommodation - is a spacious family home, with 5 main bedrooms, 2 loft bedrooms for kids and 5 bathrooms and 4 outdoor showers. Set on the banks of the Piesang River, it has all amenities of the Emily Moon River Lodge suites and is the perfect setting for a family holiday.

With the river, the wetlands, the mountains and the sea, guests can enjoy the natural beauty of the Garden Route in so many ways. Activities at Emily Moon include canoeing, mountain biking, walking and bird watching. The adventurous could try their hand at river tubing while quieter types may prefer to tan on the nearby beaches or relax by the pool.

Contact details:

Rietvlei Road, Plettenberg Bay
Tel: +27 44 501 2500
Email: info@emilymoon.co.za
Web: http://www.emilymoon.co.za/
GPS 34° 0041 South / 23° 2219 East

Fynbos Ridge Country House & Cottages

Fynbos Ridge Country House & Cottages, set amongst fragrant fynbos, is situated in the warm heart of the Garden Route, renowned for its mountains, lakes, forests, lagoons and beaches. It is a paradise for those with a love of nature and a sense of adventure. Only a few minutes away from the pristine beaches of Plettenberg Bay, our Country House is a large Cape Dutch design Guest House which has 4 double luxury bedrooms and 1 double superior luxury bedroom - each with full en-suite bathroom. Full breakfasts and dinners, by arrangement, are served. The self-catering garden cottages are comfortable and secluded. Activities at Fynbos Ridge include: Swimming, Tennis, Bird Watching and Walks.


In 2001 Fynbos Ridge was proclaimed a Private Nature Reserve by the Western Cape Nature Conservation Board. Many birds, butterflies and small mammals have now made Fynbos Ridge their home. We have over 85 species of birds visiting our property, and proteas flower in our indigenous gardens. We are committed to the environment.

Things to Do:

  • Birds of Eden: features over 2000 birds in a free-flight aviary.hiking-plettenberg-bay-01
  • Hiking: along the rugged coastline and through magnificent forests or take a guided tour of Robberg Nature Reserve.
  • Mountain Biking: four varied and exciting routes through the nearby Harkerville indigenous forest.
  • Canoeing, Kayaking & Surfing in the Garden Route: Guided, or on your own, up the Bitou and Keurbooms Rivers, on the Knsyns Lagoon, or into the Indian Ocean.
  • Featherbed Nature Reserve: take the ferry to the western head of the Knysna Lagoon for a memorable eco-experience.
  • Treetop Canopy Tours: an unforgettable 3 hour adventure 30 metres above the Tsitsikamma forest floor or over the waterfall.
  • Tsitsikamma Forest Tours: experience the 2½ hour guided drive through the pristine indigenous forest.


Liz and Brian Phillips

Address: Fynbos Ridge Country House & Cottages, N2 Plettenberg Bay, Western Cape.forest-walks-01
Tel: +27 (0)44 533 0106
Cell: +27 (0)83 448 0046
Fax: +27 (0)44 533 0098
Email: info@fynbosridge.co.za
Web: http://www.fynbosridge.co.za

GPS Co-ordinates:

34° 039011" S
23° 294486" E

Hunters Country House

Hunter 1

Ideally situated between the coastal towns of Knysna and Plettenberg Bay in the Western Cape, Hunters Country House is a wonderful location from which to explore the beauty of the celebrated Garden Route, or just to spend time relaxing at the peaceful lodge. Hunters Country House combines gracious elegance with sheer comfort and impeccable service with warm hospitality. Far from the madding crowd, yet conveniently close to a wide variety of leisure activities.

The hotel opened in 1989 with ten garden suite cottages. Today Hunters Country House has 21 suites, some with private pools, a 5-star rating, has been South Africa's Hotel of the Year and is a member of the prestigious Relais and Chateaux Association. It is internationally acclaimed for its service excellence, superb cuisine and beautiful gardens. The individual thatched cottage suites are plush and peaceful, decorated in a pale green and oyster palette, accented with a romantic sparkle of crystal trimmed canopies and dainty chandeliers. A privately positioned patio and garden makes for tranquil relaxation, reflection and reconnecting.

Birding at Hunters Country House is prolific and we actively preserve their existence. Birds that occur at the estate include the Chorister Robin-chat Lemon and Red-eyed Dove, Olive Thrush, Terrestrial Brownbul and Dusky Flycatchers. In the forested areas look out for Knysna Turaco, Emerald Cuckoo, Knysna and Olive Woodpecker, Narina Trogon, Sharp-billed Honeyguide, Grey Cuckooshrike, Knysna Warbler, Yellow-throated Woodland Warbler, White-starred Robin, Blue-mantled Crested Flycatcher and Cape Batis, although some of these species are elusive.

The Tsitsikamma Forest also hosts the African Crowned Eagle and African Wood Owl, plus some of the accipiters such as African Goshawk and Black Sparrowhawk. In the mountains one should look for Cape Canary, Cape Sugarbird, Orange-breasted Sunbird, Black Saw-wing and Ground Woodpecker. Also present, though difficult to spot, are the Protea Canary, Victorin's Warbler, Striped Flufftail and Cape Siskin.

ContactHunter 3

Reservations: Adele Behr

Address: Hunter's Estate, Off N2 10km West of Plettenberg Bay
Tel: +27 (0) 44 501 1111
Fax: +27 (0) 44 501 1100
Email: res@hunterhotels.com
Web: http://countryhouse.hunterhotels.com/home

GPS Coordinates:    
Location Latitude Longitude
Hunters Country House 34˚ 03' 07.44" S 23˚ 16' 13.95" E


Masescha Country Estate

 Masescha bfe

Set on almost 11 hectares of garden and forest our delightful 3 Star Graded owner managed property welcomes guests seeking a restful and tranquil getaway where often the only accompaniment is the song of the birds and a gently whispering breeze …

We are just a 980 metre drive from the N2 at Harkerville 10 minutes from Plettenberg Bay and 15 minutes from Knysna conveniently located for the Plett Birding Routes and other birding hotspots along the Garden Route. Appropriately named, "Masescha" means hidden or masked, as we are tucked into a valley free of road noise. We offer affordable accommodation in the privacy of your own fully equipped cosy cottage or garden room nestled in established open gardens, each having their own individual character, patios and brick built braai (barbecue) facilities and well separated to enjoy different aspects of the garden. Free Wi-fi is available on site and guests welcome to enjoy the swimming pool.

We provide clean, well-equipped properties fully supplied with all the conveniences of home. All linen, showering towels, toiletries provided with blankets, heaters and hot water bottles so you can cosy up even in the winter months. Most units set up for self-catering but meals can be added as an optional extra on request subject to availability. Breakfast is particularly enjoyable served out on the deck with the sunbirds experiencing the real atmosphere of the property taking in an elevated vista over the garden at treetop level.

Masescha damA majestic forest backdrop frames the scene for outdoor enthusiasts, birdwatchers and nature lovers alike to take a walk around the garden and dams and enjoy the company of the birds and other wildlife visitors, so don’t forget your binoculars!

From little Cape White Eye and Cape Batis, an array of Sunbirds, larger visitors like the Giant Kingfisher and Long-crested Eagle or our resident Knysna Loeries and many more birds in between…

We look forward to sharing Masescha with you. See our website for availability.


Ray and Angie Bennett

Address: Masescha Country Estate
             980m from the N2 turnoff at the Saturday Market
             Harkerville (Midway between Plettenberg Bay and Knysna)

Telephone: +27(0) 44 532 7647
Cell:          +27(0) 79 568 2895
                 +27(0) 72 840 1348

Website: www.masescha.co.za
Email: mwmasescha@mweb.co.za

GPS: -34.029567 23.241036

Tsala Treetop Lodge

Tsala 1

Ideally situated between the coastal towns of Knysna and Plettenberg Bay in the Western Cape, Tsala Treetop Lodge is a wonderful location from which to explore the beauty the celebrated Garden Route or just to spend time relaxing at the peaceful lodge.

Both the Treetop Suites and Treetop Villas are built high above the forest floor. Constructed of stone, wood and glass the beautiful tree-house suites comprise of a bedroom, a sitting room with a fireplace and a spacious bathroom. Extending into the forest is a private deck and your own infinity pool providing the ultimate privacy. The Treetop Villas consist of two en suite bedrooms, with sweeping views of the forest below. Outdoor and indoor showers, a large lounge with a fireplace and dining area ensures you have everything you need. The private deck and infinity pool makes this the perfect family escape.

Hunter Hotels takes the threat to the environment very seriously. We play an active role in initiatives aimed at preserving the natural land and animals within and around our properties. Our forests harbour many species of trees and ferns including the prolific seven week fern.

Birding at Hunters Country House and Tsala Treetop Lodge is prolific and we actively preserve their existence. Birds that occur at the estate include the Chorister Robin-chat Lemon and Red-eyed Dove, Olive Thrush, Terrestrial Brownbul and Dusky Flycatchers. In the forested areas look out for Knysna Turaco, Emerald Cuckoo, Knysna and Olive Woodpecker, Narina Trogon, Sharp-billed Honeyguide, Grey Cuckooshrike, Knysna Warbler, Yellow-throated Woodland Warbler, White-starred Robin, Blue-mantled Crested Flycatcher and Cape Batis, although some of these species are elusive.

The Tsitsikamma Forest also hosts the African Crowned Eagle and African Wood Owl, plus some of the accipiters such as African Goshawk and Black Sparrowhawk. In the mountains one should look for Cape Canary, Cape Sugarbird, Orange-breasted Sunbird, Black Saw-wing and Ground Woodpecker. Also present, though difficult to spot, are the Protea Canary, Victorin's Warbler, Striped Flufftail and Cape Siskin.


Reservations: Adele BehrTsala 2

Address: Hunter's Estate, Off N2 10km West of Plettenberg Bay
Tel: +27 (0) 44 501 1111
Fax: +27 (0) 44 501 1100
Email: res@hunterhotels.com
Web: http://tsala.hunterhotels.com/home/

GPS Coordinates:    
Location Latitude Longitude
Tsala Treetop Lodge 34˚ 03' 07.44" S 23˚ 16' 13.95" E



Gubas De Hoek

"GUBAS DE HOEK meet eat sleep" is an eco-friendly guest house providing bed & breakfast, a fine dining cuisine and a self-catering option. Only 90 minutes from Cape Town GUBAS DE HOEK is situated in Robertson, one of South Africa's most beautiful valleys, where you will be embraced not only by the congeniality of its moderate climate, but also by the warmth of its people. We're located in town and member of the Robertson bird & wine route.Gubas

MEET - Personalized service supplied by the German owners and their dedicated team.

EAT - We offer a 3-course fine dining Gourmet menu from Friday until Tuesday. The cuisine is light and tasty, healthy and enjoyable. Our well-equipped guest kitchen in the garden offers you a self-catering opportunity.

SLEEP - The comfortable rooms are all en-suite and partly garden facing. All eight rooms are equipped with hairdryer, wall safe, international power points, TV, magazines, books, tea tray, fans, electric heating and much more. Natural air condition is provided by thick walls, high ceilings and shutters to close. The large garden has a splash pool, sun-loungers and a lot of birdlife.

Other Services

  • There is plenty of off-street parking and W-LAN available.
  • We speak English, German, French and Spanish and our team speaks Afrikaans.
  • The Robertson Bird & Wine Route offers you five birding trails on Wine estates and Van Loveren Fish Eagle Trail is nearby.

We love our environment and strive to live in an eco-friendly manner.

Contact Details

Balbina Huerttlen

    Physical address: 45 Reitz Street, Robertson
    Tel: +27 (0)23 626 6218
    Fax: +27 (0)23 626 6218
    E-mail:  info@gubas-dehoek.com
    Web: http://www.gubas-dehoek.com/

Mallowdeen Gardens

bfe mallowdeen apartmentOnly 90 minutes drive from Cape Town on the popular Route 62, lies the Robertson Wine Valley. Nestled between the Langeberg and Riviersonderend Mountain ranges, the valley offers a landscape of roads fringed by flowers and trees, majestic mountains, with the Breede River as its life blood.

At the foot of the Langeberge, in the heart of the Robertson Wine Valley, surrounded by vineyards and orchards, lies Mallowdeen Gardens. Where the welcome is warm, and hospitality, comfort, privacy are the keywords. Your hosts are Rita and Wim van de Sande. Together with our staff we will make every effort to insure your stay with us is unforgettable.

The region may be best known for its wine but the variety of attractions and activities, combined with spectacular scenery and the relaxed hospitality of the people, ensures visitors an unforgettable stay. Taste the wine. Go on a boat cruise. Join a tractor trip. Follow a hiking trail. Get lost in a maze. Rent a bicycle. Have yourself pampered with a massage. Or simply relax by the swimming pool.

bfe mallowdeen cottagesMallowdeen Gardens makes an ideal base from which to explore the Western Cape, and the idyllic country setting is perfect to shed city stress. Accommodation (graded 4 stars by the Tourism Grading Council of South Africa) is offered in two African styled thatched cottages, and a spacious apartment.

The two thatched cottages are situated around the swimming pool. Each sleeps two and has a spacious living area with a fireplace, a fully equipped kitchen, and an en-suite bathroom with toilet, shower and bath. The apartment, which forms part of the main building, is spacious and very private. The covered patio (with barbecue) offers beautiful Langeberge Mountain views. This elegant room has an en-suite bathroom (shower and toilet) and a fully equipped kitchen.

The Klaasvoogds Game Reserve is located near to Mallowdeen Gardens and offers guided game drives with a qualified guide in an open viewing vehicle. This small mountain reserve has a large range of antelope including Eland, Kudu, Gemsbok, Bontebok, Black Wildebeest and Zebra - and much more. Spectacular views of the Langeberg Mountains as well as the valley below, will ensure a wonderful personalised experience with collection and drop-off back at Mallowdeen Gardens.bfe-mallowdeen gardens

Bird-watching: No need to go far - see over 100 different species of birdlife found on our premises.

Contact Details

Wim and Rita van de Sande

    Physical address:
    Tel: +27 (0)23 626 5788
    Fax: +27 (0)86 509 6764
    Mobile: +27 (0)72 738 6010
    E-mail: info@mallowdeen.com
    Web: http://www.mallowdeen.com


Teniqua Treetops Eco Treehouse

Forest Elders Side View through the treesTeniqua Treetops is a unique, tented tree house resort, offering eco accommodation, occupying a position high on the foothills of the ancient Outeniqua mountain range, yet situated along the magical Garden Route, close to the magnificent sea shores of the Western Cape, South Africa.

Set in acres of pristine indigenous forest, on South Africa's Garden Route, Teniqua Treetops brings you an experience that may be quietly life-changing. Eco-friendly, self-catering, tree houses provide a secluded, romantic destination, a haven for nature lovers. A holiday with us will re launch you into the world relaxed, reinvigorated and rejuvenated.

The indigenous forests of Teniqua Treetops are home to a myriad of wild birds. The trees around your tree house will be alive with their magical sounds, allowing you to get the ultimate experience in eco friendly living.

We are blessed with a large variety of birds, true endemic, near endemic, and other stunning species. We have 26 hectares of pristine indigenous forest, 3 hectares of fynbos and 6 hectares of open grassland. This encourages a range of birds.1Meg Black shouldered kite

Each tree house is private and hidden on the edge of the forest so becomes its own bird hide. Our personal favourites, which are all common visitors are the brightly coloured birds:

  • Knysna Turaco
  • Southern Double-collared Sunbird
  • African Hoopoe
  • Cape White-eye
  • Cape Batis
  • Forest Buzzard
  • African Olive Pigeon
  • Chorister Robin-Chat
  • Black-headed Oriole

Guest can also swim in the cola-coloured water of the remote and unspoiled Karatara River, picnic on its beautiful banks and explore the deep forested gorge. Or chill out on the wooden deck of our swimming complex perched high on the hill, the converted farm dams are fun for both kids and adults.

Narina TrogonAll our tree houses are self-catering with the emphasis on environmental preservation and the maximum use of natural products and materials in construction and functionality. You'll love the peace and quiet, the sounds of the forest, river and bird song, and on occasion, the sound of the sea.

Contact Details

Contact person: Robyn Patz

Address: Elandskraal 203/71, Sedgefield
Tel: +27 (0)44 356-2868
E-mail: queries@teniquatreetops.co.za
Web: http://www.teniquatreetops.co.za/

Simon's Town

Avian Leisure

bfe-avian leisureAvian Leisure, run by owners Patrick and Marie-Louise Cardwell who are both passionate birders and naturalists, has 2 luxurious yet affordable apartments at their home base in Simon's Town. With its indigenous garden filled with sugarbirds, sunbirds and a wide variety of other sought-after Western Cape 'specials', spacious and well decorated accommodation, an unsurpassed outlook over False Bay with Whales and Dolphin sightings in season, Avian Leisure makes an ideal base for birders wishing to explore Cape Town. In Avian Leisure's Shearwater Apartment, birding and nature viewing starts from your bedroom!

Avian Leisure's location in Simon's Town makes it an excellent base for birders visiting Cape Town: it is less than 5 minutes by car from the Simon's Town harbour, departure point for the renowned Cape pelagic tours, a highlight in every birder's visit to Cape Town! On the edge of the Table Mountain National Park, it is 10 minutes from the Cape Point Reserve, 45 minutes from the city centre and the Airport, with easy access to the winelands and southern Cape coastline. The Boulders Beach Reserve's Penguin colony starts at the bottom of the road – in fact penguins are nesting in Dorries Drive!

Besides the good location, excellent views and spacious accommodation, which appeal to birders and non-birders alike, Avian Leisure is a fully fledged tour operator and owner Patrick Cardwell is one of the most respected bird guides in South Africa. As past guests will testify, Patrick is always willing to help guests with planning their birding time in Cape Town, whether self-drive or guided excursions, booking pelagic trips or onward travel bookings, itinerary planning, and fully guided tours in Cape Town and further afield in the rest of South Africa.

It is this combination of a well-appointed establishment in a natural setting run by owners with first-hand birding knowledge that makes Avian Leisure an ideal base for birders visiting Cape Town. For birders wanting to combine a pelagic trip with land-based birding in Cape Town, there is no better choice than Avian Leisure.

Contact Details

Patrick & Marie-Louise Cardwell
    Physical address: 88 Dorries Drive, Froggy Farm, Simon's Town
    Tel: +27(0)21 786 1414
    Fax: +27(0)21 786 1414
    Mobile: +27(0)83 272 2455
    E-mail: enquiries@avianleisure.com
    Web: http://www.avianleisure.com

Magellan's Passage Guest House

Magellans Passage

We are situated on the slopes of the Cape Peninsula above the historical town of Simon's Town with its fascinating Naval Base. We offer panoramic views across beautiful False Bay and the Swartkop Nature Reserve which is home to many bird species including the Cape sugarbird, Protea Seedeater (Canary), Cape rockjumper, Cape bulbul, Cape sparrow and various species of Sunbirds.

Magellan’s Passage Guest House is just an 18 minute walk from the beach. With panoramic views of False Bay, Magellan’s Passage in Simon’s Town is an eco-friendly guesthouse featuring renewable energy supplies. It also offers a large sundeck with outdoor seating as well as a lift. The modern, air-conditioned suites all have king size beds with luxury linen and include flat-screen TV’s with DSTV (guest house bouquet of channels), free Wi-Fi, room fan, tea and coffee station, minibar, telephone, room safe and a desk. The en- suite bathrooms come with under floor heating, luxury vanity products and a bath as well as a shower.

Sunbird picGuests at Magellan’s Passage can make use of the sundeck, library and the dining room, where breakfast is served daily and lunches and dinners are available on request. There is also free private parking. Extra services available at a surcharge include airport transfers as well as a mobile spa service. Magellan’s Passage offers a concierge service and a 24 hour duty manager. Boulder’s Beach which is home to the African Penguin is only 1.5 km from the guest house. Chapman’s Peak is situated 17 km away and Cape Point another birding hotspot is 24 km away.

Contact details:

Darwin Phyfer

Address: 3 Meryl Road, Seaforth Sound, Simon’s Town, 7995
Tel: +27 21 7865291
Email: info@magellanspassage.com
Web: www.magellanspassage.com
GPS coordinates: -34.2003, 18.4471

Moonglow Guest House

Moonglow guesthouseTransfrontier Parks Destinations (TFPD) is a consortium of like-minded associates who are business-oriented social entrepreneurs. TFPDWe are well-qualified with in-depth experience in finance, marketing, safari activities and hospitality management.

Working in Southern Africa's Transfrontier Peace Parks, we are passionate about the development of a viable and sustainable tourism industry that balances the needs of the local community with those of nature. Our commitment is to the creation of a sustainable business model that becomes an asset for the local communities.

We develop and manage world-class, community-owned tourist destinations that benefit the local communities. Our tourist destinations and activities in Southern Africa's Transfrontier Peace Parks are environmentally sustainable and ecologically sound.

Moonglow Guest House provides 4-Star bed & breakfast accommodation and is situated on the slopes of the mountain overlooking False Bay and Simon's Town. On the Cape Point Route close to the penguins of Boulders and Cape Point, it has easy access to Cape Town. Local attractions include a township tour, material printing factory and a seaweed vuvuzela factory. The six individually decorated rooms are all en-suite and have sea views. A full English breakfast is served in the dining room overlooking the bay. For more details, visit www.moonglow.co.za

Contact Details

Reservations: Marianne Marsh

    Tel: +27 (0)21 701 7860
    Fax: +27 (0)21 701 7870
    E-mail: info@tfpd.co.za
    Email: enquiry@dolimpopo.com
    Web: http://www.tfpd.co.za


Botuin Cottage


Botuin Cottage offers peaceful and quiet self-catering accommodation on an olive smallholding approximately 1,5 km outside Vanrhynsdorp where we grow olives and press our own olive oil. Our cosy cottages are open plan structures. Kalamata has one double and one single bed. Frantoio has two single beds.

Vanrhynsdorp is a popular vacation spot mainly due to the annual transformation to a wild flower heaven. Botuin is also close to wineries, a quiver tree nursery, the latsky Radio museum and of course the Gifberg/Maskam berg with its unique formations and fynbos. Vanrhynsdorp is filled with lovely restaurants. At the old gaol there is a unique art market that sells products made by the locals. Guest can enjoy a relaxing walk to the river which runs through the ground or relax under the tree whilst enjoying the view of the Gifberg Mountain.

The following birding sites can be found within a vicinity of 60 km:

  • Olifantsriver EstuaryBotuin
  • West coast DC [Moedverloren/ (Knersvlakte) Nature Reserve]
  • Kobee with the endangered Black Eagle
  • Gifberg/Maskam mountain with fynbos
  • Op -De -Berg Private Nature Reserve
  • Lutzville Conservation Area

The Olifants River Estuary is one of the Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas in the Western Cape. Approximately 125 bird species (at least 60 waterbirds species) have been recorded at the estuary and its surrounding area. The Olifants River Estuary regularly supports over 15 000 waterbirds and it frequently holds threatened and near-threatened species such as Lesser- and Greater Flamingo, Caspian Tern, African Marsh-Harrier, African Black Oystercatcher, Great White Pelican and Damara Tern.

The vegetation surrounding the estuary is suitable for many Namib-Karoo biome-restricted species as Karoo Korhaan, Karoo Lark, Tractrac- and Karoo Chat. Namaqua Warbler occurs in the Acacia thickets and reedbeds along the river margin.

Contact details:

Japie and Salome Willemse

Address: 2 Goeie Hoop Street, Botuin, Vanrhynsdorp
Tel: +27 (0)27 219 1202
Cell: +27 (0)72 471 4083
Fax: +27 (0)27 219 1202
Mail: japiewillemse@telkomsa.net
Web: http://www.botuin.co.za/ 
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Botuin-Cottage/108031525962886 


Birders Self Catering

DaybreakOnly 140 kilometres from Cape Town, on the R27, this brand new Fisherman-style cottage sits on the very edge of the Lower Berg River Wetland IBA. Ponds, large and small, dotted with islands, extend right up to the front garden wall. Water birds and waders of all kinds congregate to feed, breed and socialise, a few metres from the house. There are also raptors, such as Marsh Harriers, Fish Eagles and so forth.

On the inland side, there is an eco-pool and the house is surrounded by an indigenous garden, both of which attract terrestrials. The unique location allows one to observe the wetland birds from the main bedroom (and bathroom!), lounge, kitchen, veranda and loft balcony. It is a luxurious, private bird hide. Near salt pans, Vlaminkevlei, Rocherpan, Verlorenvlei and Langerbaan. Birding boat trips available nearby. Wild flowers in season.

Sleeps 6 (1 king size, 4 single – convertible to king size), fully equipped modern kitchen, 2 bathrooms, lounge / diningroom, laundry, 2 garages, fire place and braai (wood included), full security, with armed response. Free wi-fi. TV. Roberts and other bird literature. Supermarkets, restaurants, pubs and seafood shops nearby. Westcoast Mall and Life Hospital - 20 minutes away.


Please note that we offer a 15% discount to BirdLife South Africa members or Bird Clubs affiliated to BirdLife, PROVIDED the booking is made directly through our website and paid in full via EFT upon booking confirmation. Use Discount Code: "BIRDCLUB"

Birding on the West Coast: The West Coast offers a diversity of vegetation with many lagoons, marshes and river estuaries which support huge migrant Palaearctic populations. Over 250 species have recorded.

Birding hotspots:

  • West Coast Fossil Park
  • Rocherpan Nature Reserve
  • Verlorenvlei
  • Britannica Heights at St Helena Bay
  • Dwarskersbos
  • Langebaan lagoon

VerandaBirds that were observed during outings to Berg River include Cape & White-breasted Cormorant, Darter, Spotted Thickknee, Little Egret, Lesser & Greater Flamingo, Greenshank, Grey-headed & Hartlaub's Gull, Great White Pelican, Caspian, Common & Swift Tern, Grey, Common Ringed & White-fronted Plover, Whimbrel, Black-winged Stilt, Red-billed Teal, Curlew Sandpiper, Yellow-billed Kite, Pied Kingfisher, White-throated Swallow, Common Starling.

For more information on Birding on the West Coast, download the West Coast Bird Club leaflet here.


Renee van Rooyen

Address: 138 Voortrekker Rd, Velddrif, WC.
Tel: +27 (0)82 499 2800
Email: rp.ruber@gmail.com
Web: www.birders.co.za
GPS co-ordinates: S 32,47',6" E 18, 11' 6"


Kingfisher Country House

27311845 1Kingfisher Country House is situated at the edge of the magnificent indigenous forest, in the heart of the Wilderness national Park. The Kingfisher is the ideal base from which to hike. Explore the exciting and breathtakingly beautiful rivers, lakes and beaches.

The guest house also serves a delicious country breakfast (including freshly baked scones and muffins) on the wide covered verandah. Or simply relax after an exciting day and watch the prolific bird life whilst sipping a well-earned sundowner.

Bird species that can be seen in the garden / surroundings areas are:

From the veranda:
Knysna Turaco, Olive and Knysna Woodpecker, Sombre Greenbul, Terrestrial Brownbul, Cape Bulbul, Chorister Robin-Chat, Cape Robin-Chat, Fork-tailed Drongo, Black-bellied Starling, Black-headed Oriole, Swee and Common Waxbill, Red-necked Spurfowl, Bar-throated Apalis, Streaky - Headed Seedeater, Cape White-eye, Southern Grey-headed Sparrow, Red-eyed Dove, Cape Turtle Dove, Lemon Dove, Pin-tailed Whydah, Cape Wagtail, Hadeda Ibis, Olive Bush-shrike, Southern Boubou, Cape Batis, Southern Double-collared and Greater Double-collared Sunbirds, Amethyst and Grey Sunbirds, Forest Canary, African Paradise and Fiscal Flycatchers, African Dusky Flycatchers, Brown-headed Kingfisher, Yellow Bishop.

In the garden:
Burchell’s Coucal, African Hoopoe, Buff-spotted Flufftail, Knysna Warbler, White-starred Robin, Knysna and Olive Woodpecker, Helmeted Guinea Fowl, Blue-mantled Crested-Flycatcher.

In the surrounding area:
Narina Trogon, Half-collared, Pied, Giant and Malachite Kingfishers, Amur Falcon, Forest and Jackal Buzzards, Fiery-necked Nightjar, Grey Cuckooshrike, Yellow-throated Woodland Warbler, Scaly-throated Honeyguide, Red-chested Flufftail, Various Ducks, African Spoonbill, Little Bittern, Purple and Grey Herons, African Black Oystercatcher (there are too many to mention) in the surrounding forests, on rivers and lakes nearby.


Wilderness is a RAMSAR Site. The following birding hotspots can be visited in the area.

  • Half-collared Kingfisher Trail
  • Brown-hooded Kingfisher Trail
  • Pied Kingfisher Trail
  • Malachite and Rondevlei Birdhides
  • Woodville Big Tree and surrounding forest and trail
  • Grasslands on surrounding farms
  • Touw and Kaaimans Rivers
  • Lagoon area
  • Sea shore along Wilderness beach

Contact details:

Contact person: Sue Millard

Physical address: 1030 Dumbleton Road (off Waterside Road) , Wilderness. 6560
Tel nr: +27 (0)44 877 1955
Mobile: +27 0)82 8084379
Email: info@kingfish.co.za
Website: www.kingfish.co.za

Serpentine Manor


Serpentine Manor is located just outside the quaint village of Wilderness, along the Serpentine River, bordering the Wilderness National Park. We offer 5 self-catering Suites ranging from a thatched Rondavel in the garden, to the Honeymoon Suite overlooking rows of lavender. The property is just under 2 hectares, and all Suites offer a different view. Because of our proximity to wetland and forest, it makes for quite a variety of birding.

Bird Watching

Our private gate leads to both the Pied Kingfisher Trail, and our Orchard, which features a deck to view birdlife, as well as wildlife. Some birds on our list are:

  • Black Shouldered Kite
  • African Fish Eagle
  • Cape Eagle-Owl
  • Cape Spurfowl
  • Brown-hooded Kingfisher
  • African Paradise Flycatcher
  • Knysna Turaco
  • Pin-tailed Whydah

We are also close to several bird hides and other Parks Board hiking trails, and have visitors such as a large tortoise, Rooikat, African Wild Cat, and others.

The following birds can be observed at the Wilderness National Park:Serpentine2

  • White-fronted Plover can be seen on the exposes mudbanks of the Touw River adjacent the Ebb and Flow Rest Camp.
  • Great Crested and Black-necked Grebe are present on Rondevlei and Bo Langvlei.
  • Wildfowl is prolific including Yellow-billed, Maccoa & White-backed Duck, Cape Shoveler, Southern Pochard and Cape, Red-billed & Hottentot Teal.
  • There is a hide at Rondevlei, from where American (Purple) Gallinule, African Rail, Black and Baillon's Crake can be seen.
  • The Swartvlei Estuary immediately east of the Touw River lakes host Caspian Tern and Kelp Gull as well as some waders.
  • The forested hillsides that surround the area are home to several raptors, including: African Cuckoo Hawk, Crowned Eagle, Forest Buzzard, Black and Rufous-breasted Sparrowhawk and African Goshawk.
  • Red-necked Spurfowl can also be viewed along quiet roads with overgrown verges.

Contact details:

Susan Schridde

Address: Hoekwil Road bordering the Wilderness National Parks, Wilderness.
Mobile: +27 (0)76 903 0248
Email: serpentinemanor@gmail.com
Web: http://www.serpentinemanor.com/

GPS Co-Ordinates: 33° 59' 21" S
                                 22° 37' 33" E


Whale Watchers Inn

Whale 2Whale Watchers Inn is your bed & breakfast and self-catering accommodation option situated right on the whale coast, surrounded by two natural phenomena - The Breede River Estuary and the Indian Ocean. Endless, white sandy beaches are available for that long stroll and the San Sebastian Bay, which Whale Watchers Inn overlooks, is the home of the Southern Right Whales, which can be viewed either from the beach, or from your balcony.

Whale Watchers Inn is a 3 star guesthouse offering both Bed & Breakfast as well as serviced, self-catering family units, which also have the added option of a full country breakfast. There are five comfortable en-suite double rooms available on a bed & breakfast basis, four of which are sea-facing and the other has a courtyard view. All rooms offer TV's with DSTV decoder and smart card, fridges and tea/coffee making facilities and Whale Watchers Inn also offers free WiFi Internet facilities to guests. The five family units offer self-catering facilities and are fully equipped and serviced daily. A further bonus is that wheelchair friendly accommodation is also available.Whale 1

The Breede River starts out at Witsand and is one of the largest, most navigable rivers in South Africa. It supports an amazing variety of fish and birdlife. The wealth of fish in the Breede River naturally attracts fish-eating birds such as the majestic fish eagle, the osprey, fish owl and kingfisher. The area is also home to an amazing variety of other birds and water birds.

Contact details

Johnny or Clair Pienaar

Address: Whale Watchers Inn, 6 Protea Street, Witsand. W.Cape
Tel: +27 (0)28 537 1825
Mobile: +27 (0)82 825 3440 or +27 (0)81 835 7671
Fax: 086 520 8355
Email: whaleinn@dorea.co.za
Web: http://whalewatchersinn.com/

GPS: 34°23'39.4"S, -34.394283
        20°51'24.3"E; 20.856755


Rivierplaas Campsite

RivierplaasRivierplaas is a working farm situated on the banks of the Breede River ±25 km south of Worcester. We are only an hour and a half's drive from Cape Town, nestled in the area of Scherpenheuwel. Rivierplaas is located next to a river and have ±900 m easy access to the river. There is a 2.5 km circular hiking trail, with another ±3 km in progress. Birds that occur here are African Fish Eagle, Buzzards, Giant-, Malachite & Pied Kingfishers, African Hoopoe, African Paradise Flycatcher & many others.

Guests can also visit the Karoo Desert National Botanical Garden which is situated in Worcester. Ninety-five bird species have been identified in the Garden. There is a 1 km Desert Birds trail. Storyboards along the trail cover various related topics such as feather and flight, gardening for birds and how climate change affects birds.

Rivierplaas offers big stretched out lawns and a child-friendly play area. This is still one of the few places where children can enjoy themselves in a safe, outdoor environment. Other features include the relatively deep swimming area, foefie slide (flying fox) into the river, cosy camp fires with braai facilities, hot water showers, and flushing toilets. Any kind of tents, caravans, bush trailer or motorhomes are welcome.

With its beautiful surroundings and views, our camp site is the perfect venue for a weekend getaway. For your convenience we will also take care of all your catering needs in the most satisfying way. Contact us for a customised menu, according to your taste and budget. We also rent out tables, chairs and canopies.

Contact details

JB van Eeden

Address: Rivierplaas, Scherpenheuwel, Worcester
Tel: +27 (0)23 340 4551
Mobile: +27 (0)84 710 0139
Fax: 086 295 5076
Email: info@rivierplaas.co.za
Web: www.rivierplaas.co.za 


!Khwa ttu San Education and Culture Centre


!Khwa ttu San Education and Culture Centre is situated 70 km north-west of Cape Town and offers you the unique experience of being introduced to the world of first indigenous people of Southern Africa, the San. !Khwa ttu's environment with its vast openness, rocky outcrops, indigenous fynbos vegetation and a number of game and bird species such as; , African Wild Cats, Bat-Eared Fox, Cape Porcupine, Eland, Zebra, Springbok, Honey Badger, Steenbok, Duiker, Caracal, African Hoopoe, African sacred Ibis, Barn Owl, Black and Yellow shouldered Kites, Crowned Lapwing, Verreux eagle, Hadeda Ibis etc. The list goes on, with our two bird hides and bird route that have open in the beginning of this year, it's a small birders haven.

Either take a walk on your own, have a San guided tour, visit our gallery for unique San art produced by San people over Southern Africa, for the foodies we have cosy restaurant that serves delicious meals on a daily basis. You welcome to join us for a luxurious weekend in our beautiful guesthouse, bush house or tented accommodation. !Khwa ttu offers wonderful possibilities to enjoy nature and revitalize your soul and mind.

Further down !Khwa ttu you can visit the West Coast National Park that is situated just north of Yzerfontein. The West Coast National Park has been ranked as an important Bird and Biodiversity Area as its wetlands regularly support over 35 000 waterbirds in summer, as well as globally important breeding populations of African penguin, Cape gannet, African black oystercatcher, Crowned & Bank cormorant and Black harrier. The lagoon and islands also support important populations of Cape cormorant, Greater flamingo, Pied avocet, Grey plover, Kittlitz's & White-fronted plover, Kelp & Hartlaub's gull, Swift & Common tern, Ruddy turnstone, Sanderling, Curlew sandpiper and Red knot.

Contact detailsKhwattu 2

Jacky Melenephy

Physical address: !Khwattu, PO Box 348, Yzerfontein 7351
Tel: +27(0)22 492 2998
Cell: +27(0)82 475 6101
Fax: 086 265 8817
Email: bookings@khwattu.org
Web: www.khwattu.org

GPS coordinates: 33⁰21'44.55" S; 18⁰16'14.12" E