Balgowan

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!

Contact Details

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
E-mail: forest-lodge@ecotourism.co.za
Web: http://www.ecotourism.co.za

Bergville

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.

Contact Details

Address: R74 Oliviershoek Pass, Bergville, KZN 3350
Tel: +27 (0)36 438 2500
Fax: 086 524 2423
Email: res@lsh.co.za
Web: www.lsh.co.za

GPS coordinates: 28.57972S, 29.05028E

Camperdown

There is a fixed daily schedule at Tala, with game drives operating in the morning and afternoon, with coffee and sundowner stops to complete the experience. Spend the remainder of your day on a bush walk, at the pool or just relaxing in the privacy and comfort of your room. Tala’s main lodge also features an outdoor viewing deck, an ideal spot for sundowners just before dinner.

Dining options include La Tala Restaurant and traditional outdoor bomas, and our conference rooms make Tala ideal for day conferences, special occasions, weddings and tour groups visiting KwaZulu-Natal.

Contact Details

Brigid Turner

Physical address: R603 Umbumbulu Road, Camperdown, Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal
Tel: +27 (031) 781 8000
Fax: +27 (031) 781 8022
Email: reserve@tala.co.za or info@tala.co.za
Web: http://www.tala.co.za/

Tala Private Game Reserve is a wildlife conservancy hidden in the hills of a quiet farming community near Camperdown in KwaZulu-Natal. Low-key and off the well-beaten track, Tala spans some 3,000 hectares, encompassing a mix of acacia thornveld, open grassland and a sensitive wetland, which attracts more than 380 bird species, and plenty of big game, including kudu, hippo, buffalo, giraffe, wildebeest and eland. Being Malaria-free, with no large predators makes Tala a top-notch choice for families, and holidaymakers seeking a no-frills authentic bush break with the freedom to explore on your terms.

Accommodation at Tala is down-to-earth, secluded luxury. Along with a splendid mix of rooms across a collection of lodges and houses, with the option of self-catering in our Fisherman’s Cottage near the dam. While couples and solo travellers are most welcome, Tala is uniquely suited to larger groups.

Dargle Valley

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.

Contact Details

Helen Booysen

Physical address: Kilgobbin Cottage, D707, Dargle Valley, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa
Tel: 082 337 2025
Email: info@crabapple.co.za
Web: www.crabapple.co.za

Eshowe

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:

  • 800m from Dhlinza Aerial board walk (20m high tower overlooking the canopy of trees.
  • Within 5kms of sporting facilities (Bowls, Squash, Canoeing, Fishing, Gym, Tennis, 18 Hole Golf Course.
  • Vukaniu Museum, Norwegian Missionary Museum, Fort Nongqayi (Zululand Historical Museum).
  • Shops, Banks and Post Office.
  • Self walk forrest trails in the Dhlinza and Entumeni forests
  • Zululand birding route
  • The battlefields (a day tour can be arranged)
  • Phobane Lake (bass fishing)
  • Shakaland
  • Skikanye crafts (a world of beads)
  • Game reserves

Contact Details

Quentin and Delise Powell

Physical address: 49 Ulundi Street, Eshowe
Tel: +27 (0)35 474 7738
Fax: 086 614 6709
Mobile: +27 (0)82 532 4627
E-mail: reservations@birdsofparadise.co.za
Web: http://www.birdsofparadise.co.za

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:

  • Dlinza Forest Aerial Boardwalk, with its canopy walkway and 20m high viewing platform, walking trails, bird hide, educational displays, picnic sites and Visitor Centre.–Specialist Birding Guides for this and the Zululand Birding Route can be arranged in advance, if required
  • Fort Nongqayi Museum Village, including Vukani Zulu Cultural Museum, the Zululand Historical Museum, Eshowe Butterfly Dome and Children’s Playground, KZN Papermakers and Adams Outpost Restaurant.
  • Easy day trips can be taken to Game Reserves, beaches and Zulu cultural villages.
  • Eshowe Hills Golf Course and Country Club is opposite the farm entrance.
  • Shakaland is 20 minutes drive away.
  • Battlefields and historical tours around Eshowe-guides can be booked.
  • There are numerous restaurants and take-aways in Eshowe, 2kms away.

Contact Details

Jane and Jonathan Chennells

Physical address: The Chase Farm, John Ross Street of R66, ESHOWE
Tel: +27(0)35 474 5491
Mobile: +27 (0)83 265 9629
E-mail: thechase@netactive.co.za
Web:http://thechase.co.za/

GPS CO-ordinates. S 28º 54.661′ E 031º 28.292′

Franklin

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.

Contact Details

Rozelle du Plessis

Tel:+27 (0)35 474 1473
Fax: +27 (0)35 474 1490
Mobile: +27 (0)82 873 8874
E-mail: res@isibindi.co.za
Web: http://www.isibindi.co.za

Hluhluwe

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.

Contact Details

Address: Bushlands Road, Hluhluwe
Tel: +27 (0)81 339 4181 or +27 (0)35 562 0181
Email: info@bonamanzi.co.za
Web: www.bonamanzi.co.za
GPS Coordinates: S28.072.94, E32.285.75

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.

Contact Details

Dylan and Christa Panos

Address: Kuleni Game Park, Hluhluwe
Mobile: +27 (0)83 502 5556
Fax: +27 (0)86 650 2810
E-mail: info@bushwillow.com
Web: www.bushwillow.com

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.

Contact Details

Dylan and Christa Panos

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
E-mail: mlsafari@mweb.co.za
Web: http://www.malalalodge.com/

Nibela Lake Lodge, located on the northern shores of Lake St Lucia, blends almost magically into the rare sand forest surrounds. Eleven luxurious thatched chalets are situated high up in the cool forest beneath a magnificent canopy of trees, where guests can enjoy the solitude and tranquility of Africa at its best.

The Lodge and surrounds is one of the highest diversity areas for birds in South Africa. The area supports well over 400 species of birds, including numerous rare and endemic species. The Nibela Lake Lodge property does not have any dangerous game, making it one of the few reserves in Zululand where birders can still walk freely and explore the area without being confined to your car.

Aside from the luxurious chalets overlooking the lake, the lodge also boasts several private self-catering chalets, known as Sobhengu Lodge, an ideal private escape for larger groups and bird clubs.

Knowledgeable bird guides are available to take you exploring the sand forest trails where Narina Trogon, African Broadbill, Pink-throated Twinspot and Neergard’s Sunbirds abound. Or take a trip to explore the surrounding floodplains and pan systems where Rosy-throated Longclaws are a common sight as are flock of Pelican, Flamingos and other water birds….and there is always a great chance of turning up something more unusual such as Rufous-bellied Heron, Caspian Plovers and Lesser Jacana.

And if that isn’t enough birding to keep you busy, Nibela Lake lodge is just 30 minutes from Muzi Pans and the world famous uMkhuze Game Reserve, what more could a birder want?

Contact Details

Gemma Linforth

Physical address:
Nibela Lake Lodge, Road A1115, Kwa-Nibela Peninsula, Hluhluwe
Tel: +27 35 562 9292
Reservations: 0861 010 347
E-mail: nibela@dreamresorts.co.za
Email: reservations.nibela@dreamresorts.co.za
Website: http://www.nibelalakelodge.co.za

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.

Contact Details

Jacqui Daniel

Mobile: +27(0)82 888 2540
E-mail: info@thornwood.co.za
Web: www.thornwood.co.za
GPS Coordinates:
Lat: 27° 54′ 311″ (S),
Lon: 32° 21′ 315″ (E)

Umziki Pan is a lovely, small family owned game farm situated in the heart of northern KZN and in fairly close proximity to False Bay Park, Mkuzi and Hluhluwe/Umfolozi Reserves as well as Sodwana Marine Reserve.

Umziki Pan is a Natural Heritage Site (No 67) and is host to many unusual and interesting trees in the Sand Forest area of the farm with characteristic and rare tree species such as the Butterfly tree (Cladostemon kirkii) amongst many other unique and magnificent species. Whether walking through the sand forest, visiting the natural spring or simply watching the water hole from the pool hide, expect the unexpected!

Birdlife includes species such as African Broadbill, Pink Throated Twinspot, Green Twinspot, Rudd’s Apalis, Southern Banded Snake Eagle, Green Malkhoa, Narina Trogon Eastern Nicator to name but a few of the many resident birds. Special mammalsinclude Suni antelope, Tonga red squirrel and the rare 4-toed elephant shrew.

Accommodation consists of comfortable, fully kitted, self-catering serviced thatched chalets as well as a 4 bedroom guest cottage (www.umzikipan.co.za). Total capacity is 17. There are no TV’s in units (night sounds have priority here) but cell phone coverage is good for MTN users.
The boma area and large swimming pool provides welcome relief after a long day’s outing, or as a spot, simply to spend time relaxing, reading and enjoying the peace and tranquillity of the farm.

As custodians of this farm since 1983, we are committed to conserving its very special fauna and flora. To this day, we are always surprised and delighted by unusual sightings – you just never know what you will see.

If you decide to visit us, we hope you enjoy it as much as we do – you will definitely leave rested and rejuvenated.

Contact Details

"Tim" (Carola) Smith or Cathy

Address: Cnr D540 and D70, False Bay Road, Hluhluwe, Kwazulu-Natal.
Mobile: +27 (0)82 339 3576 (Tim) or +27 (0)83 330 3346 (Cathy)
Fax: 086 428 1152
Email: rothesay@iafrica.com
Web: http://www.umzikipan.co.za/

GPS Coordinates: S 28°01’58.31″; E 32°19’45.63″

Zululand Lodge is a privately owned tented camp on the 220 hectare Msinene 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
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.

Activities
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). Bird lists for the area available at the lodge.

Sustainability
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 Msinene 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 pod.

Contact Details

Mike Richardson

Physical address:
Zululand Lodge, Portion 32, Farm Msinene Estate number 14137, Hluhluwe
Tel: +27 (0) 11 465 4905
Email: res@zululandlodge.co.za
Web: http://www.zululandlodge.com/
GPS Coordinates: S27° 53.985′ E32° 18.794′

Illovu (Mid-Illovu)

Gwahumbe Game and Spa: The magic and tranquillity of a true African getaway – with the added bonus of an exotic wellness spa.

Offering a wide variety of catered and self catered accommodation ranging from the ultimate in luxury to comfortable lodges – and even a rustic bush camp. Facilities include a conference centre, swimming pool, bar and boma with adjoining well stocked wine cellar.

Guests are welcomed to a paradise of majestic cliff faces and lush riverine vegetation which is home to rhino, hippo, giraffe, zebra and a wide variety of antelope, as well as a plethora of birds including the martial eagle and endangered ground hornbill.

David Hoddinott of Rockjumper Worldwide Birding Adventures spent a day at Gwahumbe recently and commented: “What a delight it was to spend the whole day in Gwahumbe Game Reserve. I notched up a cracking 105 bird species for the day!” Highlights included:

  • The Striped Pipit – a sought after, elusive & rather shy species.
  • The Southern Tchagra, which is particularly common in the valley bushveld of Gwahumbe reserve.
  • A superb adult Martial Eagle was seen soaring overhead.
  • The Jackal Buzzard, of which several showed well.
  • A covey of Shelley’s Francolin was heard making their lovely call.

The star sighting for me was an unexpected Brown Scrub Robin which is rather shy and may well be a new record for this quarter degree square for the South African Bird Atlas. I was most impressed with the birding activity for this time of year and can most certainly recommend a visit to this reserve at any time of year – it is always rewarding.”         Dave Hoddinott – Rockjumper Worldwide Birding Adventures.

Contact Details

Gwahumbe Game and Spa, Mid-Illovo, KwaZulu-Natal

Tel: +27 087 150 3475
Fax: +27 031 781 1083
Cell: +27 082 347 6536
E-mail: info@gwahumbe.co.za
Web: http://www.gwahumbe.co.za/

Impendle

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.

Contact Details

Bazil Roth

Physical address:
D522 Road, Upper Dargle, Howick
Tel: +27 (0)33 234 9045 or
+27 (0)33 234 9046
Fax: 086 245 2415
E-mail: tillietudlem@mweb.co.za
Web: www.tillietudlem.co.za

Ixopo

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.

Contact Details

Bazil Roth

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
E-mail: reservations@kingsgrant.co.za
Web: http://www.kingsgrant.co.za

Jagersrust

Alpine Heath Resort is an exclusive mountain village nestled in the midst of Northern Drakensberg. With a backdrop of the stunning mountains, this stylish Afro-Swiss designed resort blends perfectly into the landscape.

Alpine Heath Resort offers one hundred superb north-facing en-suite chalet accommodation with breath-taking views of the mountains, each equipped with telephone, good cellular reception, satellite TV, lots of privacy, comfortable lounges, fireplaces, self-catering kitchens and dining areas.

Set high in the majestic northern Drankensberg, midway between Durban and Johannesburg, 45km from Bergville in KwaZulu-Natal, Alpine Heath Resort is a stylish four-star Afro-Swiss designed mountain village, surrounded by crystal-clear streams and mountain-fresh air that blends perfectly with the landscape, and widely regarded as one of South Africa’s premier conference and holiday venues.

Contact Details

Bazil Roth

Physical address: Off old Cavernberg Road, Jagersrust, Northern Drakensberg
Tel: +27 (0)438 8500
Fax: +27 (0)36 438 6485
E-mail: reservations@alpineheath.co.za
Web: http://www.alpineheath.co.za/

Jozini

Jozini Tiger Lodge & Spa is (TEST) situated along the banks of the picturesque Jozini dam of KwaZulu-Natal in the heart of the Kingdom of the Zulu with its rich heritage and untamed natural beauty. It is an exciting holiday destination which offers a perfect luxury getaway in the heart of nature.

The hotel is incredibly positioned soverlooking the Jozini Dam and is easily accessible from both Durban and Gauteng. The hotel itself boasts superb facilities such as a luxury Spa (Mangwanani Boutique Spa), gym, extensive conference and banqueting facilities, a wide variety of activities for all ages, and exceptional dining experiences. Ideal for weekends away, extended family holidays, conferencing, incentives, weddings, team building and international tour groups – this is a must-visit property.

The property is managed by the renowned Three Cities Group who’s unique portfolio of properties offer a diverse range of Africa’s finest hotels, resorts and game lodges in the major tourist and business centres of southern Africa.

We are located in a prime position in the heart of Zululand. Surrounded by World Heritage Sites, as well as some of the most acclaimed Nature Reserves in the world. Three Cities Jozini Tiger Lodge & Spa is accessible from Johannesburg, Durban and the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands by road. There is also a road to the Kruger National Park via Swaziland. Some of the exciting locations available include the iSimangaliso Wetland Park (a UNESCO-declared World Heritage Site), the Maputaland Marine Reserve (located along the beautiful Maputaland South Coast) and many of the top game reserves in South Africa including:

  •     Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Game Reserve
  •     Mkhuze Game Reserve
  •     Ndumo Game Reserve
  •     Tembe Elephant Park
  •     Phongolo Game reserve (which is on the eastern shore of the Jozini Dam)

Contact Details

Gary Segal

Physical address: 1 Main Road, Jozini, northern KwaZulu-Natal
Tel: +27 (0)35 572 1020
Fax: +27 (0)35 572 1114
Mobile: +27 (0)78 422 7210
E-mail: reservations@jozinitigerlodge.co.za
Web: www.jozinitigerlodge.co.za

Tandweni Villa is a privately owned, luxury Villa within the Pongola Biosphere Reserve bordering Lake Jozini. The game viewing in the reserve offers sightings of 4 out of the big 5. The Villa boasts panoramic views of Jozini dam and Ubombo Mountain pass from every room. Comfortable accommodate for 10 adults are available in the unique 5 bedrooms and en-suite bathrooms. The veranda and pool area have endless views over the dam and up the Jozini Gorge.

There is also a Boma to enjoy outside fires under the stars and a hide overlooking a small dam as well as a private gym. The airfield allows small planes access to land on the property near the house. Some birds like the short grass around the airfield. In the mornings, our resident hornbills, bush shrikes, swallows & franklins can be observe in the garden and forest below the house. The Mkuze area is situated in Northern Zululand which is world renowned for its birding. Approximately 300 bird species have been recorded in the area.

Tandweni is the ideal family getaway. The Villa is child friendly and there is a jungle gym for the children to enjoy within the fenced garden. Jabulani our ranger is amazing with kids and loves teaching them to fish and he makes sure game drives are child friendly and entertaining.

Activities offered at Tandweni Villa:

  • Tiger Fishing
  • Sunrise/Sunset Boat Cruises
  • Boat Cruises to the River Mouth
  • Game Drives
  • Bush Walks
  • Lounging by the pool
  • Bird Watching
  • Photography
  • Weddings

Contact Details

Tandweni Farm, Mkuze

Cell: +27 83 626 7070 or
Cell: +27 83 626 6001
Email: admin@tandweni.co.za or
Email: mkuze@iafrica.com
Web: https://www.tandweni.co.za/

GPS coordinates: S 27*29’39”; E 31*57’05”

Kloof

The Bird Hide is a spacious fully contained and furnished self- catering cottage with double bed, sleeper couch, bath room with separate shower, microwave, mini stove and hot plate, TV with full DSTV, hairdryer, wifi, plus bird and tree books as well as binoculars available by arrangement.

The Bird Hide is situated in the all South African indigenous garden which is the home of Peter and Brigid Turner. Our interest in South African plants and birds led to us maintaining a large proportion of the garden in its natural state of grassland and bush clumps plus riverine forest while the remainder was landscaped with plants from Southern Africa along a mini botanical garden theme which included the addition of a wetland.

We have recorded over 150 species of birds as well as being home to bushbuck, blue duiker (near the river), mongoose, bush baby, porcupine, bush pig and genet. There are a number of rare plants and an excellent display of wild flowers emerge after the two yearly grassland burn. A large Ficus thoningii attracts numbers of Trumpeter Hornbills, Purple Crested Tauraco, Black collared and White eared Barbet, Black bellied Starlings and many more during the fruiting season. In the breeding season Narina Trogons can be heard calling and the very fortunate may be treated to a sighting.

The Bird Hide is ideal for relaxed birding from the deck or by strolling along the paths, parking off at the boma, or taking a walk to the river. Krantzkloof Nature Reserve is adjacent to the property and provides guided walks on a monthly basis. Alternatively local guides could be arranged. See the Kloof Conservancy website for more information: https://www.kloofconservancy.org.za/local-info/bird-list/
Other local areas worth visiting are Shongweni Resources Reserve, Springside Nature Reserve and a number of others. Information can be found here. https://www.kloofconservancy.org.za/local-info/nature-reserves/.

Contact Details

Brigid Turner

Physical address: 43 Kloof View Rd, Forest Hills, Kloof. 3610
Tel: +27 (0)72 348 8346
Email: brigidturner43@gmail.com
Website: www.thebirdhide.co.za
FB:https://www.facebook.com/The-Bird-Hide-Self-Catering-2272753966336091/?modal=admin_todo_tour

Kokstad

Nestled below the Ingeli Mountain range (between Harding and Kokstad, KwaZulu-Natal) and surrounded by breath taking indigenous forests, Ingeli Forest Resort is the perfect place to unwind. Ingeli Forest Lodge is an ideal weekend retreat for families who want to get away from the bustle of the city, where a mixture of country living and quality accommodation go hand in hand.

You will be spoilt for choice with forest, natural bush and mountains right on your doorstep. For those seeking a relaxed break-away, our swimming pool, lounges and library will be your oases. For those active and adventurous visitors, Ingeli offers tennis, the best mountain biking and trail running routes, as well as great hiking/walking, birding and exploring opportunities.

The area around Ingeli is a birders’ paradise. Hiking trails were laid out near the Lodge and caters for the more relaxed walker as well as the energetic nature lover. The prolific birdlife which occurs in Ingeli is attributable to the fact that the area comprises the most extensive and best preserved indigenous forests of the Natal mistbelt, about four thousand hectares in extent. A number of usually rare forest birds may therefore be seen in the vicinity of the Ingeli Forest Lodge. Birds that can be seen at the Lodge are Cape Parrot, Trumpeter Hornbill, Orange Ground Thrush, Tambourine Dove, Narina Trogan, Olive Woodpecker, to name a few.

Ingeli Forest Resort’s spacious and comfortable rooms, all having their own verandas, look out onto a tranquil forest setting. All the rooms have en-suite bathrooms, flat screen TVs, DSTV, tea and coffee making facilities, undercover parking.

Contact Details

Gary Segal

Physical address: 3792 Mackton Farm R56 Weza, Between Harding and Kokstad off the N2
Tel: +27(0)39 553 0600
Email: reservations@ingeliforest.co.za
Web: www.ingeliforestresort.com

Ladysmith

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.

  • Close proximity to the historic Anglo-Zulu and Anglo-Boer battlefields.
  • Elandslaagte battlefield and memorial is located on the edge of the Reserve.
  • Easy access from both Johannesburg and Durban.
  • A true African bush experience.

Contact Details

Ronnie Herr

Physical address: Nambiti Game Reserve, Ladysmith KZN
Tel: +27 (0)31 579 3870
E-mail: tracey@umzolozolo.com
Web: www.umzolozolo.com

GPS Coordinates: -28.516848, 29.955706

Mazengwenya

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.

Contact Details

Wilderness Safaris

Physical address: D 1850 Rd, Manzengenya Plantation (37km south of Kosi Bay)
Tel: +27 (0)11 807 1800
Fax: +27 (0)11 807 2110
E-mail: enquiries@wilderness.co.za
Web: http://www.wilderness-safaris.com

Margate

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.

Contact Details

Andrew Lewis

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
E-mail: info@rivervalleynaturereserve.co.za
Web: http://www.rivervalleynaturereserve.co.za/

Mkuze

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.

Bayete Private Camp
The 3 chalets provide exclusive and luxurious accommodation with beautiful views over the waterhole in a secluded Fever tree Forest.

Bayete Homestead
The house provides self-catering accommodation for 16 people. All 8 rooms are en-suite, fitted with spacious sunken baths and open showers.

Little Bayete
The lodge has 4 very comfortable rooms – the rooms provide perfect comfort for a family getaway or group and provide accommodation for 8 people.

Contact Details

Physical address:
Bayete Zulu – Manyoni Private Game Reserve, District Road P450 Mkuze
Tel: +27 (0) 35 595 8089
Cell: +27 (0) 74 100 5221
Email: reservations@bayetezulu.co.za
Web: https://www.bayetezulu.co.za/
GPS Coordinates: S: 27.83591 E: 32.08380

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.

Contact Details

Physical address: Fish Eagle Road, Mkuze, KwaZulu Natal
Tel: +27 (0)35 573 1025
E-mail: gmi@ghostmountaininn.co.za
Web: http://www.ghostmountaininn.co.za/

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.

Contact Details

Chantelle Smith

Physical address: Mavela Game Lodge, D240, Mkuze, KZN
Mobile: +27(0)72 347 6438
Lodge: +27 (0)35 940 0996
E-mail: reservations@mavela.co.za
Web: http://www.mavela.co.za/

In the Riverine Forest and Thickets the following species can be found:

The mixed Savannah offers the following bird species: 

Grey Waxbill
Bearded Scrub Robin
Green Twinspot
Grey-headed Kingfisher
Crested Guineafowl
Black-bellied Starling
Scaly-throated Honeyguide
African Cuckoo Hawk
African Green-Pigeon
Grey Sunbird
African Emerald Cuckoo
Blue-mantled Crested Flycatcher

Pink-throated Twinspot
Eastern Nicator
Rudd’s Apalis
Neergaard’s Sunbird
Green Malkoha
Narina Trogon
African Broadbill
Gorgeous Bush-shrike
Purple-banded Sunbird
African Crowned Eagle
Square-tailed Drongo

White-throated Robin-chat
Grey Tit-Flycatcher
Bronze-winged Courser
Bushveld Pipit
Bearded Woodpecker
Fiscal Flycatcher
Lappet-faced Vulture
Hooded Vulture
White-headed Vulture
Cape and White-backed Vultures
Spotted Eagle-Owl and Verreaux’s Eagle-Owl

Marsh, Grass and Barn Owls
Pearl-spotted and African Scops Owlets
Senegal Lapwing
Southern Ground-Hornbill
Shelley’s Francolin
Lazy Cisticola
Croaking Cisticola
Striped Pipit
Mocking Cliff Chat
Secretary bird

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.

Activities

  • Enjoy the walking trail through the indigenous forest
  • Birdwatching: there are two birdhides on the property
  • Viewing waterbirds on the Jozini dam from a boat
  • Visit our vulture restaurant

Contact Details

Mpeti Lodge, R69 / N2, Mkuze, 3965
074-127-8044
reservations@mpeti.co.za
http://mpeti.co.za/
GPS Coordinates:
27.4905 S, 31.9188 E;
-27.490500, 31.918800

Mtunzini

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.

Contact Details

Taryn Hutchinson

Address: 7 Station Road, Mtunzini, KwaZulu-Natal
Tel: 079 501 5342
Email: taryn@lovemorelodges.co.za
Web: https://www.lovemorelodges.com/ngoye-lodge
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ngoyelodge.lovemorelodges
GPS coordinates: S 28 degrees 55’5, E 31 degrees 44’04”

Enjoy our spacious private bed & breakfast or self-catering accommodation in the heart of Mtunzini’s magical nature, surrounded by lush Indigenous trees & garden where we have an abundance birdlife. Quaint coffee shops, restaurant, nature walks & a pristine wide open beach all very close by (couple of minutes’ drive). Relax at the pool & enjoy the view of the ocean, spot whales or dolphins.

Quintasol accommodation consists of two on-suite bedrooms with a king size or single beds and one on-suite bedroom with a king size bed and a discreet cubby hole bunk bed above the main bed to accommodate 2 small kiddies. Other facilities: lounge, kitchen, swimming pool, Weber braai & secure parking.

Birding is our specialty with excellent local guides whose knowledge will assist you with your birding wish list. Not only do these guides assist you with their excellent observation skills in finding the specials on your wish list but also add great value to any birding outing by providing security & peace of mind when travelling in some more remote areas. For the adventurous you might like to SUP (Stand up & Paddle) or slow boat ride along the Umlalazi estuary where there is an abundance of mangroves & birdlife along the shore line.

Bird species: Look out for the much sort after Palm-nut Vulture, Mangrove Kingfisher; African Finfoot, Green Barbet, European Honey Buzzard & Green Twinspot to name a few.

Birding hotspots

  • Umlalazi Nature Reserve (Mangrove board walk & Mud Flats)
  • The Historical Raphia Boardwalk
  • Siyaya Dune forest Nature walk
  • Ongoye Forrest (home of the Green Barbet)
  • Dlinza Forest Aerial Boardwalk, with its canopy walkway and 20m high viewing platform, walking trails, bird hide, educational displays, picnic sites and Visitor Centre.

Specialist Bird Guides for this and the Zululand Birding Route can be arranged in advance, if required.

Other Activites

  • Richards Bay Casuarina Beach (coastal visitors)
  • Easy day trips can be taken to Game Reserves, beaches and Zulu cultural villages.
  • Battlefields and historical tours around Eshowe-guides can be booked.
  • There are numerous restaurants and take-aways in Mtunzini, 5-7 min away.

Contact Details

Glynnis & Charles Shewan

Address: 24 Kipersol Ave, Mtunzini, KwaZulu-Natal
Cell: +27 (0)83 273 8037 (Glynnis)
Email info@quintasol.co.za
Website: https://www.quintasol.co.za/
GPS coordinates: -28.961655, 31.745011

Ndumu

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.

Contact Details

Andrew Lewis

Address: Ingwavuma Magistrate Road (Directions on our website)
E-Mail: info@ndumu.com
Web: www.ndumu.co.za
Tel: +27 (0) 35 592 8000
Mobile: +27 (0) 82 759 1626
Fax: +27 (0) 86 668 4010

Nottingham Road

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.

Orchard Suites:
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.

Contact Details

Andre and Kaitlynn Kauerauf

Physical Address: 3 D544, Nottingham Road, 3280
Tel: 033 2666903 (email preferable due to poor reception)
Email: bramleighmanor@gmail.com
Website: https://bramleigh.org/
(List of birds: www.bramleigh.org/birding)

Pietermaritzburg

Situated just outside of Pietermaritzburg, this Natural Heritage Site is not hard to fall in love with. Cumberland Nature Reserve is home to a variety of Fauna and Flora including over 280 bird species, over 50 Butterfly species, more than 200 wild flower species, 30 mammal species and an abundance of indigenous trees and grasses. Owned by a conservation-driven family, Cumberland Nature Reserve is also a proud Oribi Custodian.

Birding specials on the reserve include Palmnut Vulture, Grey Crowned Crane, Narina Trogon, Black Stork, Buff-spotted Flufftail, Peregrine and Lanner Falcons, African Finfoot, Western Osprey, Gorgeous Bushshrike, Swee Waxbill, Green Twinspot, Bokmakierie, Knysna Turaco, and Southern Bald Ibis.

Habitats found on the Reserve include pristine savanna, woodland, valley thickets and wetland. Extensive cliff faces, deep valleys, waterfalls and well-wooded gorges provide unrivalled landscape photography opportunities. A network of trails allows one to explore all that the Reserve offers.

Contact Details

Managers: Candice and Gareth Preiss

Telephone number: 0823765600 / 0823371056
Physical address: D408, Table Mountain Road, Pietermaritzburg
E mail: info@cumberlandreserve.co.za
Web address: www.cumberlandreserve.co.za
GPS Co-ordinates: 29°31’17’’S , 30°30’15’’E

Accommodation

Cumberland offers camping and self-catering accommodation at affordable rates, equipped for a convenient and comfortable stay. The campsite is a bird-watchers’ paradise, where over 80 species can be recorded without venturing out.

The self-catering rooms sleep up to 14 guests and have access to a communal kitchen and lounge, perfect for larger family groups.

Situated near the banks of the Umgeni River, wake up to the cries of the African Fish Eagle at the Horseshoe Cottage.

For couples who love to ‘get away from it all’, The Kranz Hut boasts a jaw-dropping view, an outdoor shower and a kitchenette equipped with all the basics, including a gas fridge and gas stove. Rustic, but clean and comfortable, it’s a firm favourite!

Pongola

Cobus and Karen Venter are the owners of this beautiful bushveld game farm in the heart of the Northern Kwazulu 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.

The farm has a network of bush tracks of 130 km you could explore with your bicycle, quad, bakkie or on foot.

Our butchery makes some of the best tasting venison products and is open 7 days a week.

Contact Details

Cobus and Karen Venter

Physical address: Belvedere Game Ranch, Magudu (near Pongola)
Tel: 082 316 3223
Email: venterk@jenny.co.za
Web: https://www.belvederegameranch.com/
GPS Coordinates: S 27°31.752’; E 031°45.612’

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.

Contact Details

Andre and Kaitlynn Kauerauf

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
E-mail: info@whiteelephant.co.za
Web: http://www.whiteelephant.co.za/

Richards Bay

Imvubu Lodge, meaning hippo in Zulu, was inspired by the famous “Huberta the Hippo” who undertook the historic journey from Zululand to East London. Tucked away in the lush greenbelt zone of Richards Bay, Imvubu Lodge is adjacent to the scenic Lake Menywa and the unspoilt beaches of the Indian Ocean. These pristine surroundings make bird watching an extraordinary experience.

The lodge is conveniently located within close proximity to the Tuzi Gazi Waterfront, the International heritage site of St Lucia and two world-class game reserves boasting the Big 5. Situated only 1.5 hours from Durban allows for easy access to splendid shopping centers, the Richards Bay airport, numerous restaurants, pubs, sporting facilities and emergency services.

We offer luxurious accommodation, in the form of 37 chalets. All chalets are fully serviced and air-conditioned, with easy access to our private beach, television and DSTV. Telephone and laptop facilities in selected units also available. 24-Hour security allows you to relax and forget about the stresses of everyday life whilst enjoying the tranquillity of nature.

Imvubu Lodge opened its A-la-carte restaurant for its guests as well as the public. The restaurant has stylist timber furnishings and a spectacular view over Lake Menywa. Our Chef is responsible for planning of the meals on the menu, conscious of nutrition and lends his own enchantment to exotic meals. The restaurant can seat 60 guests.

Contact Details

Ina-Marie Garcia

Physical Address:
Cnr Krewelkring & Hibberd Drive, Meerensee, Richards Bay
Tel: 035 753 4122
Fax: 086 631 0959
Email: gm@imvubulodge.co.za
Web: http://imvubulodge.co.za/
GPS Co-ordinates: S28° 47’26.412 E32° 06’04.872

Nestling within the coastal dunes of South Africa’s KwaZulu-Natal North Coast, the resort offers you options of caravan or camping sites which are of a generous size, level, grassed, and shaded with electrical power points and on site braai’s. We offer clean, well-appointed ablutions that are fully serviced, 24 hour patrolled and gated security and the resorts private beach access a fully holiday entertainment program all works towards ensuring that your stay is everything it can possibly be.

Other facilities of the resort include a Deep Sea boat and car wash area with separate Fish cleaning area, children’s playground, trampolines, volleyball, giant chess, paintball, large swimming pool a tiny tot’s swimming pool, as well as an 18 hole mini adventure golf course.

For year round idealistic holiday weather, be it for your annual vacation, or a long weekend getaway, Richards Bay Caravan Park offers you the ideal location. Set in sub-tropical surroundings, we even offer you idealistic weather conditions in the autumn and winter months at Richards Bay Caravan Park.

Tucked away in the lush greenbelt zone of Richards Bay, Richards Bay Caravan Park is adjacent to the scenic Lake Menywa and the unspoilt beaches of the Indian Ocean. These pristine surroundings make bird watching an extraordinary experience. We are conveniently located within close proximity to the Tuzi Gazi Waterfront, the International heritage site of St Lucia and two world-class game reserves boasting the Big 5.

Contact Details

Karin van der Walt

Physical Address:
Cnr Krewelkring & Hibberd Drive, Meerensee, Richards Bay
Tel: +27 (0)35 753 1971
Fax: 086 631 0959
Email: admin@richardsbaycaravanpark.co.za
Web: www.richardsbaycaravanpark.co.za
GPS Co-ordinates S28° 47’26.412 E32° 06’04.872

Sani Pass

Nestled in a magnificent World Heritage Site at the foot of the Sani Pass, Mkomazana Mountain Cottages have been lovingly restored and are a part of an historic 1800’s trading station. Surrounded by the uKhahlamba Drakensberg Park, the sprightly Mkomazana River and four dams on the property attract a multitude of birds and wildlife to enjoy. We are perfectly situated for a wide range of outdoor activities, from hiking and mountain biking to bird watching and trout fishing.

Altogether there are two two-bed cottages and three cottages each suitable for six people. The cottages are beautifully appointed, each with its own character, private garden, and wood burning fireplace. Delicious freshly baked scones are delivered to your door each morning.

Some of the cottages look out over a large and tranquil dam that boasts a resident Half-collared Kingfisher and a pair of African Black Ducks. The garden spotted a pair of Southern Boubous as well as Cape Rock Thrushes.

Mkomazana is blessed with some of the Drakensberg’s most spectacular trails right on our doorstep. Two short walks lead from the garden. One is to and around another large dam. Below the dam is a wild marsh with patches of open water, reeds and long grass. It feeds a small stream that flows into the Mkomazana River. This can be reached on a different short walk and there is safe swimming in the shallow pools.

Most of the vegetation surrounding the developed area is alien but support forest birds, including Cape Batis, Bar-throated Apalis, Terrestrial Bulbul and Buff-spotted Flufftail. A flock of Swee Waxbills can also be spotted foraging in a small grassland patch.

From the Giants Cup trail which crosses a few kilometres up the road, to 2 distinct trails leading directly from our property. Take the 30 minute walk to Heartbreak Ridge for a birds-eye view of Mkomazana and beautiful views up the Sani Pass, or continue up to Salt and Pepper, a 4 hour walk to the top of the ridge and back, offering spectacular views of both valleys. This close to the escarpment, birders have a good chance of seeing the Critically Endangered Bearded Vulture. Two kilometres down the main road towards the Sani Pass Hotel, will take you to the start of a 3 hour walk to Gxalingenwa Pools and back.

Contact Details

Mkomazana Mountain Cottages, Sani Pass, Southern Drakensburg, KwaZulu-Natal
Tel: +27 (0)63 699 4666
E-mail: bookings@mkomazana.co.za
Web: https://www.mkomazana.co.za/
GPS co-ordinates: 29°38’6.13″S, 29°25’12.32″E

Sodwana

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.

Activities

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:
Near the lodge: Narina Trogan, Gorgeous Bush Shrike, Woodland and Brown Hooded Kingfisher, White Spotted Nicator, Turacos, Woodward’s Batis, Green Coucal, Black-bellied Starling and Blue-mantled Crested Flycatcher and Crested Guineafowl.
Sea: Cape Gannet, Cape Cormorant, Swift and Caspian Tern, and White-fronted Plover.
Lakes: Great White, Green-backed and Rufous-bellied Herons, Pygmy Goose, Goliath Heron, Pel’s Fishing Owl and Fish Eagles just to name a few.

Other activities in and around the surrounding area, are 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.

Contact Details

Mseni Beach Lodge, iSimangaliso Wetland Park, Sodwana Bay
Tel: 033 345 6531 or 087 8035878
Email: bookings@mseni.co.za
Web: www.mseni.co.za

Situated just 10km from the beach, Toad Tree Cabins offers a peaceful retreat after a busy day. We are surrounded by indigenous trees, birds and butterflies, and expect to get a visit from a chameleon or a tortoise. Guests are thrilled with the bush feel of Toad Tree Cabins and the variety of birdlife on the property. There are local bird guides in the area, who are extremely knowledgeable and helpful, who can assist with tours further afield.

Rustic and affordable, Toad Tree Cabins offer you a choice between en-suite wooden cabins or fully equipped self-catering brick cottages for couples or family groups. Toad Tree has 5 two-bed wooden cabins with en-suite open-air ablutions. One cabin has a double bed and bathtub and one cabin has twin beds with inside ablutions. Guests using the cabins have the use of the outdoor entertainment area with a lounge and fully equipped self-catering kitchen. There is a self-catering brick cottage which can sleep between 4 and 8 people, with 2 double beds and 4 single beds. The cottage has a lounge, a fully equipped kitchen and a bathroom with an outdoor shower.

The outdoor entertainment area fully equipped kitchen and leads on to the welcoming splash pool and communal braai area, while those in the cottages have their own private kitchen, braai and lounge area. All rooms are serviced daily and will provide you with fresh linen, plug points, fans and electronic mosquito repellents.

At Sea Escapes we pride ourselves on caring for our beautiful seas and the animals that have made the reefs their home. Rediscover the simpler pleasures of life – the joy of achievement; the calm of solitude; and the pleasure of good companionship.

Contact Details

Janice Dodkins

Address: Toad Tree Cabins, Olakeni, Sodwana Bay
Mobile: +27 (0)83 459 4222
Email: toadtreecabins@mweb.co.za
Web: http://www.seaescapes.co.za
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/seaescapes
GPS coordinates: 27°30’436”S; 32°35’853”E

St Lucia

Hippo Hideaway is situated on the banks of the St Lucia Estuary near the Greater St Lucia Wetland Park and Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Game Reserve and this idyllic luxury lodge is your gateway to the unspoiled beaches of the Elephant Coast.

St Lucia and the surrounding areas are an absolute haven for nature and adventure lovers. The iSimangiliso Wetland was declared South Africa’s first Natural World Heritage site by UNESCO protocol. This has preserved the land as the most ecologically and historically diverse park in South Africa, with Nguni tribes as well as all the natural features living in harmony.

Five ecosystems are recognised in the site, yet they are intertwined in a natural dance so complex and perfect it takes a few days to understand this labyrinth of nature. Birdlife is abundant in the area.

The Western Indian ocean’s waters are warmed with a tropical Agullas current, so that water temperatures can easily reach 30 degrees Celsius; creating the tropical reefs that are home to hundreds of fish species, turtle and dolphin. A huge migratory population of whales makes an appearance in the area every winter.

Join us for sundowners under our thatched boma, and you’ll see why we say the best sunsets always come from Africa. Hippo Hideaway is situated on the banks of the St. Lucia estuary and is often blessed with the presence of a variety of wildlife coming up to graze in the early morning sun.

Hippo Hideaway is a luxury, self-catering resort. The chalets are beautifully appointed and decorated, giving you the luxury of a hotel with the convenience and privacy of self-catering chalet, with a breakfast option.

Contact Details

Physical address: Hippo Hideaway 70 McKenzie Street, St Lucia
Tel: +27 (0)31 764 4553 or +27 (0)35 590 1025
Fax: +27 (0)31 764 0295
Mobile: +27 (0)82 455 0450
E-mail: reservations@hippohideaway.co.za or
reception1@hippohideaway.co.za

Web: www.hippohideaway.co.za

Hornbill House is situated in the tranquil and tropical village of St. Lucia in KwaZulu-Natal. The Bed & Breakfast offers well-appointed comfortable and fully serviced accommodation. All rooms have an en suite bathroom with tea and coffee available. Breakfast is either served on our deck or inside the dining room. Lunch and dinner is available on a variety of tours and safaris or can be enjoyed at a variety of restaurants in St. Lucia, all within walking distance of Hornbill House Bed & Breakfast Accommodation.

St. Lucia lies on the banks of the St. Lucia Estuary, and is unique as it is totally surrounded by the iSimangaliso Wetland Park (formerly known as The Greater St. Lucia Wetland Park), South Africa’s first natural World Heritage Site. The iSimangaliso Wetland Park boasts an abundance of game, over 500 bird species, 50 species of frog, five very distinct major ecosystems and much more.

SHAKAbarker TOURS

Thousands of birders annually visit St. Lucia, attracted by a record 526 species of birds. For the serious birders it is possible to go to sea to spot one of the many Albatrosses or for the novice birders take gentle river cruise, which will deliver pleasing results. But the most popular option for birders is a World Heritage Tour arranged by Shakabarker Tours, which visits the five ecosystems. Shakabarker Tours operates in the iSimangaliso Wetland Park and the Hluhluwe/Umfolozi Game Reserve.

Contact Details

Kian Barker

Address: 43 Hornbill Street, St. Lucia, KwaZulu-Natal
Tel: +27 (0)35 590 1162
Fax: +27 (0)35 590 1070
Email: info@shakabarker.co.za
Web: http://www.shakabarker.co.za/hornbillhouse/index.htm
GPS: -28.3762, 32.4157 (S28° 22′ 34.3″, E32° 24′ 56.5″)

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.

Contact Details

Address: 7 Sandpiper Street, St Lucia, KZN
Tel: +27 35 590 1167
Fax: +27 35 590 1560
Mobile: +27 73 403 0121
Email: info@lalapanzi.co.za
Web: http://lalapanzi.co.za/
GPS coordinates:
-28.375127 (28° 22′ 30.46” S) 32.419780 (32° 25′ 11.21” E)

Umtentweni

Royston Hall is accessed via a narrow unpretentious suburban lane in Umtentweni by the same name. The House is set on a small Private Nature Reserve nestled in tall indigenous coastal forest adjacent to the mighty Umzimkulu River. It has a view of the Indian Ocean in the distance and the swimming beach is 2.3km from here. Royston Hall has five beautifully appointed double suites in order to guarantee privacy at a maximum of ten guests at any given time. The rooms are elegant, refurbished with a real intent to preserve the grand colonial splendour of the house. Breakfast is served on the veranda with a birds’ eye view over the Umzimkulu River accompanied by the cry of the Fish Eagles. Many species of birds might join you for their own breakfast by feeding in the Fig Trees around the swimming pool.

Meander down any of our Nature Trails and spend tranquil time observing the riot of bird life on our small private nature reserve nestled in tall coast forest. The Royston Hall Bird List sports 207 species.

Botanically the two valleys continue to reveal rare and exotic plants previously unknown to grow wild here. Various excursions arranged from our Conservancy are on offer.

All the well-known South Coast amenities are within close proximity as the N2 access is right nearby. This includes 10 World Class golf courses, deep sea diving and fishing, Malls and movies and Lake Eland Game Reserve.

Contact Details

Ria and Roderick Hackland

Address: Royston Lane, Umtentweni
Tel: +27(0)39 695 0083
Fax: 086 664 4456
Email: info@roystonhall.co.za or reservations@roystonhall.co.za
Web: http://roystonhall.co.za/
GPS Co-ordinates: Latitude 30°42’43.71″S and Longitude 30°26’52.59″E

Zinkwazi

Zinkwazi is ideally situated for birders wanting to visit some of the top birding destinations in southern Africa. We are part of the Zululand Birding Route extending Northwards, with prime forest habitats around Eshowe and Ngoye (all approx.70 km) hosting bird specials such as Green Barbet, Eastern Bronze-naped Pigeon, Green Malkoha, Yellow-streaked Greenbul, African Emerald Cuckoo and Narina Trogon. In the wetlands and thornveld around Eshowe and the Phobane Dam, Red-chested Flufftails, White-backed Night Herons and the most southern Rudd’s Apalis population occur. At Mtunzini (60km) and Richards Bay (with the Zululand information office of BirdLife, 100km), unique eastern sub-tropical estuarine habitats support massive wader populations, wetland birds and specials such as Palmut Vulture and Mangrove Kingfisher. The special habitat at Amatikulu (30km) also attracts Swamp Nightjar and Black Coucal. To the South there is the well-known Jex Estate (approx 30km) with Collared Pratincole and many unusual wader sightings. Stanger Tranquila Hide (20km) regularly makes birding news.

At Zinkwazi your accommodation is set in prime habitat, constantly surrounded by birdsong. The lodge grounds offer spectacular bird watching and are accessible at all times. We are available to help with advice, directions, checklists and site guides. BirdLife South Africa has accredited us as ‘Birder Friendly Establishment’. The AA has graded us as ‘Highly Recommended’, and we are Caraville Getaways approved.

We offer 3 types of accommodation:

  • Zinkwazi Lagoon Lodge offers a unique coastal eco-experience, with bed and breakfast or full board, conference and activity packages available.
  • Zinkwazi Forest Camp, an eco-camp site for the whole family, caters for all the needs of caravaners and campers.
  • Zinkwazi Lagoon Chalets, our Self-catering option in various styles, fully equipped and beautifully set, designed for outdoor living at its best.

Enjoy sundowners with the canopy birds at our elevated Isifonya Pub on the sundeck and deliciously spicy meals, named after our birds, in the Raffia Restaurant. On site activities include swimming pool, shop, canoe- and nature trails. Catch the ferry to the protected beach or join a cruise on the lagoon aboard the Fish Eagle.

Contact Details

Address: PO Box 42008, Zinkwazi, 4480
Tel: +27 (0)32 485 3344
Fax: +27 (0)32 485 3340
E-mail: info@zinkwazilagoonlodge.co.za
Website: http://www.zinkwazilagoonlodge.co.za/