KwaZulu-Natal

Balgowan

Midlands Forest Lodge

bfe-midlands forest lodge1Revel 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!

bfe-midlands forest lodge2Contact 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

Eshowe

Birds of Paradise

BOP15Birds 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

BOP14Contact 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

Chase bfe1

Chase Guest House is a relaxing family home, situated 1.5 km from Eshowe town centre, offering personal service and country hospitality. There is bed and breakfast accommodation in a private guest wing, or self catering accommodation in a charming cottage and two self catering garden cottages.

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 and banana 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 five 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, the Phoenix Restorative Justice Gallery, KZN Papermakers, Zulu craft workshops and Adams Outpost Restaurant.Chase bfe3
  • 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: Kangela Street, Eshowe 3815
    Tel: +27(0)35 474 5491
    Fax: +27 (0)35 474 1311
    Mobile: +27 (0)83 265 9629
    E-mail: thechase@netactive.co.za
    Web: www.thechase.co.za

Dargle Valley

Crab Apple Cottages

Crab AppleArchitecturally 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.Crab Apple 2

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

Greytown

Isibindi Zulu Lodge

bfe isi zuluCommitted to conservation and making a difference, the vision for Isibindi Africa Lodges was born in the African savannah with selected unique destinations in South Africa ranging from the world renowned Kruger National Park; Rorke's Drift in the heart of the Anglo-Zulu Battlefields; Kosi Bay Nature Reserve and the warm Indian Ocean shores of the iSimangaliso Wetland Park. With their devoted team they have created a collection of exclusive lodges to celebrate the biodiversity and cultural heritage of these areas.

Isibindi Zulu Lodge is situated near Qudeni Forest Reserve and located in a private game reserve in the heart of the Anglo-Zulu battlefields. The exclusive 12-bed lodge is an architectural celebration of the Zulu nation and is on the doorstep of the Anglo-Zulu battlefields of Rorke's Drift and Isandlwana. Enjoy morning or evening game drives or walks in the Isibindi Eco-Reserve, visit a traditional Zulu homestead or explore the local panorama with its gorges, waterfalls and rock paintings.

Other Isibindi Africa Lodges include

  • Thonga Beach Lodge, north of Sodwana Bay
  • Kosi Forest Lodge situated in the Kosi Bay Nature Reserve
  • Rhino Walking Safaris - Plains Camp and Rhino Post Safari Lodge - situated in the Kruger National Parkizl-pool-1

Contact Details

    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

Bushwillow Collection

Traditional, Quirky or Cosy!

Bushwillow 1aChoose 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 1bBushwillow 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

Jacana Lodge

Jacana bfe 2Jacana Lodge is an upmarket, fully-serviced bush lodge, situated near Hluhluwe in Kuleni Game Park: 170 hectares of indigenous sand forest.

The lodge overlooks beautiful wetland with extensive birdlife. The ideal destination to explore and enjoy the Elephant Coast region of KwaZulu Natal, whether you are looking for beach or bush, both are near at hand. Jacana Lodge is a 3-hour drive north from the bustling city of Durban on the east coast of South Africa. Set in a unique sand forest overlooking beautiful wetlands abundant in wild life the lodge is designed for special times with family and friends.

Jacana consists of three stylish self-catering lodges. The main lodge has four bedrooms and a pool. Tastefully decorated each of the double en-suite bedrooms offer a haven from the rest of the world. The main lodge overlooks a waterhole and wetland. Spot giraffe, zebra, wildebeest, kudu, nyala and abundant birdlife from the deck.

Enjoy walks on the self-guided trails and experience the fascination of the smaller fauna. Whether walking or cycling, one is guaranteed an encounter with the local game. Or, just relax at the lodge in peaceful surroundings and watch the game come to drink at the natural wetland in front of the lodge. The abundance of bird life, the variety of trees and other flora makes for a great bush experience but with the luxury and comforts of a 4-star graded lodge establishment.

The two smaller lodges are ideal for couples. The rooms are all air-conditioned, with outside showers. One chalet has a private splash pool and the other has a view of the wetlands and waterhole prolific with birdlife.

Contact DetailsJacan bfe 1

Sue Fick

    Physical address:
    Mobile: +27 (0)83 455 8240 (Sue)
    Mobile: +27 (0)83 253 2652 (Neil)
    Fax: +27 (0)31 539 3747
    E-mail: info@jacanalodge.co.za
    Web: http://www.jacanalodge.co.za

 

 

Leopard Mountain Game Lodge

bfe-leopard3Leopard Mountain Game Lodge  is located high up in the wild secluded hills of the 23 000ha Zululand Rhino Reserve, a BIG 5 Game Reserve, with spectacular views overlooking a vast stretch of unspoiled bushland and riverine forests, from the Umsunduze River meandering below to the distant Lebombo Mountains. Join us in our game lodge environment where conservation is of utmost importance and a priority in our everyday living.

Our luxurious stone and thatch chalet provides a haven of peace and tranquillity where you can watch the sun and moon rise over an African plain that has not changed since before the birth of man. Take advantage of total peace and tranquillity with warm friendly hospitality at our exceptionally beautiful lodge which has the most spectacular views in Zululand from the river meandering below to the distant Lebombo Mountains.

Join our experienced guides on a morning and sunset game drive that go out for approximately two hours. Big 5 game drive take you through well stocked unspoilt bushvelt and endless rivers winding through indigenous forest filled with many birds' specials. Book a guided walking safari with one of our qualified and experienced trails guides.

Contact Detailsbfe-leopard2

    Physical address: D464, Zululand Rhino Reserve, Hluhluwe
    Tel: 086 111 4789 or +27 (0)35 595 8218
    Fax: 086 619 2661 or +27 (0) 35 595 8536
    Mobile: +27 (0)79 525 8503 (Emergencies)
    E-mail: info@leopardmountain.co.za
    Web: http://www.leopardmountain.co.za/

Makhasa Game Reserve and Lodge

zbrbfe-makhasaSet in the heart of Maputoland, in the Kingdom of the Zulu, Makhasa offers its guests a comfortable experience, set in a tranquil lodge nestled amongst our indigenous sand forest.

Makhasa boasts an abundance of wildlife due to the unique diversity of habitats found within its boundaries. Five distinct habitats including Sand Forest, Broad-leaved Woodland, Thornveld, Ilala Veld, and Sand Thicket allow the opportunity of countless sightings of an array of fauna and flora, whether it be walking in the sand forest or driving the open plains. Amongst some of our better-known inhabitants are three members of the Big Five, namely rhino, buffalo and leopard. Makhasa also holds large healthy populations of giraffe, zebra, hyena, wildebeest, baboons and warthog.

Makhasa Game Lodge provides excellent accommodation in six rustic reed chalets nestled in bush surroundings. The lodge is peacefully settled amongst the inhabitants of the ancient sand forest. Silence calms the area and guests are treated to accommodation in private en-suite cabins with unspoilt panoramic views of the surrounding environment. Nestled in the spacious cabin, one would feel a sense of complete solitude were it not for the regular visitors from nature. All of our cabins are equipped with spacious decks allowing game viewing from the comfort of the room.

Makhasa's bird special is the African Broadbill, found in the sand forest on the reserve. Narina Trogon, Gorgeous Bush-shrike, Palm-nut Vulture, Eastern Nicator and Pink-throated Twinspot are also frequently seen in and around the lodge area. In addition to these birds, the lodge is in a birding hotspot with Muzi Pans, Mkuze and St Lucia all a stone throw away.

Contact Details

    Tel: +27 (0)33 3456531
    Fax: +27 (0)33 3458918
    E-mail:  info@makhasa.co.za or makhasa@mweb.co.za
    Web: http://www.makhasa.co.za

Malala Lodge

Malala Chalet3Malala 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

Paul Harvey

    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

Nibela Lake Lodge

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?

Reservations

Tel: +27 11 267 8500
Fax: +27 11 706 1044
E-mail: info@dreambreaks.co.za
Email: res2@dreambreaks.co.za
Website: http://www.nibelalakelodge.co.za

Thornwood

Thornwood MainHouse0E17283Thornwood 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.

Thornwood TambotiCotE0C85FWe 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

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 Game Farm

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.

UmzikiUmziki 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 mammals include 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"

Illovu (Mid-Illovu)

Gwahumbe Game and Spa

gwahumbe1

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.pic5

 

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

Tillietudlem Game Reserve

Tillie Lodge river-1Set 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.

Tillie craneWhether 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

King's Grant Country Retreat

KG bfe 2

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

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

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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.bfe Alpine Hike at waterval

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

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 and Spa

Jozini bfe2Jozini Tiger Lodge & Spa is 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

Kokstad

Ingeli Forest Resort

Aerial View of Ingeli

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.

Ingeli cabins

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.

Ingeli Rooms

Contact details:

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

Kosi Bay

Kosi Forest Lodge

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Committed to conservation and making a difference, the vision for Isibindi Africa Lodges was born in the African savannah with selected unique destinations in South Africa ranging from the world renowned Kruger National Park; Rorke's Drift in the heart of the Anglo-Zulu Battlefields; Kosi Bay Nature Reserve and the warm Indian Ocean shores of the iSimangaliso Wetland Park. With their devoted team they have created a collection of exclusive lodges to celebrate the biodiversity and cultural heritage of these areas.

bfe isi kosiKosi Forest Lodge is the only private lodge in the Kosi Bay Nature Reserve and is set in the beautiful sand forest on the banks of the Kosi Lakes. It is an unspoilt wilderness that is part of the Isimangaliso Wetland Park, now internationally recognised as a World Heritage Site. The 8 thatched bush lodge (16-bed) offers comfortable accommodation, fine cuisine and caters for a host of estuarine, beach and wilderness activities. Explore this unique ecosystem by guided canoe, boat trip on the lakes, raffia forest walks or day excursion to nearby coastal beaches.

Other Isibindi Africa Lodges include

  • Thonga Beach Lodge, north of Sodwana Bay
  • Isibindi Zulu Lodge,
  • Rhino Walking Safaris - Plains Camp and Rhino Post Safari Lodge - situated in the Kruger National Park

Contact Details

    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

Ladysmith

Esiweni Lodge

Esiweni bfe1Esiweni Lodge is situated in the malaria-free, Big 5 Nambiti Private Game Reserve near Ladysmith in KwaZulu-Natal. Our unique cliff top position offers you a dramatic view over the Sundays River. Our lodge offers superb accommodation – each luxurious room has its own private deck with unique views and a secluded outdoor shower.

After a memorable game drive in the picturesque Nambiti Game Reserve, enjoy the tranquil atmosphere at the lodge or laze around our rim-flow pool. At Esiweni Lodge we offer delicious meals with a range of excellent South African wines. We also offer an outdoor boma experience or a private dinner in our intimate wine cellar. Although you arrive as guests, our warm hospitality will ensure that you will be part of the family in no time at all!

Esiweni Lodge is distinguished by its cliff-top location and panoramic views. Guests can relax in the tranquil setting while enjoying the sounds of the bush and the river below. In addition, Esiweni Lodge also offers:

  • A Big-5 wildlife and nature conservancy in the 20 000 acre Nambiti Private Game Reserve.
  • Cheetah, hyena, hippo and more than 30 mammal species.
  • Extensive bird life.
  • A wide biodiversity including grassland, savannah, thornveld, ravine bush, acacia trees, grasses and aloes with topography ranging from plains to valleys, mountains and waterfalls.
  • A malaria-free location.
  • Two game drives per day conducted by a fully qualified, experienced game ranger in a comfortable game-viewing vehicle.Esiweni bfe2
  • Night drives where you can enjoy and learn about the stars of the Southern Hemisphere in skies free of light and pollution.
  • 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

    Physical address: Elandslaagte P555, Nambiti North gate, Ladysmith
    Tel: +27 (0)36 636 9002 or (0)36 636 9003
    Fax: +27 (0)86 546 4045
    Mobile: +27 (0)83 440 8197
    E-mail: reservations@esiweni.co.za
    Web: www.esiweni.co.za

Mazengwenya

Rocktail Beach Camp

bfe rocktail beachRocktail 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 Detailsbfe rocktaill lodge

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/south_africa_maputaland/rocktail_beach_camp/introduction/

Margate

River Valley Nature Reserve

bfe rivervalley reserveRiver 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

Ghost Mountain Inn

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

For Reservations

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

Mavela collageMavela Game Lodge offers a unique, all-inclusive rate as a luxury, tented lodge in the Manyoni Private Game Reserve. Common sightings of “Big 5”, cheetah, wild dog and hyena compliment the diversity of birdlife with over 400 species recorded. The habitat in this 23 000ha reserve is varied and ranges from beautiful serene riverine forests, rocky hillsides with jagged cliffs, to moist- and dry savannah.

Avid bird and wildlife photographers enjoy open-backed safari drives that allow for intimate encounters and opportunities for optimum photography. Bird baths are positioned in front of each of the five, thoughtfully decorated, tents where guests can rest between safari drives or relax at the pool or upper deck to soak in the sweeping bushveld vista and listen to the serene sounds of the African “chorus”.

After the morning game drive, breakfast takes place in the form of a buffet/cooked brunch. An afternoon high-tea is served before the late afternoon game drive. Following this safari, guests are welcomed back with a hot towel and a refreshing drink before seating for a sumptuous, gourmet, three-course dinner - either under the stars, or in the open-plan lounge/dining area.
The lodge has a maximum occupancy of ten people and the camp is not fenced which bodes to the adventure of being in the wild. This intimacy also allows for flexibility of game drive times and not rush if something special is viewed on the “home run”.

At Mavela, what you see, is what you get, in that the daily rate includes: VAT, conservation levy, luxury en-suite accommodation, meals, fine choice of wines, spirits and refreshments, snacks, and two safari drives.
The journey from Gauteng is approximately five and half hours (485km) via the N17 and N2 highway. From Durban, the drive is three and half hours (305km) via the N2.
Whether your time is limited or not, Mavela is a hidden gem to discover and offers an opportunity to boost your bird list.

In the Riverine Forest and Thickets the following species can be found:                                                        The mixed Savannah offers the following bird species:   
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
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
  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

Contact Details

Contact person: 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/

Ndumu

Ndumu River Lodge

Ndumu RL

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

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

Pongola

White Elephant Safari Lodge and Bush Camp

WESL bfe 2White 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.

WESL bfe 3 Olive tree warblerThe 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.WESL bfe 1

Contact Details

    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

Imvuvu Lodge

Imvubu 1

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:Imvubu 2

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

 

Richards Bay Caravan Park

Screenshot 2016 11 07 06.22.04

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

 

Sodwana

Thonga Beach Lodge

bfe isi thonga

Committed to conservation and making a difference, the vision for Isibindi Africa Lodges was born in the African savannah with selected unique destinations in South Africa ranging from the world renowned Kruger National Park; Rorke's Drift in the heart of the Anglo-Zulu Battlefields; Kosi Bay Nature Reserve and the warm Indian Ocean shores of the iSimangaliso Wetland Park. With their devoted team they have created a collection of exclusive lodges to celebrate the biodiversity and cultural heritage of these areas.

Thonga Beach Lodge lies nestled within the iSimangaliso Wetland Park on the pristine shores of the Maputaland coast in northern KwaZulu-Natal.  This luxury 24-bed lodge is the ideal place to discover one of the last unspoilt and undeveloped wilderness beaches left on the African continent. Thonga Beach Lodge is a magical place of tranquil swimming bays and snorkelling reefs, coastal forests, grasslands, bush, shimmering lakes and exquisite sandy beaches. Its crystal clear, warm waters offer unparalleled snorkelling and fantastic offshore scuba diving.

Other Isibindi Africa Lodges include

  • Kosi Forest Lodge,
  • Isibindi Zulu Lodge,
  • Rhino Walking Safaris - Plains Camp and Rhino Post Safari Lodge - situated in the Kruger National Park

Contact Details

    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

Toad Tree Cabins

Toadtree

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

Hippo bfe 2Hippo 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

hornbill house

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.

Contacthornbill logo

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 Guest House

Lalapanzi header grafic

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:

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

roystonRoyston 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. Royston-Hall-Crowned-Hornbill1

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 Lagoon Lodge

Zinkwazi2Zinkwazi 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.

Zinkwazi Lagoon Lodge is set in a subtropical riverine forest, bordering on 8 km of unspoilt lagoon (with boat based bird watching options) and surrounded by endless golden beaches, dune- and coastal lowland forest. The Zinkwazi Conservancy also includes Harold Johnson Nature Reserve with protected woodlands and grasslands. This diversity offers prime habitat for many unique North Coast bird specials, such as Black-throated Wattle-eye, Grey- and Olive Sunbirds, Yellow-, Southern Brown-throated- and Dark-backed Weavers, White-eared Barbet, Yellow-rumped Tinkerbird, Green Twinspot, Square-tailed Drongo, Scaly-throated Honeyguide, Crested Guineafowl, Spotted Ground Thrush and African Finfoot. Zinkwazi is Zulu for place of the majestic African Fish Eagle, and their haunting cry is part of the magic.

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:

  • Zinkwazi1Zinkwazi 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/

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