Bateleur Nature Reserve is best explored on foot. You have the freedom to explore the gorges and rocky krantzes of The Waterberg, or go swimming in the clear bilharzia-free rock pools. The Reserve offers you the freedom to be on your own in the bush to live and explore as you wish. In so doing, gain a more intimate knowledge of, and be entertained by the Waterberg's unique eco-system.
The area is classified as malaria-free. Summer days are warm to hot (low humidity) with thunderstorms. Winter days are mild and sunny. The nights can be chilly.
Stamvrug Hiking Trail dates back to May 1992, when it was officially opened after being designed with the assistance of the Centre for Eco Tourism from the University of Pretoria. Since then, thousands of nature lovers have wound their way around and across the rim of a basin which constitutes one of the few unspoilt, unique Waterberg ecosystems. Nine years later, the Waterberg Biosphere Reserve received its international status form UNESCO in 2001 and now forms part of the World Network of Biosphere Reserves and is the first reserve of this kind registered in southern Africa.
It is in this special environment, that Bateleur Nature Reserve offers a variety of hiking options. Over and above the four dedicated two-day backpacking trails, there are three shorter day trails, which can be enjoyed either from the two base camps, which offer excellent hiking facilities, or from any of the farmhouses and cottages, which offer more comfotable accommodation. Bateleur Nature Reserve caters for hikers with different levels of fitness and experience. Even within one group, individuals with diverse expectations have the opportunity to hike different distances and grades of difficulty.
Blouberg Nature Reserve is a 9 300 ha provincial government Nature Reserve. Conservation and Tourism management fall under the control of the relevant Limpopo provincial government structures. KuneMoya has been appointed by Limpopo Tourism and Parks as the official Tourism Management Permit holder.
The varying topography, from mountain down to the plains and the Brak River in the south lends itself to a rich diversity of plant and animal life. Veld type ranges from Kalahari-sandveld in the north to sweet bushveld in the east and west. Mixed bushveld on the mountain slopes with grassveld arid fynbos on the plateau and riverine bush in the south. Unique features are the tamboti woodland, fig forest, baobabs and the Brak River floodplain.
Animals: Animals found on the reserve include cape buffalo, giraffe, eland, sable, waterbuck, gemsbok, red hartebeest, zebra, kudu, bushbuck, impala, mountain reedbuck, klipspringer, steenbok, duiker, warthog and bushpig. Predators recorded are leopard, cheetah, caracal, brown and spotted hyena, and numerous small mammals like civet, red spotted genet and African Wildcat.
Birds: The bird list stands at more than 230 species of which the flagship for the reserve is the Cape Vulture. The breeding colony, hosting more than 650 breeding pairs, forms a stronghold for this threatened species in Southern Africa. Visitors can view these birds at close range, especially during winter months at the vulture restaurant when they daily come to bathe at the waterhole or feed on a carcass when provided. Other interesting species are the Crested Guineafowl, Southern Ground-Hornbill and a variety of raptors. 56 reptile species have been recorded so far.
Getting about: Due to the presence of dangerous game only guided hikes are permitted. Self-drive game-drives are possible, preferably using a vehicle with a high ground clearance. To access the southern region a 4x4 is required. Vehicles may not be driven off existing roads. Guided game drives are available by special request and must be booked in advance of your visit. Be aware of your surroundings when alighting from vehicles as a confrontation with a buffalo or leopard is always a possibility.
Accommodation at the Reserve consists of 4 camps
"Three star" self-catering accommodation. Four x 4–sleeper family cottages each suitable for 2 adults and 2 children. Fully-equipped and serviced, self-catering thatched cottages, consisting of main bedroom, en-suite bathroom, separate kids bedroom with bunk bed, lounge/dining, kitchen, braai area. All cottages have electricity. In addition, Mashatu has a separate conference/training room and braai lapa for group bookings.
Tamboti Bush Camp
"Two star" rustic bush camp. Self-catering accommodation (sleeps 8) in 4 x 2 bedded safari tents. Ablution block, equipped kitchen, braai area. Solar-powered lighting is provided in all areas and tents. Guests are requested to provide own bedding, towels and consumables. Full servicing option is available. Single-party bookings only. Additional guests may be accommodated provided prior arrangement is made.
Modumele Wilderness Camp
"One star" back to the bush experience in a magnificent setting with very basic facilities i.e. bucket shower, pit toilet, covered storage area, braai place. Cleared areas to pitch your own tents etc.. Guests are requested to be completely self-sufficient regarding all equipment and consumables. Water may be obtained at the offices. Single-party bookings only. Max 12 guests.
Molope Bush Camp
5 x private camping sites in the heart of a beautiful, cool forest of mature Weeping boer-bean and Mashatu trees. Ablution block with showers (one open-air) and flushing toilets. Max 6 guests per site.
Shikwari Bush Lodge is a small, exclusive, luxury lodge, nestled under the majestic Drakensburg Mountains, in an elegant and relaxed setting. This is an ideal base to explore the Limpopo Province and a great halfway stop to Mozambique, being just under an hour to the Kruger National Park.
Shikwari is home to a variety of non-dangerous game such as giraffe, wildebeest, impala, Livingstone's Eland, zebra and Bushbuck. Less seen are porcupine, pangolin, & warthog. Explore the bush on foot, take your binoculars and do some birding. The lodge commands wonderful vistas of the Drakensburg Mountains which are home to the Manoutsa Vulture Colony with up to 660 pairs of Cape Vulture. This is the fourth largest colony in the world.
The Main lodge area has a tranquil plunge pool and shady veranda. Watch the sunset turn the Mountains into a rainbow of colour whilst enjoying snacks and sundowners, after which one can dine under a dark velvet, star-filled sky, or in our well appointed candlelit dining room. Retire when the day is done to one of our four luxurious suites, secluded amongst the bush. Each suite is beautifully decorated and well-appointed, with a hospitality tray and stocked mini bar. The en-suite bathrooms have large oval baths and outdoor showers.
Toro Yaka Bush Lodge is nestled in the heart of the Balule Nature Reserve, a 38 000 hectare conservancy, which forms part of the Greater Kruger National Park biosphere. Toro Yaka, which means "My Dream" in Northern Sotho, is a one-of-a-kind lodge situated in the unforgettable pristine bushveld of Balule, a 30 000 ha nature conservancy in the Greater Kruger National Park. Toro Yaka is owner-managed by husband and wife team, Steve and Nicole, who will personally ensure your stay to be something to remember.
Steve has spent more than a decade sharing his knowledge and love for the bush with clients from all over the world at luxury game lodges throughout South Africa. All bush activities are conducted by Steve, who is a professional SKS trails guide, qualified through the Field Guide Association of South Africa (FGASA). His 12 years of experience and specialised knowledge of all aspects of nature make all bush experiences truly unforgettable. In excess of 350 species have been recorded in the Balule Nature Reserve.
Nicole is a qualified holistic massage therapist and takes care of all the tiny details. Together with the Toro Yaka Staff, they will ensure your stay to be a memorable one.
Balule is home to a large variety of plants and animals. From the smallest spider to the largest elephant, from the tiniest flower to a 1000 year old Leadwood tree, owls at night and eagles by day, every aspect of the ecosystem is explored.
The Olifants River, which flows year round through the Balule, is home to hippos and crocodiles, and the whole area is one of scenic splendor, with the northern tip of the Drakensberg mountain range being visible from many points.
Birding in the Balule Nature Reserve is very rewarding and Steve's Balule Bird List to date is 250+ species long. A large variety of birds are found in Toro Yaka's garden, including sunbirds, kingfishers, owls, francolins, cuckoo's and many more. The Region, with its diverse habitat of mountainous forest, riverine forest and bushveld savannah, hosts 80% of the country's raptor species. All of the birding "Big 6" (Kori Bustard, Southern Ground-Hornbill, Lappet-faced Vulture, Pel's Fishing Owl, Martial Eagle and Saddle-billed Stork) have been recorded here.
In addition to birding, Toro Yaka offers a number of other activities including visits to the Kapama Cheetah Breeding Project, Moholoholo Animal Rehabilitation Centre, Swadini Reptile Park, White river rafting, hot air ballooning and the Nyani Cultural Village.
Steve & Nicole Baillie
Physical address: Balule Nature Reserve, (On the R40 between Hoespruit & Phalaborwa)
Fax: +27 (0)12 991 5984 or 086 603 8251
Mobile: +27 (0)82 308 5763
Kurisa Moya is a beautiful nature lodge nestled in the Northern Drakensberg escarpment and overlooks the breathtaking Kudu's River Valley and is only 45 minutes from the city of Pietersburg / Polokwane and 20 minutes from the mountain village of Haenertsburg and the beautiful Magoebaskloof. This piece of paradise, truly embodies its Xitsonga name, Kurisa Moya, meaning Tranquil Spirit as it is a place where you can revive your soul.
The Kurisa Moya farm measures 422 hectares of extraordinary landscape. Because the farm is situated between the lowveld and the highveld, it enjoys the benefits of both climates and environments. A beautiful indigenous forest nestles in the valley and is home to a large variety of lovely birds, animals and flora. Large stretches of pine plantations give way to African bushveld on the lower part of the farm where two dams are fed by clean mountain streams.
Our vision at Kurisa Moya is to provide an opportunity for people to enjoy the unique beauty Kurisa Moya has to offer and to develop Kurisa Moya to its fullest potential in terms of lodges, retreats, workshops and seminars, farming, forestry, hiking, fishing , etc, without sacrificing the wild beauty of the place.
Kurisa Moya boasts excellent birding on site, including seven species of robin, including White-starred Robin and Chorister Robin-chat. Five Bush-Shrikes are on offer, with Black-fronted Bush-shrike heading up the list. Other specials include Narina Trogon, Buff-spotted Flufftail, Green Twinspot and Knysna Turaco, to name but a few. The landscape of Kurisa Moya offers an opportunity to access a whole range of habitats in a very short space of time. The hard work and stiff necks of forest birding is usually rewarded by 15 to 20 forest species.
David Letsoalo based at Kurisa Moya is a qualified BirdLife South Africa guide with intimate knowledge of the Woodbush forest area. He has been guiding in the area for more than 2 years and has "stakeouts" for most of the specials in the area like Cape Parrot, Bat Hawk, Orange Ground Thrush and many more. He offers guided walks on Kurisa Moya to the various habitats on the farm. Alternatively, he can guide birders to the local birding hot-spots like Woodbush forest, Turfloop Dam, the montane grassland habitats of the Blue Swallow, Polokwane Game Reserve and environs or down to the tropical lowveld of the Tzaneen area. Kurisa Moya guests enjoy reduced rates for David's services.
Graceland Eco Retreat is situated on 85 Hectare bordering on the forests and plantations of Magoebaskloof and the Woodbush Forest Reserve. Graceland overlooks the Kudu River Valley with views all the way to Mooketsi and the mountain range beyond. The retreat offers a relaxed environment in an almost untouched and scenic landscape, ideal for hiking, bird watching and animal spotting.
The area is famous for its unique birdlife and the mountain bushveld with its granite formations and boulders is home to such birds as the Verreaux, Crowned and Long-Crested Eagle, Lanner Falcon, Alpine and African Black Swift as well as the famous African Fish Eagle.
No predators but a variety of game like Giraffe, Impala, Waterbuck, Kudu and Klipspringers can be viewed in a relaxed setting. A favourite spot is Look-Out Point which has a 180 degree view of the valley and makes it an ideal spot for a picnic or sundowners.
Graceland Eco Retreat is part of the Kudu’s River Valley Slackpacking trail together with our neighbour, Kurisa Moya Nature Lodge. A variety of different vegetation can be observe when hiking through an indigenous forest, home to a large variety of beautiful birds, animal and flora, including the Black-fronted Bush-Shrike, Narina Trogon and Green Twinspot as well as Samango Monkeys and Bushpigs.
Address: Portion 9, Escatre Farm, Kudu’s River Valley road (from Houtbosdorp to Mooketsi), Magoebaskloof
Cell: +27 (0) 83 277 5553
GPS Co-ordinates: 23°47.212 S, 29°55.875 E
Madi a Thavha, meaning "water from the mountains", is set in a beautiful and quiet valley of the Soutpansberg Mountains of Northern Limpopo, only 10 km drive from the centre of Louis Trichardt. At Madi a Thavha you find everything that the area has to offer: an exhibition of the art and crafts of the Venda and Tsonga artists, numerous bird species, walking routes, and the workshop of Madi a Thavha Design.
The lodge is an excellent base to spend a few days to explore the Venda and Tsonga culture, myths and legends and to discover unspoiled nature of the Soutpansberg and Limpopo valley. Madi a Thavha is a nice stop over when travelling to the Kruger National Park, Mapungubwe, the bush camps at Tuli Block in Botswana or the Victoria falls in Zimbabwe.
Madi a Thavha Mountain Lodge offers guided birding trips to Birding hot spots of choice (Hanglip, Roodewal, Etambeni, Albasini Dam) with Samson Mulaudzi, a qualified Birding guide. Bird watchers leave early in the morning and return to the lodge in the beginning of the afternoon to relax at the swimming pool or continue observing birds around the farm house or in the surrounding mountains.
Samson is always on the look-out for such varied species as White-backed Night Heron, African Finfoot and Osprey. Various kingfishers can be seen in this area, as well as Buff-spotted Flufftail and rarities such as the Rock Pratincole have turned on occasion.
The original farm house, where general lodge facilities are situated, has two luxurious guest rooms with en suite bathrooms. Madi a Thavha also offer 4 guest houses as well as 2 campsites near the lodge.
Address: Off R522 Makhado - Vivo Road, Makhado (Louis Trichardt)
Tel: + 27 (0)15 516 0220
Fax: + 27 (0)86 648 29 24
Mobile: Cell: + 27 (0)83 342 41 62
Monate Game Lodge is a modern luxury 4-star lodge that offers guests unique features to enjoy while they birdwatch in the tranquillity of the bushveld. The lodge is surrounded by manicured natural gardens within a private game reserve of approximately 2000-hectares in the Limpopo Province, just a two-hour drive from Pretoria and Johannesburg and a mere 14 kilometres from Nylsvley Nature Reserve.
The lodge and its surrounding game reserve are home to 50 per cent of the bird species found in South Africa – making it a paradise for birders and photographers!
This malaria-free area is beautiful in its diversity, with landscapes ranging from open plains to typical bushveld, interspersed with interesting rocky outcrops, caves and koppies.
The accommodation is luxurious, with open-plan en-suite rooms equipped with all modern amenities and situated at the main lodge.
Visit Monate Game Lodge and you will find out why it’s known as the “Gem of the Bushveld.”
Deelkraal Wildlife Reserve is situated between the towns of Modimolle and Mookgophong and is located on the Nyl river floodplain, at the foothills of the picturesque Waterberg Mountains in the Limpopo Province.
Deelkraal Wildlife Reserve is a premier South African birding destination, endorsed by Dr. Warwick Tarboton, a well -respected and published ornithologist. Deelkraal is a 2000 hectare reserve, located next door to the world renowned and RAMSAR protected, Nylsvley Nature Reserve. We have 6km of the Nyl River and its floodplain, a permanent 22 acre dam, surrounded by riverine woodlands, acacia sand-veld and montane bush-veld. You can only imagine the variety of woodland, water and bush-veld birds that live on and visit Deelkraal.
The reserve harbours also a wide variety of historically endemic animal species. Due to the mix of wetland and bushveld, Deelkraal's incredible biodiversity is home to a multitude of bird life, wildlife – including the rare Tsessebe antelope (Roan, Sable, Buffalo), fauna and flora, making it a choice African safari destination for people from all walks of life and with diverse interests.
Built in the 1930's, the Deelkraal homestead transports guests to another time and place, ideal for those who wish to relax in the tranquil garden, unwind by the pool, soaking up the warm African sun, or explore the reserve. The main lodge is a well-appointed, historical, colonial style homestead, offering comfortable luxurious, fully catered accommodation. The lodge sleeps up to 8 guests in 4 en-suite rooms. The fact that we only take one booking at a time, means that we can be totally flexible to our guests needs and interests.
Hosted by a small, experienced team, the days are either relaxed or action packed, tailored to suit each particular party, allowing guests to make themselves at home and enjoy the many activities that are available on the reserve:
Elemer Jankovich-Besan & Rachel Hughes
Vexilinx (Pty) Ltd
P.O.Box 844, Mookgophong, 0560, Limpopo, South Africa
Office: +27(0)73 914 3474 (calls only line)
Rachel: +27(0)81 955670 / Elemer: +27(0)83 4517956
Vat: 4550254280 … CK: 2009/021675/07
Sandfields and Forests is a privately owned 2,500 hectare game farm bordering Nylsvley Provincial Nature Reserve, an internationally recognised Ramsar site (wetland of international importance and World Heritage Site) at the foothills of the Waterberg Massif. Sandfields is located approximately 220km north of Johannesburg (2.15 hour drive from Johannesburg and 1 hour from Polokwane). The nearest town is Mookgopong (formerly Naboomspruit) approximately 20km away and the nearest airport is located in Modimolle (previously Nylstroom) at a distance of approximately 40km. The nearest international airport is at Polokwane. Road infrastructure to reach the reserve is excellent. A good internal road network makes the farm accessible - negating the need for 4X4 (excluding wetland areas).
Sandfields enjoys particularly fine weather - mostly clear and warm days - with thunderstorms occurring late in the afternoons during the summer months. Sandfields has a special sense of place reminiscent of the Okavango Delta and East African Savannah. The reserve comprises diverse landscapes of grassland, forests (mixed broadleaf savannah and acacia thornveld); wetland areas and islands; and vistas into the Waterberg Mountains. The farm is particularly known for its spectacular stands of indigenous trees (including Marulas, Burkea Africana or Wild Syringa - the iconic ³Pierneef tree² - Black Monkey Thorn, Umbrella Thorn and Silver Cluster Leaf). The wetlands are the biggest in South Africa and are fed by summer rains, peaking in January and February. A unique feature on the reserve includes an ancient sandstone volcanic blowhole and lava flow.
The reserve is in a pristine condition with excellent visibility, air quality and no noise pollution. Exotic vegetation and internal fencing have been removed. There is no hunting on the farm, and consequently, game is approachable. There is a rich diversity of birdlife (over 400 species) and the area is a mecca for birdlovers locally and internationally. The farm is home to a wide range of game including Impala, Eland, Wildebeest, Kudu, Red Hartebeest, Bushbuck, Waterbuck, Southern Common Rhebuck, Blesbok, Steenbok, Nyala, Tssessebe, Zebra, Giraffe, Ostrich, Antbear, Crocodile, Leopard, Brown Hyena, Caracal, Honey Badger etc. A small herd of Nguni and Bonsmara cattle are also present.
Accommodation can be provided for up to 30 people in a number of houses spread over the reserve. The houses are available for R15 000 per house per month on a long term lease.
Additional accommodation is readily available in close proximity to the reserve. In situ facilities include two large barns suitable for office / storage use with internet and cell phone signal. A variety of vehicles (landrovers, gameviewers, tractors, unimog, quad bikes, antique horse drawn carts) are also available.
Sandfields and Forests, situated next to Vogelfontein, Nylsvley Nature Reserve
Tel: +27(0)83 254 0080
Fax: +27(0)11 286 3900
The Makuleke concession, situated between the Limpopo and the Luvuvhu Rivers in the northern section of Kruger National Park, is certainly the wildest and most remote part of the Kruger Park and offers varied vegetation, great wildlife viewing and the best birding in the entire Park.
Scenery ranges from the beautiful, quietly-flowing Luvuvhu River shaded by nyala trees and fever tree forests and teeming with hippos and crocodiles to the awesome Lanner Gorge, palm-fringed wetlands and rocky outcrops with thousand-year-old baobab trees.
9 comfortable thatched, tented double rooms on wooden decks rest in the shade of large nyala trees, each with an en-suite shower, washbasin with hot running water and a flush toilet and also a veranda overlooking the surrounding bush. The camp is not fenced.
All the wildlife that one would expect to see in a great national park such as Kruger can potentially be encountered on the concession.
You will be in arguably one of the best birding areas in South Africa. Makuleke forms 1% of Kruger Park's surface area yet supports 90% of all the birds recorded for the Kruger Park. According to Birdlife SA, Makuleke is ranked three as a birding hotspot in South Africa.
There are many "specials" to be found at Makuleke include the Mottled Spinetail, Bohm's Spinetail, Arnot's Chat, Lemon-breasted Canary, Racket-tailed Roller, Grey-headed Parrot, Three-banded Courser and Pel's Fishing-Owl. Others include the Crested Guineafowl, Narina Trogon, Blue-cheeked Bee-eater, Pennant-winged Nightjar, African Finfoot, Verreauxs' Eagle, African Crowned Eagle, Dickinson's Kestrel, Tropical Boubou, Black-throated Wattle-eye, African Yellow White-eye, Meves's Starling, Yellow-billed Oxpecker, Mosque Swallow and Thick-billed Cuckoo.
Makuleke lies within the migratory path of many species including some of the rare or uncommon migrants such as the Olive-tree Warbler, Thrush Nightingale, Great Spotted Cuckoo, Eurasian Golden Oriole and Dwarf Bittern. It has a long bird list, mainly due to its pristine and great habitat variation. These include floodplains and wetlands, riparian and Fever Tree forest, thornveld, broad-leaf woodland, cliffs and rocky gorges.
Enquiries: Angela Leaning
Address: Makuleke concession, Pafuri, Northern Kruger National Park
Tel: +27 (0)13 752 2532
Fax: +27 (0)13 752 4791
GPS Co-ordinates: 22°23'59.28" S
RETURN Africa’s origins lie at Pafuri in the far north of the Kruger National Park. Our concession lies in a vast triangle between the Limpopo and Luvuvhu rivers along South Africa’s north-eastern frontier. Between them, the two great valleys embrace one of Africa’s most spectacular landscapes with mountains and gorges in the west giving way to plains, pans, baobabs and fever tress forests in the east. The land, particularly the low-lying floodplains near the confluence at Crook’s Corner where our camps are located, harbours an abundance of life and is home to over 350 species of birds.
Pafuri Tented Camp lies along a bend of the Luvuvhu River shaded by enormous jackal and nyala berry trees. Its 19 luxury tents, sheltered under thatch, are en-suite, have indoor and outdoor showers as well as private viewing decks. The communal area offers al-fresco dining a bush bar, swimming pool and plenty of space.
Baobab Hill Bush House, a rustic yet comfortable bush home, offers ideal accommodation for groups of up to eight. The house consists of four bedrooms, with a home kitchen, open plan dining room and lounge, swimming pool and wrap around veranda. With the house comes a private game viewing vehicle, private guide, housekeeper and cook to assist at mealtimes.
Pafuri Walking Trails is for the more adventurous birder. Enjoy a three-night, four-day stay at the walking trails camp and explore this wild and bird lush area on foot.
Bird species found in the area:
The Makuleke concession is a RAMSAR wetlands site and there are over 350 species of birds in the Pafuri region. Commonly seen specials include Black-throated Wattle-eye, African Yellow White-eye, Lemon-breasted Canary, Grey-headed Parrot, Mottled Spinetail and African Finfoot. Other specials which are occasionally seen and for which the area is well known, are Dickinson’s Kestrel, Thick-billed Cuckoo, Pel’s Fishing Owl, Orange-winged Pytilia, Racket-tailed Roller, Yellow-billed Oxpecker, White-backed Night Heron, Narina Trogon and Eastern Nicator. Other vagrants that are often seen are the Silvery-cheeked Hornbill, Mangrove Kingfisher and Angola Pitta.
Silonque Bush Estate is a four star self-catering estate with luxury houses situated in Phalaborwa and bordering the world famous Kruger National Park. Silonque Bush Estate is the perfect start point for all your safaris, as it is a 15 minute drive to the Phalaborwa Gate. Kruger National Park is perfect for a self-drive safari, in your own car or we can book organized safaris for you.
Silonque offers a variety of luxury houses, two relaxing pools and a tennis court. Silonque Bush Estate has 1, 2 and 3 bedroom houses, all with a large and high terrace with a beautiful view over the nature and over Kruger NP. You have your own barbecue ('braai') your terrace ('stoep') what gives you the ultimate South-African experience. Impalas and waterbucks sometimes spend the night in the garden and lions from Kruger NP can be heard roaring. Further Silonque Bush Estate has; giraffes, elephants, warthogs, porcupines and nearly 240 birds can be seen.
Silonque Bush Estate is the perfect place to stay for a longer period of time. While you are relaxing at the pool, the kids can explore the nature and everything the nature has to offer.
Activities to engage in:
Sunbird Lodge, situated in Phalaborwa, is owner managed by Samantha and Dave Lockhart with the emphasis being on good quality and friendly service. Sunbird Lodge is situated on 2.5 acres of tropical garden which has a wide variety of birdlife present.
Various different accommodation types are offered. The lodge is ideally situated to explore the different birding sites around Phalaborwa as well as enter the Kruger National Park which is only 1.5 km away from the establishment. Sunbird Lodge has an environmental management plan in place and fully subscribes to the principles of responsible tourism.
We will be delighted to help organize any of the many exciting trips and activities available so you can experience the delights of this wonderful region of South Africa for yourself.
Activities and attractions
Wolfhuiskraal Bush Camp is situated on a large, private cattle farm, 13 km along the Zaagkuildrift road, which follows the Pienaarsriver.
The thornveld and riverine habitats in this area hold Lesser Kestrel, Bronze-winged courser and Southern White-faced Scops-Owl. This area is also well known for the variety of warblers that can be seen. Bird life is varied and up to a hunderd species can be seen in one morning session.
The whole farm can be birded on foot, but there are also several dirt roads suitable for sedan vehicles.
The Kgomo Kgomo floodplain, one of the best spots in the country for spotting a variety of water birds, is within easy reach from the bushcamp ( approximately 7 km on the Zaagkuildrift road).
There is only one camp on the farm, and it is situated in its own private area, some distance from the main gravel road. Birding visits to the farm must be arranged in advance.
The bush camp consists of separate buildings surrounding a big central braai area. There are five bedrooms, four en-suite, which can accommodate 12 people.
Danie en Renette Opperman
Physical address: 13 km along the Zaagkuildrift road, Pienaarsrivier
Mobile: +27 (0)82 927 0325 (Danie) or +27 (0)73 303 1568 (Renette)
GPS Co-ordinates: S 25° 9' 42.48", E 28° 11' 8.19" (-25.161801, 28.185609)
Situated in the beautiful Pienaarsriver area, approximately 50 kilometres from Pretoria you will find Zaagkuildrift Bird Sanctuary and Lodge. A fantastic birding area that boasts 430 different bird species, with a lodge that offers peace and quiet, excellent accommodation and great food.
There are nine units available that can sleep up to 30 people, beautifully decorated with inspiration from our birds. The chalets are all grouped together with a dam close-by where you can watch the game drink water and view local birds and animals that enjoys the tranquillity. CAMPING SITES COMING SOON!
Explore our in-house aviary, and learn about our endangered birds programmes, and do not miss our reptile farm with snakes and crocodiles. Guided tours through the enclosures are available in the mornings and afternoons where visitors are allowed to take photos and ask questions. The trails on the farm are also suitable for walking, should you choose this alternative to bicycle riding. Down by the river, are benches where you can do your bird-watching undisturbed with only the sounds of nature around you.
Some of the bird species that can be seen in the area includes: Striped, African and Black Crake, African Marsh Harrier, Hamerkop, Yellow-Billed Stork, Black Heron, African Spoonbill, Violet-eared Waxbill, Shaft-Tailed Whydah, Red-Billed Buffalo weaver, Red-Billed Oxpecker, Grey Penduline-Tit, Southern Pied and Arrow-Marked Babbler, Bearded Woodpecker, Lilac- Breasted and Purple Rollers, White-Fronted and Little Bee Eaters, Giant, Pied and Malachite Kingfishers, Blacksmith and African Wattled Lapwings and many more. The Marsh Owl can be spotted in the open land on the farm during the late afternoons.
Birding hotspots in the area:
African Roots Guest House is a tranquil guesthouse catering for business and leisure accommodation. Situated between the city centre and the established suburbs of Bendor and Welgelegen the guesthouse offer a quiet, comfortable and affordable stay with warm hospitality and a relaxed atmosphere.
The Guest House can be used as a base from where to explore birding sites like Woodbush forest, Mamabolo Grasslands, the Montane grassland and Polokwane Game Reserve. The following bird species can be seen in the surrounding area (not necessarily on the property itself):
|Cape Parrot||Bat Hawk|
|Black-fronted Bush-shrike||Narina Trogon|
|Blue-mantled Crested Flycatcher||Green Twinspot|
|White-starred Robin||Knysna Turaco|
|Orange Ground Thrush||Scaly-throated Honeyguide|
|Yellow-streaked Greenbul||Barratt's Warbler|
|Olive Woodpecker||Chorister Robin|
|Rufous-chested Sparrowhawk||Buff-spotted Flufftail|
|African Crowned Eagle|
A variety of accommodation is catered for to suit different needs and all units have individual entrances onto the garden and pool. The upmarket rooms have their own lounge and fireplace and are stylishly furnished with a range of antique and contemporary furniture and local artwork. All units have a television with MNET and DSTV, a mini-bar and tea/coffee facilities. A Full English breakfast is served accompanied with fresh seasonal fruit, cereal and yogurt. Dinner is served on request.
Contact person: Douglas Walker
Physical address: 58a Devenish Street, Polokwane, 0699
Tel: (015) 297 0113
Fax: 086 684 3792
Cell: 083 459 6799
GPS Co-Ordinates: 23° 54'4.7" S, 29° 28'5.2" E
Buffelsdrift-Rust de Winter is a 430 ha private game farm with hiking trails, river and bushveld terrain offering a variety of habitats ranging from acacia thornveld, mixed acacia/broadleaf woodland, riverine vegetation along the Elands River, as well as cultivated lands and fields.
Buffelsdrift-Rust der Winter has a bird species list of over 350 and the network of roads, walking trails, two bird hides and a picnic site. These all provide good birding for thornveld species such as African Pygmy Kingfisher, Crimson-breasted Shrike, Yellow-fronted Tinkerbird and Southern Pied Babbler.
Birding along the 5km stretch of the Elands River can be productive at all times of the year. African Finfoot may be seen by the lucky and African Black Duck, Giant Kingfisher, Half-collared Kingfisher and Malachite Kingfisher are often seen. In the acacia veld look out for Ashy Tit, Cape Penduline-tit, Desert Cisticola, Little Bee-eater, Violet-eared Waxbill and Black-faced Waxbill.
Rust de Winter is renowned for its raptors with regular sightings of African Fish Eagle, Brown and Black-chested Snake Eagle, African Hawk Eagle and Osprey . Night drives can be organized with the possibility of seeing six owl and up to four nightjars species, including Fiery-necked and European Nightjar, Spotted Eagle-Owl, African Scops Owl and, occasionally Verreaux's Eagle-Owl.
Self-catering accommodation is offered in three rustic, A-frame, thatched cottages. The Crocodile Lapa has two en-suite bedrooms and is set on the banks of the Elands River. Squirrel and Bushbuck Cottages have a single en-suite bedroom and a loft with 2 extra beds. All of the cottages are set amongst the trees, each in its own secluded spot.
Buffelsdrift's hiking trail which circles the farm, game such as Giraffe, Zebra, Wildebeest, Kudu, Impala, Blesbuck, Waterbuck, Rooi-Hartebeest, Inyala, and many more can easily be seen. Monkey, Baboons and two Warthog families can often be seen on the lawns around the Lapa and the Cottages.
Lepidopterist will love the large variety of butterflies such as the Blue and Yellow Pansies, the Green-banded Swallowtail, the Blood Red Acraea, the Garden Acraea, the Common Dotted Border, the African Monarch, the Common Diadem, the Guineafowl, the African Migrant, the Grass-yellow, the Joker, the Painted Lady, the Tips and the tiny Blues.
Tree spotters will enjoy the 65 plus species on the farm from the huge Monkey Thorn Trees along the river to the large variety of Combretums, Ficus and Acacias to name but a few.
The Mystic Monkeys and Feathers Wildlife Park is just 4 km from Buffelsdrift at the Genius Loci Game Ranch. The Park is set in lovely gardens and hosts a large collection of monkeys and parrots as well as white lions, tigers and cheetahs.
The Rust de Winter Dam is a must for fishing and boating enthusiasts. Just 8 km from Buffelsdrift, this dam is set between hills and is surrounded by shady trees with many delightful picnic and fishing spots.
Experience the natural beauty of the Bushveld at Groot Krokodil Lodge, set along the Crocodile River about 70 km outside Brits towards Thabazimbi. The Crocodile River provides some spectacular views and a range of activities are offered at the Lodge such as picnicking, fishing, hiking, tree and plant identification and birdwhatching.
The bushveld offers a diversity of bird species and 120 species have been recorded so far. Bird species that can be observed includes: Brubru, Cape and Golden-breasted Bunting, Grey-headed and Orange-breasted Bush-shrike, African Black Duck, Firefinches, Pale Flychatcher, Yellow-throated Petronia, Bennett's & Bearded Woodpecker, Fiery-necked Nightjar, Meyers' Parrot. Groot Krokodil is situated in North West between Borokalalo Nature Reserve and Vaalkop Dam which is both popular birding destinations.
Guests have a variety of accommodation options available to choose from elegant lodging to fully equipped chalets, cabins and camping/caravan sites, you can expect an exceptional level of comfort, rest and relaxation at Groot Krokodil during your stay. In the evening sit around a large boma fire – at the lodge, chalets or the camping area, relive and share your experiences and enjoy all of the warm hospitality that Groot Krokodil has to offer.
Johan Jacobs & Pepe Devereux
Address: Groot Krokodil Lodge (R58) Northam (between Brits & Thabazimbi)
Tel: +27 (0)72 486 0128 (Pepe) or +27 (0)79 224 1487 (Johan)
Email: Pepe.email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Woolly Bugger Farm is situated just 7km from the metropolis of Tonteldoos. Tonteldoos is situated 22km due north of Dullstroom. Woolly Bugger Farm offers 4 stone self catering cottages of different sizes to cater for families, friends or a cozy couple. Each cottage is fully equipped for self catering, has a fireplace inside and braai outside. All cottages have wonderful views over the dams.
With the farm being 270 hectares, it has a diverse amount of birdlife. Egrets, Swallows, Sunbirds, Bishops and Wagtails just to mention a few. Woolly Bugger Farm has several walking and mountain bike trails and lovely rocky areas to just sit and watch birds.
We are also a close drive away from the Verloren Valei nature reserve which is home to the endangered Wattled Crane.
Angela 0791030949 or Jonathan 0768769610
Address: 7km from Tonteldoos on Gultewone Rd
Jembisa is private bush home situated in a private game reserve, the Palala River Reserve, in the heart of the Unesco world biosphere reserve of the Waterberg. It is a breathtakingly beautiful reserve that encompasses a wide diversity of habitats and biomes including savannah plains, syringa forests, riverine forests, gullies, rock faces, cliffs, flood plains and with 7 km of the Palala River meandering through it.
As a result it is home to a very broad range of fauna and flora species. Game species includes, rhino, leopard, giraffe, zebra, serval cats, eland, zebra, Red Hartebeest, hippo, crocodile, steenbok, bushbuck, kudu, duiker and many nocturnal animals such as civet, porcupine, bushbaby, brown hyena, genet, aardwolf and the relatively rare, but frequently sighted at Jembisa, aardvark. The land is managed in line with a plan drawn up by Dr Fanie Venter, a leader in the field of bushveld management.
The reserve was created by joining several pieces of land and now covers 3000 hectares. It is private land that is owned by the owners of the Jembisa Bush Home. This allows for good conservation management and control and provides guests with privacy and the knowledge that there will not be other visitors to the reserve other than Jembisa guests. The Jembisa team frequently partners with research projects on fauna and flora, recently taking part in a leopard distribution project with the University of the Witwatersrand and a protea monitoring project.
Jembisa Bush Home was named after the reserve's dominant river course, this stylishly relaxed lodge is perfect for family safaris or small groups of friends or couples looking to experience true African hospitality and diverse wildlife experiences. Easily accessible by road or air transfer, its location is convenient for short safari breaks and extended stays.
Jembisa was originally built as a family home and for many years the owners lived here. The same family still own and run the reserve and with their presence Jembisa has retained a wonderfully relaxed atmosphere. Staying here feel like a holiday to one's home in the bush with personal collections available to all in the library and games room.
The lodge is beautifully built from local stone and thatch which creates a sense of harmony with its surroundings. The five large, spacious bedrooms are en-suite and decorated with natural materials and a contemporary take on colonial style and directors' chairs beckon from private balconies. For the adventurous, it's also possible to spend a night or two camping out under canvas. Sleeping under the southern stars and waking with the dawn chorus and rising sun is a truly memorable experience.
Scattered over the reserve in this wilderness area of outstanding natural beauty, there is also three self-catering Palala River cottages which are all different and can accommodate couples looking for a romantic getaway to families after adventure and fun or groups of friends. All will enjoy the peace, beauty, wildlife, and opportunity to relax in comfortable, well-appointed lodges and excellent personal service.
It's on the veranda with wide views across the Palala river to the far hills. Single party bookings ensure privacy. Ideal for small groups or families with 5 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, large sitting room with log fire, braai, swimming pool, fully serviced.
Podica Bush camp
Escape to the wilds. 3 fully equipped, en-suite thatched rondavels sleeping 2 to four people nestled in the riverine bush on the banks of the Palala river. Relax in a hammock, walk, enjoy game viewing or watching the abundant bird life and cool off under your private bush shower, and braai area.
An exclusive, romantic, 1 bedroom stone and thatch cottage in the middle of nowhere! This beautifully- appointed and luxurious hideaway cottage is for those who want to get away from it all in style.
Physical address: Muisvogelkraal, Melkrivier, Vaalwater (on R33)
Tel: +27 (0)14 755 4415
Fax: +27 (0)14 755 4444
Mobile: +27 (0)82 570 8474
AUTHENTIC. EXCLUSIVE. PERSONAL.
Situated along the banks of the Mokolo River in the Malaria free, Waterberg Biosphere Reserve, this family-friendly Reserve has created a variety of unique visitor experiences around the awesome natural beauty of this 8,800 Ha (21,754 acre) reserve.
Ka’Ingo Private Game Reserve Ka’Ingo Private Game Reserve is situated in the centre of the Reserve and is a true oasis surrounded by bush and mountains. Our gem of the Bushveld is an ideal retreat for the more refined traveller who prefers both privacy and exclusivity and offers Authentic lodging for both the local and international traveller.
Catering for a maximum of 24 guests, the Lodge has 12 Authentic Safari Rooms, each equipped air-conditioned room is with tea and coffee making facilities, an electronic safe, a mini bar fridge and hairdryer. The rooms also offer a choice of satellite television channels. We offer any BirdLife South Africa member, a 20% discount on the midweek accommodation rates, (subject to availability).
The Reserve offers large unspoilt wilderness areas where the discerning nature lover can experience the best of the Waterberg in its original state, and the only tracks are those made by indigenous animals in their natural habitat.
The diverse landscape with three distinct topographical areas -plains, valleys and hills, and mountains - is rich in natural beauty, natural history and never ending views, and hosts a diversity of indigenous fauna and flora. The reserve boasts a large variety of sought after game including leopard, lion, hyena, elephant and buffalo, while other naturally occurring wildlife species such as giraffe, kudu, zebra, wildebeest and impala roam the open plains. There are a host of other creatures, many of which are to be seen at night, with honey badger, aardvark, pangolin, caracal, and porcupine often spotted on a regular basis. Our highly qualified Guides all have extensive experience in Big 5 reserves, and will ensure that your safari experience is unsurpassed.
In addition to offering game drives, wildlife and other natural history experiences, particular attention is given to activity based, adventure loving, comfort seeking, nature tourists who want to learn more about wildlife and those who appreciate the outdoors and the comfort of our home from home. The birdlife is prolific and the reserve is a birdwatchers paradise with a variety of eagles, nightjars, sunbirds, flycatchers, bee-eaters, shrikes, starling, hoopoe, kingfisher, storks and too many others to mention. Kaingo has created various Botanical Routes, where guests can either walk or be driven, by one of qualified guides, to view some of the magnificent flaural species that are found on the Reserve.
Address: Witfontein Road, Bulgerivier District, Vaalwater
Tel: +27 (0)14 754 8000
Mobile: +27 (0)72 927 7545
GPS coordinates: 24.06.49,13S; 27.48.39,75E
Shakati Private Game Reserve is hidden away on the lush banks of the Mokolo River in the heart of the UNESCO protected Waterberg Biosphere bushveld. Waterberg is a registered IBA. Shakati is located 20 km. from to Vaalwater and only 2 hours’ drive from Pretoria. The area is malaria-free. Time spent at Shakati is about getting away from city life and find peace and tranquillity, clean fresh air and clear skies with the brightest stars you have probably ever seen. It is about being quiet and listen to the jackal calling at night, to the paradise flycatcher singing in the morning. It is about quietly sitting at the water hole watching the birds and animals -and taking life easy.
Birds are all over the reserve, but have a good look here:
Lodge and our indigenous garden: Plenty of birds. It is common to wake up in the mornings to the singing African Paradise Flycatchers, or hearing the chattering of the Green Wood Hoopoe. You see the Groundscraper and KurrichaneThrush family scanning for easily identified morsels. In the summer months, you meet Red-Headed Weavers trying to impress their wives with building a one-story mansion of a nest. At night, you can be amazed at the creepy sounds of the Barn Owl and the Spotted Eagle Owl. If you are adventurous then you can try to spot the Fiery-necked Nightjar’s with a flashlight.
Watering hole: Frequent visitors are African Grey Hornbills, African Hoopoes, Crested Barbets, Lark-like Bunting, White-crested Helmet-Shrike, Southern Masked Weaver, African Pygmy Kingfisher, European Bee-eater and various dove and pigeon species, African Harrier-Hawk, African Hawk-Eagle, Long-billed Crombec. If you have the patience then you will spot a myriad of bird species coming to quench their thirst throughout the whole day. You can also sleep in the 2 beds of the bird hide and experience the night sounds of the African bush. And enjoy an early morning birding.
Mokolo River: Shakati lies on the banks of the Mokolo River, where you can easily spot common birds like the Giant, Pied, and Malachite Kingfishers, Little Bittern, Hamerkop, Common Waxbill, White-backed Night-heron, Green-backed Heron, Wahlbergs Eagle, African Black Duck, White-throated Robin-Chat, Burchells Coucal and many more water related species. If you are lucky then you can see the majestic African Fish Eagle. It is best to visit the river in morning-hours with the sun behind you.
Helipad savannah: Late afternoon until sunset in summer. Summer visitors moving west. You can often spot Barn Swallows, European Bee-eaters, Amur Falcons and other raptors.
Old Farmstead and Acacia forest: Various passerine birds, sometimes un-expected species.
We have our own bird list. It has been compiled over 12 years by a university bird biologist, who is also co-owner of Shakati. It contains 270 species.
Summer visitors from Europe/Asia
Many Barn Swallows including European Bee-eaters. Many Spotted Flycatchers from about November 10th. Willow Warblers are common from about October 10th. Sometimes Great Reed Warbler and European Marsh Warbler from December. Also recorded Olive-tree Warbler, River Warbler, Garden Warbler and Red-backed Shrike.
Selected species at Shakati
Green-backed Heron, Wahlberg´s Eagle, African Hawk-eagle, Common Buzzard, Shikra, African Harrier-Hawk, Amur Falcon, Coqui Francolin, Black Cuckoo, Klaas´s Cuckoo, Freckled Nightjar, Giant Kingfisher, Half-collared Kingfisher, Bennett´s Woodpecker, Fawn-coloured Lark, White-throated Swallow, Pearl-breasted Swallow, Yellow-bellied Greenbul, White-throated Robin-Chat, African Sedge Warbler (Little Rush-warbler), Striped Pipit, Grey-headed Bush Shrike, Southern White-crowned Shrike, Red-headed Weaver.
We suggest the following birding tour at Shakati:
Day 1: Shakati Riverside and dam, the lodge garden
Day 2: Southern bush/helipad savannah, night in hide, morning bird viewing at waterhole
Day 3: Birding at Shakati northern woodland, the old farmstead and the Acacia forest
Birding outside Shakati
Shakati Private Game reserve falls in the middle of the Waterberg-Nylsvley Birding Route. Shakati is ideal located for day trips to other birding hot spots in Waterberg area such as:
Address: R33, Lephalale-road, 20 km north/vest of town Vaalwater
Tel: +27 (0)82-410-1808
Fax: +27 (0)86-602-8490
GPS coordinates: Latitude: -24.13875, Longitude: 28.04204