Akkerboom Country Cottages nestled along a stream between the Langeberg Mountains and the Little Karoo on a working fruit farm. The farm lies 38km from the town of Montagu at the top of the Op de Tradouw pass between Montagu and Barrydale on Route 62 and offers stunning views of the Langeberg. The cottages offer an ideal family holiday venue two and a half hours from Cape Town.
Akkerboom Country Cottages comprises of three self-catering cottages, each decorated in a Cape Cottage style, with en-suite bedrooms, an indoor fireplace and a private braai area. The Cottages have stunning views down the Tradouw Valley and onto the orchards and mountains.
Akkerboom provides an ideal base from which to explore the attractions of the Little Karoo or simply the opportunity to relax and enjoy the silence. On the farm you will all so find Akkerboom Trading Post, a restaurant/farm stall where you can enjoy breakfast or a lovely lunch and discover a wide range of quality curios and local products, art and fresh farm products.
There is a walking trail from the cottages to the dam and wetlands, and also hiking trails throughout the farm. Guests can also visit the Langeberg Mountains which is one of the Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas in the Western Cape. Some of the threatened bird species that can be observed are Blue Crane, Denham's Bustard, Martial Eagle, Black Harrier, Hottentot Buttonquail, Knysna Woodpecker, Knysna Warbler Karoo Korhaan, Cape Rockjumper, Striped Flufftail, Cape Spurfowl, Cape Sugarbird, Swee Waxbill and Yellow-throated Woodland Warbler. For more information see http://birdlife.org.za/conservation/important-bird-areas/iba-directory/item/255-sa113-langeberg-mountains
Address: Bo Vlakte, Barrydale (R62 between Montagu and Barrydale)
Telephone: +27 (0)28 050 0145
GPS: S 33 55 35.80, E 20 28 45.04
Tucked away in the Overberg Mountains outside Caledon, Black Eagle Lodge and Villa offer a tranquil farm-style retreat just 90 minutes from Cape Town. Revive your soul, surrounded by nature, from the privacy of these beautiful self-catering mountain lodges, spaced nearly a kilometre apart. Awake to the call of the sugarbird and unwind on an expansive verandah, overlooking a spring-water dam and rolling wheat fields. Take the edge off hot summer days in pools of cool spring water and warm up winter nights beside a blazing log fire. Count the stars with the kids and teach them to fly-fish, collect frogs or spot a black eagle.
Offering respite from busy schedules, Black Eagle Lodge and Villa are ideally suited to a holiday of total relaxation, whether it's reading a bestseller or pedalling the road. Reconnect with family and loved ones as you take in the beauty of nature and explore the activities of this working farm. Overlooking a dam (lake), our 4 star-rated self-catering Villa is the ideal base from which to explore the area's prolific birdlife and mountainous surrounds, or to simply wile away an afternoon savouring the views. The Villa accommodates up to six guests in three double bedrooms, each with en suite bathroom.
Our 3 star-rated self-catering stone Lodge accommodates up to six people, with a loft above the fireplace offering an inviting sleeping area for two extra children. This cosy Lodge overlooks a spring-fed dam and is half a kilometre away from the new Villa, ensuring complete privacy. Being eco-friendly, there is no electricity, however solar-powered lighting and plenty of candles are offered.
Totally secluded from the world yet positioned centrally, one can comfortably explore the surrounding areas of the Western Capes' Overberg – from Gansbaai and Hermanus to Greyton. Savour the wines of the highly rated Hemel–en–Aarde and Botriver region or float in the famous natural hot springs in Caledon, a mere 20 minutes away. The choices are endless, as are the spectacular views.
Address: Kempsrivier Farm, Caledon, Western Cape
Tel: +27 (0)28 212 2113
Mobile: +27 (0)82 853 7838
Fax: 086 509 1696
Darling is your hub on South Africa's West Coast
Bird hides, rolling hills, vineyards, wheat fields, dairy pastures, flower reserves, lagoons and long stretches of beaches - all can be found and experienced in the immediate proximity of Darling.
Hub for 5 Birding Routes and more
See all route maps and a birding checklist http://swartlandtourism.co.za/birds.htm
After birding? Things to do in Darling
Darling Lodge Guest House
The charming guesthouse is birder friendly and offers a harmonious blend of old and new reflecting the romantic name of the little town. The lush garden with its ancient pepper an palm trees, fountain spraying water over blossoming roses, aloes, bougainvillea and mass of lavender with its heady fragrance invites guests to relax and unwind, be it just for one night, a weekend or for a whole week. Each room is dedicated to a local artist, whose work is on display and can be purchased.
We speak English, French, German and offer full English breakfast, secure off street parking, a swimming pool, free WiFi internet access, a cosy TV lounge (DSTV) with honesty bar, a relaxing library and individual concierge services.
Oliver Studer & Stephan Moser
22 Pastorie Street
Darling 7345, Western Cape
GPS 33 deg. 22' 44.16" S / 18 deg. 22' 42.73" E
Arabella Hotel & Spa is just over an hour's drive from Cape Town. It is situated in the heart of the Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve, surrounded by one of the richest plant kingdoms in the world.
Embraced by the majestic Kogelberg Mountains and bordered by the vast Bot River Lagoon, the hotel invites you to indulge in a sensory experience that will leave you with treasured memories - beautiful aromas of fresh salty sea air and fynbos; distinctive sounds of exotic birdlife and enriching sights of emblematic green mountains and sparkling waters that meet an indigo sky.
The hotel is adjacent to the Rooisands Nature Reserve, bordered by the pristine Bot River Lagoon and embraced by the rugged steep cliffs of the majestic Kogelberg Mountains.
See whales cavort in Walker Bay from the shores of Hermanus or enjoy a close encounter with these gentle ocean giants from a kayak or boat. The boat trips also bring you unequalled engagements with Great White Sharks, Dolphins and other marine life. A true escape to unforgettable experiences.
The destination offers a number of activities to guide you on your path towards complete relaxation. Explore the Overberg with its magnificent charms and treasures that await you. Be enriched by exciting quad bike rides, kayaking expeditions at sea and lazy horseback rides while golden shores and serene Botanical Gardens will leave you in awe of its unspoilt beauty. A valley of vineyards and wine and historic museums invite you to absorb the town's legacy; magnificent hiking and mountain biking trails and captivating boat rides with the ocean's big 5 will leave you inspired.
Discover indigenous fynbos, wild flowers and an abundance of rare birdlife on the Bot River Lagoon, or in the surrounding majestic mountains of the Kogelberg Biosphere. Take leisurely strolls through the Harold Porter Botanical Gardens or bask in the sun on the soft white sand of Kleinmond Beach. With its big waves and open waters, surfing is also a popular sport in this blue flagged strand.
Take scenic drives to uncover the many cultural and heritage treasures the region has to offer. The meandering mountain pass along the coast leads you to unspoilt beaches and penguin colonies. Narrow roads covered by shady trees will take you to quaint towns with old-world charm. The way to Hermanus is lined with markets, museums and arts and crafts shops, as well as the Hemel & Aarde Valley where you can absorb the culture of the Overberg.
Physical address: Arabella Country Estate, R44 Kleinmond, Hermanus
Tel: +27 (0)28 284 0000
Fax: +27 (0)28 284 0003
Bartholomeus Klip is an exclusive destination in the Cape Winelands, located on a working farm and game reserve in the Riebeek Valley. Discerning travellers will appreciate the peace and quiet in the exclusive five-bedroomed farmhouse, while families with children can enjoy privacy in the Wild Olive House & Cottage.
The reserve, which was established in the 1970s, has abundant herds of eland, springbuck, black wildebeest, zebra and bontebok, as well as other animals, such as baboons, bat-eared foxes, lynxes, and smaller species of antelope. Several different leopard individuals have been photographed in the reserve by trail cameras, usually at night time.
There are a variety of activities available on the farm, all of which are offered with guidance from our rangers. Explore the 10 000 acre nature reserve by mountain bike, or take a gentle stroll through the fynbos. There is also the option of hiking in the mountains to enjoy the proteas and birdlife.
Apart from Ostrich, the Verreaux’s eagle also nests in the mountains, and the enormous dam near to the farmhouse has a spectacular array of water birds, some resident like the fish eagles and the kingfishers, and others such as the pelicans and the spoonbills less regular visitors. Flamingos have also been seen in some of Bartholomeus Klip's smaller dams and there are a host of interesting large and small birds out in the reserve and on the wheatlands, including large flocks of the blue crane, South Africa's national bird.
Also on offer is fresh water fishing in our dam, where fish such as barbel, carp, small mouth bass and bluegill can be caught.
Duinepos Chalets is a retreat for bird and nature lovers. The charming Chalets are situated inside the West Coast National Park, located 15 km from the Langebaan Lagoon and 17 km from the Langebaan town centre. The camp is based inland amongst the natural bush.
We offer 11 self-catering Chalets which sleep four to six guests in each. It is secluded and quiet making it one of few places where one can still wake up with only the sound of birds. This is why birders from all over the world migrate here for the Duinepos experience.
We provide excellent value for money and our affordable rates ensure that we can share the experience with as many guests as possible, and they keep coming back.
Duinepos Chalets is the ideal place where outdoorsy families and groups can have quality time. No television and limited mobile reception will ensure that days are spent in nature and evenings are filled with conversation, board games and books. The West Coast National Park and surrounds offer much to do. Various hiking, biking and birding trails depart from the Duinepos camp. The Langebaan lagoon is also a water sport paradise.
At Duinepos we have a definite "greening"philosophy" that we implement in our operations from house-keeping to administration. While we are working towards becoming an official green destination, we do our bit to be kind to the environment.
A birder's paradise!
The West Coast National Park is a birding spot of note and is considered as the flagship birding destination along the West Coast. The Langebaan Lagoon, a Ramsar wetland of global importance, supports an exceptional species richness. The 16 km long lagoon area of the park provide important bird habitats.
The park, which is part of the West Coast Biosphere Reserve, forms part of the Flamingo-birding route and is a important birding area.The park is best known for the large numbers of migrant waders that to be found on the mudflats during summer. It also offers exceptional terrestrial birding opportunities.
Over 250 bird species have been recorded in the park and there is a good chance that during your visit you might also spot a few rare migrant visitors. Besides the lagoon area that is a haven for birds, the park's strandveld fynbos also supports rich birdlife.
In some years, wader numbers can increase to 50,000 in summer. These visitors are migrating from their breeding in Siberia and Greenland and live of tiny invertebrates than can be found in the nutrient rich waters of the mud banks here. The lagoon is seen as an extremely important wetland for waders in South Africa. Several bird hides (including the one at Geelbek and Abrahamskraal) have been constructed in the park.
The nearby islands of Schaapen, Jutten, Malgas and Marcus support important breeding colonies of coastal birds including African Penguin, Cape Gannet and Crowned and Bank Cormorant. During a single day of bird-watching, even novice birders will spot a significant number of species in the different habitat types of the area. Start early in the morning to ensure good birding. Make sure to pack your hat and binoculars for some world-renowned birding!
Physical address: Duinepos Chalets, West Coast National Park, Langebaan
Tel: +27 (0)22 707 9900
Fax: +27 (0)22 707 9901
Mobile: +27 (0)83 704 7067
Ideally situated between the coastal towns of Knysna and Plettenberg Bay in the Western Cape, Hunters Country House is a wonderful location from which to explore the beauty of the celebrated Garden Route, or just to spend time relaxing at the peaceful lodge. Hunters Country House combines gracious elegance with sheer comfort and impeccable service with warm hospitality. Far from the madding crowd, yet conveniently close to a wide variety of leisure activities.
The hotel opened in 1989 with ten garden suite cottages. Today Hunters Country House has 21 suites, some with private pools, a 5-star rating, has been South Africa's Hotel of the Year and is a member of the prestigious Relais and Chateaux Association. It is internationally acclaimed for its service excellence, superb cuisine and beautiful gardens. The individual thatched cottage suites are plush and peaceful, decorated in a pale green and oyster palette, accented with a romantic sparkle of crystal trimmed canopies and dainty chandeliers. A privately positioned patio and garden makes for tranquil relaxation, reflection and reconnecting.
Birding at Hunters Country House is prolific and we actively preserve their existence. Birds that occur at the estate include the Chorister Robin-chat Lemon and Red-eyed Dove, Olive Thrush, Terrestrial Brownbul and Dusky Flycatchers. In the forested areas look out for Knysna Turaco, Emerald Cuckoo, Knysna and Olive Woodpecker, Narina Trogon, Sharp-billed Honeyguide, Grey Cuckooshrike, Knysna Warbler, Yellow-throated Woodland Warbler, White-starred Robin, Blue-mantled Crested Flycatcher and Cape Batis, although some of these species are elusive.
The Tsitsikamma Forest also hosts the African Crowned Eagle and African Wood Owl, plus some of the accipiters such as African Goshawk and Black Sparrowhawk. In the mountains one should look for Cape Canary, Cape Sugarbird, Orange-breasted Sunbird, Black Saw-wing and Ground Woodpecker. Also present, though difficult to spot, are the Protea Canary, Victorin's Warbler, Striped Flufftail and Cape Siskin.
Reservations: Adele Behr
Address: Hunter's Estate, Off N2 10km West of Plettenberg Bay
Tel: +27 (0) 44 501 1111
Fax: +27 (0) 44 501 1100
|Hunters Country House||34˚ 03' 07.44" S||23˚ 16' 13.95" E|
Set on almost 11 hectares of garden and forest our delightful 3 Star Graded owner managed property welcomes guests seeking a restful and tranquil getaway where often the only accompaniment is the song of the birds and a gently whispering breeze …
We are just a 980 metre drive from the N2 at Harkerville 10 minutes from Plettenberg Bay and 15 minutes from Knysna conveniently located for the Plett Birding Routes and other birding hotspots along the Garden Route. Appropriately named, "Masescha" means hidden or masked, as we are tucked into a valley free of road noise. We offer affordable accommodation in the privacy of your own fully equipped cosy cottage or garden room nestled in established open gardens, each having their own individual character, patios and brick built braai (barbecue) facilities and well separated to enjoy different aspects of the garden. Free Wi-fi is available on site and guests welcome to enjoy the swimming pool.
We provide clean, well-equipped properties fully supplied with all the conveniences of home. All linen, showering towels, toiletries provided with blankets, heaters and hot water bottles so you can cosy up even in the winter months. Most units set up for self-catering but meals can be added as an optional extra on request subject to availability. Breakfast is particularly enjoyable served out on the deck with the sunbirds experiencing the real atmosphere of the property taking in an elevated vista over the garden at treetop level.
A majestic forest backdrop frames the scene for outdoor enthusiasts, birdwatchers and nature lovers alike to take a walk around the garden and dams and enjoy the company of the birds and other wildlife visitors, so don’t forget your binoculars!
From little Cape White Eye and Cape Batis, an array of Sunbirds, larger visitors like the Giant Kingfisher and Long-crested Eagle or our resident Knysna Loeries and many more birds in between…
We look forward to sharing Masescha with you. See our website for availability.
Ray and Angie Bennett
Address: Masescha Country Estate
980m from the N2 turnoff at the Saturday Market
Harkerville (Midway between Plettenberg Bay and Knysna)
Telephone: +27(0) 44 532 7647
Cell: +27(0) 79 568 2895
+27(0) 72 840 1348
GPS: -34.029567 23.241036
Secluded without being remote, Doornkloof Private Nature Reserve is halfway between Worcester and Robertson - an ideal two hours' drive from Cape Town - but feels like you've entered another world. The dirt road leading to the Bush House is more suitable for vehicles with higher ground clearance like an SUV or bakkie, but four-wheel drive is not necessary.
Bush House offers two bedrooms - one with extra-length king size bed and en-suite shower and the other with twin/king option and fireplace. The house is let as a unit, i.e. if the booking is for only two people sharing, the other bedroom remains unoccupied.
Modern guesthouse with limited cell phone reception and no Internet. Wi-Fi and VoIP-phone available at owner's cottage if you really need it.
The 500-hectare reserve is home to bountiful birdlife, small game, leopard, bush pigs, a migrant troop of baboons, and only four human residences. Owing to it being a wilderness environment pets are not allowed and caution is advised with small children.
Doornkloof sports one medium hiking trail with another, longer trail under construction. You are welcome to take an easy walk along the farm road and mountain bike trails are close by.
Explore the excitement of the Breede River Wine Valley on your doorstep by day. At night, discover just how many stars there are in the sky. Once you have felt the energy of this unique place you will feel compelled to return. We are ready to welcome you.
A birdlist is available and some of the birds that can be observed are Verreaux's Eagle, Southern Pale Chanting Goshawk, Spotted Eagle Owl, Cape and Pririt Batis, Fairy Flycatcher, Southern Double-collared and Malachite Sunbirds, Brimstone, Yellow, Whitethroated and Streakyheaded, Cape Rock Thrush, Fiery-necked Nightjar, Tambourine Dove and Blue Crane.
Birding hotspots in the area
Avian Leisure, run by owners Patrick and Marie-Louise Cardwell who are both passionate birders and naturalists, has 2 luxurious yet affordable apartments at their home base in Simon’s Town. With its indigenous garden filled with sugarbirds, sunbirds and a wide variety of other sought-after Western Cape ‘specials’ spacious and well decorated accommodation, an unsurpassed outlook over False Bay with Whales and Dolphin sightings in season, Avian Leisure makes an ideal base for birders wishing to explore Cape Town. In Avian Leisure’s Shearwater Apartment, birding and nature viewing starts from your bedroom!
Avian Leisure’s location in Simon’s Town makes it an excellent base for birders visiting Cape Town: it is less than 5 minutes by car from the Simon’s Town harbour, departure point for the renowned Cape pelagic tours, a highlight in every birder’s visit to Cape Town! On the edge of the Table Mountain National Park, it is 10 minutes from the Cape Point Reserve, 45 minutes from the city centre and the Airport, with easy access to the winelands and southern Cape coastline. The Boulders Beach Reserve’s Penguin colony starts at the bottom of the road – in fact penguins are nesting in Dorries Drive!
Besides the good location, excellent views and spacious accommodation, which appeal to birders and non-birders alike, Avian Leisure is a fully fledged tour operator and owner Patrick Cardwell is one of the most respected bird guides in South Africa. As past guests will testify, Patrick is always willing to help guests with planning their birding time in Cape Town, whether self-drive or guided excursions, booking pelagic trips or onward travel bookings, itinerary planning, and fully guided tours in Cape Town and further afield in the rest of South Africa.
It is this combination of a well-appointed establishment in a natural setting run by owners with first-hand birding knowledge that makes Avian Leisure an ideal base for birders visiting Cape Town. For birders wanting to combine a pelagic trip with land-based birding in Cape Town, there is no better choice than Avian Leisure.
Patrick & Marie-Louise Cardwell
Serpentine Manor is located just outside the quaint village of Wilderness, along the Serpentine River, bordering the Wilderness National Park. We offer 5 self-catering Suites ranging from a thatched Rondavel in the garden, to the Honeymoon Suite overlooking rows of lavender. The property is just under 2 hectares, and all Suites offer a different view. Because of our proximity to wetland and forest, it makes for quite a variety of birding.
Our private gate leads to both the Pied Kingfisher Trail, and our Orchard, which features a deck to view birdlife, as well as wildlife. Some birds on our list are:
We are also close to several bird hides and other Parks Board hiking trails, and have visitors such as a large tortoise, Rooikat, African Wild Cat, and others.
The following birds can be observed at the Wilderness National Park:
Address: Hoekwil Road bordering the Wilderness National Parks, Wilderness.
Mobile: +27 (0)76 903 0248
GPS Co-Ordinates: 33° 59' 21" S
22° 37' 33" E