This luxury lodge is situated in a private concession inside the Addo Elephant National Park. Here you can enjoy exclusive access to the 14 000 hectare Nyathi Section of the National Park – a special place, where the Sub-tropical Thickets meet the Suurberg Mountains. From RiverBend Lodge we can also drive out to explore the rest of the Addo Elephant National Park, which is roughly 200 000 hectares in size… the bird life and biodiversity is staggering!
Addo Elephant National Park
Book a birding drive with one of our bird specialist guides at RiverBend Lodge, and go on a journey of exploration into the Open Grassland, Gallery Forest and Riverine Woodland that most people never get to see. In fact, where else in the country can you visit 5 different biomes in one day: Thicket, Fynbos, Forest, Grassland, and Savanna. You can also book a Photographic Safari with our specialist wildlife photographer.
Special birds in the Park
On our guided birding drives, you are likely to spot some of the local special, such as Booted Eagle, Denham’s Bustard, Southern Black Korhaan, Knysna Turaco, Brown Scrub Robin, Blue-mantled Crested Flycatcher, as well as both the Black and the Grey Cuckooshrike. If you are lucky then you might even get to see the elusive Narina Trogon! This is a great area to explore, even for the experienced birder, who is looking for a nice challenge, as we have a good number of LBJs on the list, including 7 different Cisticolas, 6 different Larks and 4 different Pipits. With a bird list of 332 species, it is quite possible to see 50 species on only one excursion, and you can expect to see well over a hundred species during your stay at the lodge. Download the attached bird check list by clicking HERE.
Enjoy the experience of a lifetime
River Bend Lodge is rated as a 5-star lodge, and here you can expect colonial style luxury accommodation. It is the only luxury lodge inside the Addo Elephant National Park that is also family friendly. All suites are air-conditioned, equipped with ceiling fans, electronic safes, and a mini bar, satellite TV, free Wi-Fi, hairdryer and en-suite bathroom with separate bath and shower. Suites with inter-leading doors are available for families.
Where possible, we try and provide guests with their own private guide and private game viewing vehicle. For the kids there is a mini-rangers programme, where they can learn the basics about bird identification, and start their first
ever bird check-list. Please pre-book your birding drive to secure your bird
specialist guide for your stay at RiverBend Lodge.
The Cedarberg Guest Farm is situated between Kokstad and Matatiele at the foothills of the most Southern Drakensberg-Maluti mountain range. Cedarville is close to three mountain passes with border posts into Lesotho which make the farm a perfect base to explore this lesser known section of the Drakensberg and southern Lesotho.
Cedarberg Guest Farm has a number of self catering cottages to offer guests that want to come and enjoy the farm and area and all the bird watching is has to offer. It has braai facilities and a nice cosy fireplace for the cold winters.
There are more or less 90 bird species just in the garden and on the farm itself which range from your normal garden birds for the area to quite a few birds of prey and birds that enjoy aquatic areas like the dam. What is very special to the area is that al three species of Cranes are found here, Blue Crane, Wattled Crane and the beautiful Grey Crowned Crane. Along with them the Secretarybird is also quite common in the area. Another one that is very special to our area is the Bearded Vulture among a whole lot of other vultures. With the smaller birds Rudd’s lark is a unique one.
On the Farm itself you’ll already find quite a big variety of birds within the garden, in the veld, on the mountains and at the big dam. Across the Cedarville flats and on farms in the area you’ll find even more. Cedarberg Guest Farm is a conservation area and are therefore just a step below a nature reserve with bird species that won’t disappoint.
Located on the unspoilt Wild Coast near Dwesa, Nqabara Eco River Lodge overlooks the beautiful Nqabara River mouth. The area is pristine, one of the few places along the Wild Coast that has not been developed.
The shoreline here is what has made the Wild Coast legendary; long white beaches edge the blue waters of the Indian Ocean as far as the eye can see. There is sea-edge life to explore as well; rock pools, extraordinary sea shells and fish in the shallow waters of every shape and size, with fishing being a major draw card.
The vast rivers are endlessly rich in entertainment with an extraordinary variety of bird-life. Take a canoe and enjoy travelling down the river, totally at peace but for the sound of an African Fish Eagle or Knysna Turaco. Spend the day angling or exploring the interesting flora on the river’s edge.
The Dwesa & Cwebe Nature Reserves flank either side of the Mbashe River and together, provide protection to 6 050ha of vast lowland coastal forest, moist coastal grassland patches, mangroves and 20 km’s of pristine coastline, with a phenomenal variety of birdlife.
The lodge is able to accommodate up to 20 guests in three cottages and the main house. Designed as a low-impact facility, Nqabara Eco River Lodge is fully off-the-grid. It harvests water from the heavens and innovative technology is used throughout the lodge to ensure that its footprint is as negligible as possible.
Oyster Bay Lodge is located between Tsitsikamma and Port Elizabeth. It lies within a beautiful Coastal Reserve (235 ha) and incorporates magnificent dunes, woods, river deltas, beaches, wetlands, lagoons, free roaming horses and an extensive bird life.
A variety of activities like horse riding on the beach, hiking trails on the Coastal Reserve, sand boarding, family or romantic picnics and bird-watching will give our guest the opportunity to experience the Coastal Reserve. Our private and unspoiled sandy beachfront of 3.5 km makes Oyster Bay Lodge a little paradise in the Eastern Cape.
This four star graded luxury lodge is situated on a natural, coastal reserve between Tsitsikamma and Port Elizabeth along the malaria free Garden Route in South Africa. Our luxury accommodation and B&B accommodation consists of luxury ‘Cape Dutch’ chalets and comfortable guestrooms with optional services and an exciting variety of activities and adventures on the property and the surrounding area. Our guests can relax at the freshwater swimming pool or enjoy a drink in the ocean viewing bar. After having viewed the sunset from our relaxing bar, our hosts will take you through to our cosy restaurant where you can enjoy excellent cuisine.
After a good night’s rest you will be woken up by sounds of the Indian Ocean and fauna of our Coastal Reserve. Enjoy a delicious and healthy a la carte breakfast before exploring the private sandy beach and hiking trails. Oyster Bay Lodge offers internet facilities and excellent mobile phone reception for the business traveller and those wanting to keep in touch with friends and family. To follow the news “at home” a satellite television is available in our lounge and ocean viewing bar for your convenience.
Yellowwood Forest’s position offers easy access to both the beach and hidden forests of Morgan bay. Set on the bank of the Inchara River, 1.5km from the beach, this unique forest retreat offers an unconventional camping and self-catering experience for independent travellers, nature lovers and family holidays. There are a range of birder friendly accommodation options to suit all budgets.
Yellowwood has a gift shop licensed tea garden restaurant and pizzeria. Birders can find “feathered” friends from the comfort of their seat. The Brown Scrub Robin is a regular visitor seen from the thatched Lapa and the Morgan bay dam is a short walk nearby where you’ll find the African (Purple) Swamphen.
The property is surrounded by 3 broad vegetation types – a combination of Coastal and Afromontane Forest, Eastern Thorn Thicket and Coastal grassland, each from a separate Biome. The combined Forest types growing along the river and in ravines adjacent to Yellowwood offers canopy heights for a variety of bird species. From 5 to 10 meters in exposed areas and up to 20 meters in places along Yellowwood’s family friendly Bush buck trail, where birders have seen the African Finfoot and the secretive Narina Trogon.
The surrounding Subtropical thicket vegetation characterised by a mosaic of Acacia Karoo Thorn trees and coastal grassland is renowned for plants succulents and bulbs which grow nowhere else – a perfect place to look for the Red-necked Spurfowl, Denham’s Bustard or the Mocking Cliff Chat.
Yellowwood is a peaceful place surrounded by enormous trees and lush riverine vegetation. Owner run and renowned for its warm hospitality and passion for the environment, this tranquil, birdwatchers paradise will recharge body mind and spirit.
Make Yellowwood Forest your next holiday destination and help update our bird list
Shamwari Private Game Reserve is situated in the heart of the Eastern Cape of Southern Africa, a mere 75 km from Port Elizabeth towards Grahamstown. Shamwari Private Game Reserve is the award-winning pinnacle of private game reserves in Southern Africa, which covers prime natural terrain.
The malaria-free landscape offers magnificent encounters with free-roaming wildlife including the coveted Big 5 and is one of the largest private conservation initiatives in Southern Africa and is approximately 25 000 hectares, Shamwari has several bodies of water including the Bushman’s river located throughout the reserve, which means it is the ideal opportunity to catch sight of the teaming birdlife. Our rangers are knowledgeable on the various bird species residing on the reserve and will happily share their insights with guests. At the moment there are more than 275 different bird species at Shamwari for guests to spot. You may see a herd of wild buffalo, but the tiny ox peckers on their backs are the real conservation success.
The variety of 5 star lodges offer signature experiences, as each lodge is designed in harmony with its natural environment.
Shamwari’s conservation initiatives as well as the two Born Free big cat sanctuaries and a remarkable Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre, set the reserve apart from the rest.
In collaboration with the Born Free Foundation, the Big Cat Rescue and Education Centres aim to draw attention to the plight of wild cats, confined in impoverished, captive environments throughout the world.
The Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre is amongst the best in Southern Africa and is fully registered to provide veterinary care to young, abandoned, orphaned or injured animals. Thereafter releasing them back into the wild.
Come birding in the coastal bush on Port Alfred’s most historic view site! We have three charming cottages which are generously equipped, comfortable, private and include weekday servicing & laundry.
Richmond House is a 7-acre hilltop estate on the west bank of the Kowie River. It commands views of the river mouth, piers and East Beach, and has an illustrious 175-year-old history, because the property was originally owned by the Hon William Cock, 1820 settler, who in the 1840s ‘moved’ the river and built the harbour.(A Museum on site, also a concert venue, houses salvaged artefacts and the story of what was formerly ‘The Castle’.)
Enjoy our indigenous garden and bush and stunning views of the river and beach – both a quick walk away. Our Boma is a deck built among the trees affording a perfect birding base. Stroll from there around the garden where bird baths of leadwood stumps attract a variety of feathered visitors, or just relax on your cottage patio where large erythrina and fig trees ensure that the birds visit you. Check off our 65 birds (and help us add to the list!).
Our ‘specials’ include the Blue-mantled Crested-Flycatcher, Red-capped Robin-Chat, Dark-backed Weaver and African Harrier-Hawk. In winter the aloes are a riot of sunbirds, owls sometimes visit on summer evenings and the Knysna Turaco is a year-round resident.
Port Alfred is on the Sunshine Coast, 90mins equidistant from East London and Port Elizabeth airports.
Birding activities in the area:
- Birding tours (Anne Williams) and cruises upriver by arrangement
- The Great Fish River mouth is 25km east of Port Alfred but there are other pristine estuaries east and west of it. The Kap River reserve (canoeing or walks) is another bird lovers’ favourite.
- Closest Important Bird and Biodiversity Area (IBA): Alexandria Coastal Belt ~40km
There are many other activities and diversions around Port Alfred, including beaches, boating, surfing, canoeing, fishing, golf, river cruises, hiking, historic 1820 settler sites, Bathurst, Grahamstown and game lodges. The famous Woody Cape dunes, the Diaz Cross and Addo forest are also nearby.
Both Fig Tree Cottage and Ship Ahoy Cottage are perfect for a couple or small family: two bedrooms each (twin and double beds). Each has one full bathroom (bath and shower) and an outside shower open to trees and stars. Kitchens have automatic dishwashers. Sandymount Cottage, closest to the Boma is a bed-sitter with bathroom and shower and covered verandah, ideal for a single guest or couple. From R775pp depending on cottage and season. Visit Website: www.richmondhousecottages.com
Located in the malaria free Eastern Cape where the Garden Route meets the Sunshine Coast, with a temperate year round climate, Pomeroy Lodges is perfectly placed to provide easy access to the many activities and places of interest available in this beautiful area of the Eastern Cape.
The five luxury self-catering lodges at Pomeroy stand before gum trees overlooking 330 hectares of mixed veldts, bush and riverine forest. Each lodge offers spacious accommodation, sleeping up to four persons. A fully fitted kitchen and outside braai facilities provide everything required for easy living. The furnished living area opens out directly onto the stoep, for indoor or outdoor relaxation.
Pomeroy Reserve is home to a wide variety of animals including Giraffe, Zebra, Wildebeest, Kudu and Nyala with many of the species enjoying the succulent grasses near the lodges affording excellent sighting opportunities from the comfort of your lodge.
There are also many well maintained tracks and paths, making the reserve easily accessible. Spend some time relaxing by the dams or make use of the strategically placed hides to watch the game and bird life. There is no dangerous game however all wild animals should be treated with caution and respect as their behaviour can be unpredictable.
A total of 130 species have been recorded in the reserve including Crowned Eagle, Cape Weaver, Greater Double Collared Sunbird, Amethyst Sunbird, Cape White-eye, Yellow-breasted Apalis, Black-headed Oriel, Grey-headed Bushshrike, Black-collared Barbet, Wood Hoopoe, Barn Swallow, Black Saw-wing, Yellow-billed Kite and also Cape Glossy, Black-bellied and Red-winged starlings.
Walkerbouts Inn – Rhodes was established more than two decades ago by the proprietor, Dave Walker. It is located on the same site as the original farmhouse on the farm “Tintern” on which the village of Rhodes was established in 1891. It is in an elevated position on the western side of Rhodes on a quiet cul-de-sac with a stunning view across the village.
Attending trade shows such as Indaba, Hooked on Fishing, the Grahamstown Festival, Getaway shows and many others on behalf of the local tourism industry, Walker was accordingly nicknamed “Walkabout” by the late Leon Isted, a great friend from the farm Bidstone who is sorely missed. On establishing the venue, it was a natural conclusion that the name should be a corruption of the nickname and became “Walkerbouts Inn – Rhodes”.
A number of bird species can be seen in the Highlands and Walkerbouts is an ideal venue from which “twitchers” can venture into the mountains to seek their next “tick”. The network of roads from Rhodes places one in ideal locations to view these specialities. Orange-breasted rockjumpers and Ground woodpeckers on the concrete pass in the Carlisleshoekspruit. Drakensberg siskins and Sickle wings on the plateau on the Naudesnek Pass route. Black Harriers on the Ben McDhui plateau. Bearded vultures in the Donkerhoek vicinity and many more species, all within an easy drive from Rhodes. A good field guide and binoculars is essential. Ask at reception for a copy of our bird list comprised of +-230 species seen in the Barkly East district down the years.
Walkerbouts was awarded a 3-star rating by the Tourism Grading Council of South Africa. It has six en-suite bedrooms complete with wall-mounted panel heaters and beds fitted with electric blankets to ward off the winter chill. Four of the room’s en-suite facilities have showers and the other two have showers in their baths
The dining room and lounge are heated by a “Jetmaster” fireplace as well as an anthracite heater. The cosy pub, whose walls could tell many stories has a wood-fired “Queen Anne” heater. Our famous pizzas add another dimension to the cuisine and provide an alternative to the wholesome country fare served in our dining room. More specialised victuals such as vegetarian or vegan meals can be prepared by prior arrangement.
We have added a very spacious Function Room that can seat up to 60 guests. It is also equipped with an overhead projector and pull-down screen suitable for workshops or small conferences. We also cater for birthdays, anniversaries, and small weddings as well as hosting regular village musical & singalong events in this space.
We pride ourselves on giving guests personal attention including special dietary arrangements, ensuring that they enjoy their stay with us. Well behaved pets are also welcome by prior arrangement to share the delights of the experience.
Rhodes is a historic village known for its scenic beauty, quietness and tranquillity Rhodes is located in the Eastern Cape Highlands, near the escarpment at the southernmost end of the mighty Drakensberg mountain range in the magisterial district of Barkly East. It is 1821m above sea-level and is 16km due south of the Mountain Kingdom of Lesotho.
The village is surrounded by the towns of Elliot, Maclear and Ugie below the escarpment and above the escarpment, Barkly East lies 60km by road to the west of Rhodes.