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Arid West

 Matamba bush campsite & lodge

Accomodation Camping Hides Roadside Attractions Trails
Matamba bush camp and lodge is situated within the Waterberg biosphere and is part of the Waterberg conservancy. Malaria free and with easy access from Johannesburg, Pretoria and Polokwane, Matamba is on the R33 between Vaalwater and Lephalale.

Matamba has two different accommodation options. The bush campsite offers a unique camping experience with individual campsites nestled under wild syringa trees, the family ablution block built from natural material blends into the surrounding bush.

The lodge accommodation is luxurious, a large central dining and living area with a bar and pool. There are four tasteful chalets each with a king size bed. The lodge is set in a magnificent indigenous garden which attracts an incredible variety of birdlife. Matamba is owner run, Sue and Alan offer their guests a farm stay experience with freshly prepared wholesome meals which can be served either in the dining room or under the stars in the lapa.

Matamba’s habitat comprises Terminalia bushveld, open plains where Bushveld pipit, lizard buzzard, Black breasted snake eagle are frequently seen. There are over 30 km of walking and mountain biking trails with spectacular views of the Welgevonden Game Reserve in the mountains. The birdlife is prolific; and with relaxed plains game, Matamba offers bushveld birding at its best!
Tel: 083 653 1287 | Cel: 082 337 1650 | e-mail:|  |  More_Info_>>

 Wolfhuiskraal Bush Camp

Accomodation Bookings Required
This bush camp is on a large cattle and game farm, 14km along the Zaagkuildrift road, which follows the Pienaarsriver. Pienaars rivier is a small town on the N1, 70 km North of Pretoria. The Kalahari Thornveld, open Grassland and Riverine habitats in this area hold Tinkling Cisticola, Pied babbler and Crimson-breasted Shrike. This area is also well known for the variety of warblers that can be seen. The whole farm and especially the area around the bush camp can be birded on foot. There are also several dirt roads on the farm suitable for sedan vehicles. There is great birdlife in the area and up to fifty species can be seen in one morning session. 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 (±7 km on the Zaagkuildrift road) and there is a bird sanctuary, vulture restaurant and a feather's zoo within an hour's drive from the camp. There is only one camp on the farm, and it is situated in its own private area, some distance from the main gravel road. 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. The kitchen is fully equipped, and has a distinctly old-farmhouse (rustic) feel to it. Bedding, towels, as well as firewood are supplied. All pets are welcome. The camp is comfortable with basic amenities, as well as electricity, is serviced daily, and is great for birders who want to be out in the bush. There is a bird bath at the camp and various water points around the farm. Accommodation price: R200-00 per person per night and R20.00 per day visitor. Check in after 12h00 and check out strictly before 11h00. )
Tel: 073 303 1568 | Cel: 082 927 0325 | e-mail:|  |  More_Info_>>

Nylsvley floodplain


Accomodation Bookings Required Hides
Bundox Game Ranch lies at the foot of the Swaershoek Mountain range in Mookgopong (Naboomspruit) and is well-placed for a stopover for birders visiting Nylsvley, Doorndraai Dam and Moordrift. The habitat at this birder-friendly establishment is mainly broadleaved woodland and patches of Acacia thornveld, so specials such as Olive Tree Warbler, Rufous-naped Lark, Grey-headed Bush-shrike, Spotted Flycatcher, Icterine Warbler and Northern Black Korhaan can be found here. The dawn chorus is spectacular and many birds will visit the water bowls and the seed tables throughout the day. Another way to explore the area is in Kayaks along the backwaters and reed beds of a dam at the end of the Nyl Floodplain. This can be rewarding for Little Bittern, African Snipe and a variety of egrets, ducks, plovers, stints, terns, sandpipers, storks and herons. The varied accommodation at Bundox is creative and stylish. Guests can choose from the Bush Camp, sleeping up to 10 people in permanent tents with tasteful African furnishings or in one of the luxurious Villas or even in the more remote Safari Camp with 2 Russian Safari tents and the open deck. The Bush Camp boasts a lovely indoor-outdoor boma and dining area looking out onto bird baths and seed trays. Quirky pots Bushman statues and handmade washbasins creatively decorate the outdoor area, while the stylish lounge with an incredible hand-crafted door offers a lovely place to relax indoors. The Villas are fully self-contained units for a couple wanting a stylish, more private option. Huge windows, comfy easy-chairs and luxurious bath lead out to a plunge pool and braai area. There is a bird hide nearby and easy walks around the camp. The Nyala breeding programme and the dassie run are also interesting features on this game farm. The Safari Camp is on a 600 hectare property and has no electricity, open-air showers, a fully-equipped gas appliance kitchen and stylish outdoor lounge. Any of these accommodation options are sure to delight you and Ida and Marinus Smith are charming, knowledgeable and willing hosts.
Tel: 083 240 1267 | Cel: 083 259 5325 | Fax: 086 509 4198 | e-mail:|  |  More_Info_>>

 Dinonyane Lodge

Accomodation Bookings Required
Dinonyane is situated 1km from the entrance gate of Nylsvley Nature Reserve. The lodge is situated in thornveld bush and the well-watered gardens with secluded ponds attract a host of bushveld bird, particularly in the drier periods. It is not unusual to see in excess of 30 bird species in the gardens in a morning. Pearl-spotted Owlet, Brown-hooded Kingfisher and Violet-back Starling are just some of the birds that can be seen from your patio at Dinonyane. The lodge can accommodate up to 40 guests on a sharing basis, and the swimming pool, trampoline and tennis court make it an ideal place for a family break-away. The conference facilities, a birder’s bar and bush boma make a great venue for a group of birders to explore the Nylsvley Nature Reserve and Floodplain area.
Tel: + 27 (0)14 743 0957 | Fax: 27 (0)14 743 0853 | e-mail:|  |  More_Info_>>

 Doorndraai dam

Camping Roadside Attractions Trails
This reserve holds a large dam in the foothills of the Waterberg between Mookgophong and Mokopane. There is a variety of habitats in the reserve with wooded hills, savannah bushveld and open plains and broadleaved woodland making up the majority of the habitat other than the dam and it well-vegetated banks. The reserve has a good complement of raptors with Martial Eagle, African Hawk Eagle and African Fish eagle all breeding here. This is one of the few places in the country where Garganey has been recorded, and Osprey are regularly seen here in summer. Coqui and Shelley’s Francolin are also often seen and heard and Freckled Nightjar Mocking Chat and are found in the hills. More than 12 species of shrike occur here as well as Yellow-throated Petronia and Orangebreasted Waxbill. Doorndraai dam has been a favourite for fishermen in the area for years and birders are only now starting to discover this beautiful reserve. Walking is allowed and there is lots of general game to be seen as well. To get there, take the Sterkrivier road off the R101 between Mookgophong and Mokopane and follow the signs. There is a camp site in the reserve
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Accomodation Camping Hides Roadside Attractions Trails Picnic
This RAMSAR site is a unique seasonal flood plain that is the largest and most intact in the country. It is surrounded by typical bushveld savannah. The area has over 365 bird species recorded, with 104 of these being water birds. The flood plain is inundated every two to four years and when it floods, several rare and endangered water birds breed here. All three of the bittern species occur and breed here and all of the southern African herons have been recorded here. The largest recorded breeding concentrations in South Africa of Great Egret, Black Heron, Squacco Heron and Black-crowned Night Heron occur at Nylsvley. Streaky breasted Flufftail have been recorded here and Striped Crake and Lesser Moorhen and Allan’s Gallinule breed here. Pygmy Goose, White-backed Duck and Comb Duck are some of the 15 duck and goose species that occur at Nylsvley in the wet years. In the dry years, the area is still a prime birding destination for bushveld birding. Common Whitethroat, Garden Warbler, Olivetree Warbler and Tinkling Cisticola all occur here. There is a large concentration of Pearl-spotted Owlet along with 7 other owl species. This is a birding stop not to missed. There is a camp site and accommodation in the reserve as well as a variety of birder friendly accommodation around the reserve and in Modimolle and Moogophong, less than half an hour’s drive away.
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Waterberg fringes

 Masebe Community Nature Reserve

Accomodation Guides Roadside Attractions Trails
This reserve in the far north eastern part of the Waterberg has some of the most spectacular scenery anywhere in the province. There is a spectacular escarpment of red sandstone cliffs and a host of lone-standing mesas that remind one of postcards of Arizona in the USA. The reserve is just over 4000 hectares and the habitats are mainly deciduous broadleaved woodland. The main birding attraction of the reserve are the raptors - there are 4 pairs of Verreaux’s Eagle breeding on the cliffs as well as African Hawk Eagle, African Harrier Hawk, Lanner Falcon and rock Kestrel. Lizard Buzzard and Brown and Black-chested Snake Eagles are also found here. The other interesting species that have been found here include Retz’s Helmentshrike, Grey Tit-Flycatcher and Short-toed Rock Thrush. There is an Ivory Route camp in the reserve.
Tel: 015 290 7300 | |  More_Info_>>


Accomodation Bookings Required
Here in the beautiful Waterberg lies a lovely little haven. Secluded, peaceful and with amazing bird watching. (187 species recorded to date!). We offer 3 newly renovated stone and thatch cottages each with own private braai-boma. There is a natural swimming pool overlooking the mountains where peace & tranquility will envelope you. We are close to other fantastic birding spots such as Marakele National and Nylsvley. Shondoro Mountain Retreat is a 145 ha bushveld farm that lies in the malaria free Waterberg Mountains (In the Waterberg Biosphere and UNESCO site). The Reedbuck Family cottage consist of 2 bedrooms, one with queen-sized bed and single bed and en-suite bathroom (shower) and the second room has 2 3/4 beds, en-suit bathroom (shower). There is a fully equipped 'outside' kitchen & a braai boma. We supply luxury linen and towels. The Bushbuck and Klipspringer cottages consist of a double and 3/4 bed each in one bedroom with en-suite (shower). The outside kitchens are fully equipped and each cottage has a private braai-boma. Luxury linen and towels areasupplied. The communal pool area has a braai area and groups can be accommodated here upon special request. We offer mountain biking and walking trails, outstanding bird watching and amazing tree spotting. Guided birding weekends and tree identification courses can be arranged on request.
Tel: +27 (0)14 721 0927 | Cel: 082 809 2228 | e-mail:|  |  More_Info_>>

Waterberg Plateau


Accomodation Bookings Required Camping Hides Trails Picnic
This 2000 hectare conservancy in the Waterberg mountains has a wide range of habitats, from wetlands to cliffs, it can all be found on this property. The majority of the area is covered by braodleaved woodlands, but there are a number of small streams and two perrenial rivers with wetland areas that attract Blue Crane, Secretary Birds, Common Quail and a host of other grassland birds. The raptors are well represented with Lizard Buzzards, Little Sparrowhawk, Spotted Eagle Owl and Cape Vulture being seen here often. There is a hide placed on one of the small dams that attracts Black Crake, Yellowbilled Duck and Moorhens. The bird list has over 100 species, but this property has been under-birded and many specials may be found in the vast tracts of wilderness. As part of the UNESCO Waterberg Biosphere, Bateleur Nature Reserve is a haven for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts with over 80km of hiking trails on the farm and a host of small self catering cottages and old farm houses that provide basic but comfortable accommodation. If dung-beetles at work, wild flowers and butterflies in the vlei or otters in the dam, privacy, boisterous birds and magnificent sunsets are for you, Bateleur is the place to go.
Tel: +27(0) 14 013 0099 | Cel: 083 677 6999 | e-mail:|  |  More_Info_>>


Accomodation Bookings Required Trails
Izintaba Game Farm is hidden well into the Waterberg mountains on a 1200 hectare bushveld farm punctuated by mountains and dramatic gorges. This owner-run farm offers tree luxurious, tastefully decorated chalets (sleeping 4, 6 and 8) to guests wanting privacy, tranquility and lazy days next to the pool after a morning’s bushveld birding. Specials include Black Eagle, Denhams Bustards and Short-toed Rock-Thrush. There are several marked walking paths including a trail to the kloof and the picnic site on the dam. Although only 300 km’s from Johannesburg, Izintaba makes you believe you are in the middle of the wilderness. For bushveld birding in a private, tranquil Waterberg setting, Izintaba is the place to go.
Tel: 014 7554335 | Cel: 082 7057708 | e-mail:|  |  More_Info_>>

 Jembisa and Palala River Reserve

Accomodation Bookings Required Guides
Jembisa Bush Home is situated within the private 3 000 ha Palala River Reserve and offers a variety of accommodation ranging from a small luxury lodge to various self catering options that can accommodate between 2 and 10 people per unit. Guests are welcome to do their own game drives although guided game drives and walks can be booked. The wide variety of habitat provides excellent birding and includes the Palala river which bisects the reserve for seven kilometers and along which the African Finfoot, White-Backed Night-Heron, Little bittern and Half-collared Kingfisher can be found. The dense riverine shrubs is a good spot to look for Terrestrial Brownbul, Yellow Bellied Greenbul, White-throated Robin and African Firefinch. A Bird Hide has been constructed at Kingfisher cottage making it an ideal spot to stake out the above-mentioned birds. In the north of the reserve, a spring-fed wetland is host to numerous local specials and an early morning visit will reveal White-backed Duck, Black Crake, African Jacana and African Snipe. Buff spotted Flufftail is often heard calling from deep within the reedbeds. The adjacent woodland is also a good place to see Lizard Buzzard and Black cuckooshrike. Bushveld birds are well represented in the rest of the reserve with amongst others, Striped Kingfisher, Purple Roller, Grey Penduline Tit, Temmincks Courser and Little Sparrowhawk. Kurrichane Buttonquail also occur here. From Vaalwater take the Melkrivier turn-off and follow the road for 40 kms. Turn left onto a dirt road at the first Jembisa sign. Follow the road for 5.9 kms and turn right still following the Jembisa boards. Follow the road for 3 km to the main Jembisa gate on the right hand side. Palala River reserve forms part of the Birds in Reserves Project with the ADU at the University of Cape Town and one can submit checklists if contributing to this project. Cost: self catering R 230 - R450 pppn Main lodge from R2000.00 pppn.
Tel: 082 570 8474 | e-mail:|  |  More_Info_>>


Accomodation Bookings Required Hides
Kololo Game Reserve is nestled in the heart of the Waterberg Biosphere next to Marakele National Park and Welgevonden Private Nature Reserve, approximately 39km outside of the town Vaalwater and half way down the Bakkers pass road in the Limpopo province. Although the last 29km to the lodge is gravel road, the lodge can be reached with a normal sedan. Approximately 322 bird species occur in the area and more than 200 species have been seen on Kololo itself. A few of the special birds which can be seen on Kololo and the immediate surrounding areas include: Blue Crane, Denham’s Bustard, Secretary bird, Ayres’ hawk eagle, Eurasian hobby, African green Pigeon, Pennant-winged nightjar, Grey headed kingfisher, Half-collared kingfisher, Greater honeyguide, Dusky Lark, Black Cuckoo shrike, Olive-tree Warbler and White backed Vulture to name but a few… Kololo is situated in a unique environment with 3 different types of habitat, from mountain streams to grassland and broad leave Bushveld. You are bound to find a large variety of birds. It also functions as a unique place to explore the higher plato of the Waterberg i.e. marakele and the sweeter acacia bush veld in the lower lying area towards Ellisras. With all this available habitats to go birding in, you are bound to be twitching for hours. The altitude is about 1300m above sea level so the best time for birding is spring and summer. Kololo has a lot of walking trails where you can explore on your own, and at your own pace to find those birds. The gardens around especially the garden chalets and Oom Piet chalets are a magnet for birds and your patio the perfect comfortable bird hide. We do not have a specialist bird guide but all our guides have an extensive bird knowledge. Dean can be contacted for more information about the area and possible good places to go looking for birds. The lodge offers 12 chalets of different size and rates, and can accommodate up to 47 guests. All the chalets are equipped with a kitchen and can therefore be used for self-catering or half board with breakfasts and dinners in the magnificent double-storey restaurant. The two lookout decks boast a fantastic view over the plains of Welgevonden and raptors are often seen from these spectacular lookouts.
Tel: +27(0)14 721 0920 | Cel: +27(0) 79 694 0410 | Fax: +27(0)86 664 4869 | e-mail:|  |  More_Info_>>


Accomodation Bookings Required Hides
Lindani is a 3000 hectare game farm located in the middle of the Waterberg near Vaalwater, 285 km’s from Johannesburg on tarred road. This spectacular bushveld farm has savannah, mountains and valleys, dams, wetlands and massive sandstone cliffs. Because of the varied habitat, Lindani has an impressive bird list of 240 species including Comb Duck, African Black Duck, African Snipe, Temminck’s Courser, Denham’s Bustard, Shelly’s Francolin, African Hawk-Eagle, Bat Hawk, Jacobin Cuckoo, Ant-eating Chat, Grey Tit-Flycatcher, Ashy Flycatcher Fan-tailed Widowbird, Fish Eagle, Fluff Tail, Verreaux’s Eagle and a number of Pipits and Larks. Accommodation is in eight lodges (ranging from 4 to 18 beds) and one tented camp (8 beds) which are set far apart and are booked to a single group only, thus ensuring complete privacy. Guests can order from a selection of freshly prepared meals from our farm kitchen or cater for themselves in modern, fully equipped kitchens in each lodge. There are many drives and walks you can take on this beautiful game farm where you have the freedom to do your own thing. Ideal for birding, hiking, mountain biking and recreational cycling, photography and get-togethers for family and friends on special occasions. Farm roads are suitable for normal sedan vehicles with very limited distances restricted to high clearance vehicles only.
Tel: 083 631 5579 | Cel: 083 809 4291 | e-mail:|  |  More_Info_>>

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