Mid-week Birding on the Umzimkulu Estuary (3 nights)



Mid-week Birding on the Umzimkulu Estuary (3 nights)

Mid-week Birding on the Umzimkulu Estuary:  answering the call of the many birders looking for close-by bird-rich estuarine waters to deploy in. We are hours drive from Durban. Ninety minutes from the King Shaka Airport, where a shuttle comes right to our town. Port Shepstone. On the lush and green KZN Lower South Coast.

And on the south bank of the mighty Umzimkulu River, is the Umzimkulu Marina. Quaint self-catering units opening out onto the river. This is the Benthic Zone and the inter-tidal domain of a myriad of birds and their prey.

Salt vs Fresh

The unique conditions provided by the free-flowing nature of the Umzimkulu River, interacting with the tide pulse, make for rewarding birding conditions. Prawns, crabs and fish supply a rich food source for all in attendance. Insects still abound here – the glyphosate left by the sugar industry has gone over its half-life and its poisonous effect has been all but eliminated.

After the same sugar farmers silted the river up by planting sugar cane that has zero water retention ability, illegal sand miners came along with the advent of the ANC corruption government. And sucked all the sand (and poison) out of the river. Inadvertently restoring the estuary to the massive body of water that it was always meant to be.

And in excellent form and function compared to the rest of KZNs defunct estuaries 95% of them rendered useless by agriculture and commercial property development.


Lots of ’em. Starting with the big eagles, to the hawks, the ibis’s, birds along the river bank, kingfishers, in the trees all over the lodge, cormorants, on the water, in the water…everywhere!

Seabirds also enter the zone. Including terns. And many visitors from afar rock up intermittently. Ospreys. Storks. Swallows.

This is the Umzimkulu River, starting in the Lesotho Highlands. And flowing through the vast Oribi Gorge just before it reaches the coastline here…

The Umzimkulu Estuary

This is an absolute birders paradise. We have many kilometres of jungle and bush to drift along silently next to.

Except for load-shedding-induced raw sewage overflowing into the estuary every now and then, man hasn’t managed to destroy this river. Yet. The corrupt ANC and its circling shoal of sharks in the form of developers, lobbyists and surveyors are trying every day. Using every excuse they can find to extract more funds from the dying ANC’s leadership, before it’s gone altogether. These unscrupulous people are among us and need to be stopped. They are trying to build a dam! In the estuary! It’s a non-stop battle battling these thieves.

For now….it is a birders paradise!


Is based on a sharing arrangement. Whereby you will hopefully come along with your fellow twitchers. Or be joined by other twitchers who come along seperate from you. We start with Number One and fill up across the lodge as we go. Unless you have a bigger crows, get in touch so we can make the arrangments as you require.

Birding by Boat

A free 2-hour birding trip is included in the deal. It is also a shared arrangement. Time and itinerary are solely up to the skipper.

Get in touch with me Sean on +27793269671 or umzimkulu@gmail.com. There is also a green WhatsApp button floating about on this website somewhere. Just click that and you are straight through to me.


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