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Tillietudlem Nature Reserve is 2000ha in extent and will expose you to much of this birding wonderland. In addition to the birding, we also have healthy populations of eland, wildebeest, zebra, blesbuck and a myriad of smaller game. The farm forms the headwater of the Elands River, and 13km of crystal clear streams feed 4 trout dams that feature in two very exclusive fly fishing competitions.
The reserve has two guest lodges, each with its own charm.
Ogram’s Lodge is a luxurious classical colonial farmhouse dating back to the late 19th century, set under a huge oak tree overlooking several tranquil dams, rolling lawns with a magical feeling of absolute peace. Roaring fires, original Oregon pine floors, sash windows and high ceilings capture the magic of a bygone era. The lodge accommodates 10 guests in 5 double en suite bedrooms, either on a self- catering or fully catered option.
Hlega Manzi lodge on the other hand is a comfortable and well appointed self -catering lodge with an expansive wooden deck which overlooks the Hlega Manzi waterfall. Tranquillity and seclusion make this an ideal place to get away, unwind and enjoy the beauty of the reserve.
Activities are entirely nature based and include mountain biking, hiking, trout fishing and of course the Nguni cattle.
Orgrams Lodge R950.00pps
Hleka Manzi R750.00pps
NB Discounted rates apply to special interest groups
North Gate Directions
• From N3
• Take the Howick North/Tweedie off ramp and head for Tweedie on the 103
• Turn right at T-Junction
• Turn Left at Dargle/Impendle Rd
• Turn Left onto D522
Flowers (in summer)
Food (on request)
Pet Friendly (Hleka Manzi only)
Swimming in the Ungeni River
Nguni Stud farm
The Natural Experience:
KwaZulu-Natal, particularly the midlands and the Drakensberg Mountains, offer some of the most diverse yet unique birding in Southern Africa. One of the main reasons for this is the sharp change in altitude from 0 to 3000 meters above sea level over just 160 kilometres. This change in attitude and climate supports a huge variety of habitats – vlei grasslands, moist mistbelt grasslands, indigenous montane forests up the escarpment and alpine heaths.
At 1450 metres above sea level, the midlands area is about halfway up this migration route, in what is known as moist mistbelt grassland. Mist occurs year round which gives this grassland its name. It is characterised by very high summer rainfall, cold winters and brief snowfalls. This high rainfall over porous doloritic soils produces underground rivers, which in turn form sinkholes. These sink holes provide vital nesting sites for probably the most critically endangered bird in southern Africa – the blue swallow. 40 breeding pairs survive.
Other birds that make the grassland their home are Denham’s Bustard, black rumped buttonquail, Southern bald ibis, pale crowned cisticola, broad tailed warbler, and red wing francolin. The rocky outcrops that form islands in this sea of grass are a good place to look for red throated wryneck, buff streaked chat and ground woodpecker
The mistbelt grasslands also hold some of the largest natural vleis in the country. The area is known for its excellent crane viewing as 3 endangered cranes (watlled, crowned and blue) congregate here. The grassland surrounding the vlei areas are also good for secretary bird and yellow breasted pipit.
Other birds that can be seen in these ancient indigenous forests are crowned eagle, bush blackcap, yellow throated woodlands warbler, orange ground thrush, Narina trogon, Emerald cuckoo, white starred robin, Chorister robin and grey cuckoo shrike.