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Umngazi: A Haven For Birdwatchers And Nature Enthusiasts

Posted on: September 1, 2023, in Latest News

From the elusive Spotted Ground Thrush and seldom-seen Bushveld Rain Frog, to a resident pod of bottlenose dolphins and playful seasonal whales; Umngazi Hotel and Spa’s rich ocean, estuarine and mangrove environments provide a playground for some of the country’s most exquisite birds and wildlife. 

For nature enthusiasts, avid birders and holidaymakers wanting to experience the pure magic of the hotel’s surrounding ecosystem, we’ve put together some of the outdoor activities you can do, as well as a list of some of the wildlife you’re likely to encounter.

Bird Walk, Boat Cruise and Forest Walk 

Grab your local bird list from reception and book a guided walk to encounter the extensive array of birdlife attracted to our unique ecosystem. Our awesome guides, Albert and Freedom, can help find a particular bird you’re wanting to see (like the resident lifer, a spectacular little Spotted Ground Thrush). 

If you want to involve the whole family, why not book our Boat Cruise and Forest Walk – a scenic guided boat ride up the Mngazi River. Your guide will point out the prolific water birds until you reach the fairytale forest where you’ll have the opportunity to walk through ancient indigenous ferns and trees, enjoying a new variety of birds (and reptiles if you’re lucky). 

*Please note that you are welcome to enjoy your own walks and hikes. There are also kayaks available if you would like to explore the river at your leisure. 

What are you likely to encounter? 

See our full bird list hereRead about some of the rare and endangered reptiles found in our area.

Whale and Dolphin Watching 

Winter guests are usually lucky enough to enjoy the spectacular acrobatic displays of passing whales. From tail slapping and eye hopping to lobtailing and breaching, it’s a beautiful experience that is best enjoyed with a pair of binoculars and from a high vantage point (like our spa deck or along the Sugar Loaf trail). 

Throughout the year, you can be lucky enough to spot the pods of resident bottlenose dolphins or, during the sardine run which happens once a year, you can enjoy super pods (groups of up to 5000 dolphins at a time) surfing and enjoying the waves.

Iconic Beach Sightings 

The Ngunis of the Wild Coast are not limited to farm enclosures, instead they roam the hillsides and beaches freely – adding an extra touch of magic to our beautiful area. Expect to see these gorgeous creatures on walking trails and hikes, and enjoying the warm sunshine on the beach in front of the hotel. 

Another favourite sighting for our guests are the little Terns that sit on the beach at Umngazi. They are amazing birds that are a big part of the landscape – especially in the summer months. As you walk towards them, you’ll watch them all fly off together, creating a picture-perfect scene.

Pack some binos, a pair of walking shoes and your favourite bird book, and come and join us for a getaway quite unlike any other. To enquire further or to book your much-needed holiday, get in touch with us either via email or give us a call on 047-564 1115/6/8/9.

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