New Bird Hide unveiled at Kwendalo

Kwendalo is delighted to officially announce the opening of its newest addition: an ecologically sensitive bird hide nestled away in the reeds adjacent to the vlei, built in collaboration with BirdLife Plettenberg Bay. The bird hide, which is well placed for viewing birds in the surrounding wetlands, aims to offer an accessible and immersive birding experience for the local community and visiting birders. 

Kwendalo Bird Hide
New Bird Hide unveiled at Kwendalo 4

The area around Plettenberg Bay and the Garden Route, and the Bitou Wetlands in particular, offers renowned opportunities for birding and nature enthusiasts to enjoy the rich avian diversity of the region. With a range of habitats that host more than 450 species of birds – over half of South Africa’s bird species – the birding possibilities are appealing. Added to which, 50 of South Africa’s 69 endemic or near-endemic species are found along the Garden Route and almost nowhere else in the world.

An example of the exciting sightings to be enjoyed at the Kwendalo Bird Hide is this uncommon sighting of a Blue-Billed Teal, first seen and photographed by Stephan van Wyk. This is a new sighting for Kwendalo’s Bird List, which is at 93 species and growing, and an unusual sighting for the Garden Route and Plettenberg Bay area.

Blue Billed Teal at Kwendalo. Photo Stephan van Wyk jpeg
Blue-Billed Teal first sighted and photographed by Stephan van Wyk at Kwendalo

The serene surroundings of Kwendalo and the bird hide provide a secluded space from which to enjoy the mesmerising behaviours of resident and migratory species. The simple act of watching birds is also being shown to have surprising benefits for both physical and mental wellbeing – a topic that the team at the Kwendalo Institute are currently expanding on with their Nature Referral (NRx) research. Dr. Matthew Zylstra, programme director and conservation ecologist at the Kwendalo Institute explains: “Many people are unaware of the health benefits of bird watching. Along with the better-known benefits of physical activity and being outdoors, bird watching has been shown to promote better mental health (e.g.) improved mood, reduced stress), creativity (e.g. cognitive flexibility) and attention restoration (e.g. reduced mental fatigue).” 

In alignment with a focus on birding, Kwendalo is proud to announce their certification as an official Birdlife South Africa Recommended Accommodation Provider. Kwendalo has been added to BirdLife South Africa’s Go Birding website.  For BirdLife Plettenberg Bay, the new bird hide provides not only a new location from which to enjoy their surroundings but also a window into birding for future generations. BirdLife Plettenberg Bay’s outgoing chair, Steve Serfontein says: “For this committee, we wanted the bird hide at Kwendalo to be part of our legacy for our Members and the wider community. We are very pleased by how it has come together and the enthusiasm by which it has been received.” The bird hide will also be used as an educational tool in Kwendalo’s Harmony Project, now in its fourth year at Bahia Formosa School. 

The bird hide is open to the public and visitors are requested to check in at reception during business hours: Monday-Friday, 8am – 5pm. Plettenberg Bay members have after-hours access to the farm for early morning, evening and weekend visits. Guided tours of the farm – which includes a medicinal herb garden and over 100 different species of vegetable, herb and fruit – can be booked via reception.

For more information or to plan your stay, please contact or

044 004 0366.

Kwendalo Wellness Farm
Kwendalo Wellness Farm

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