Big 5 Experiences...
out and about to a Private Game reserve

At Woodlands Cottages we are extremely fortunate to be located in the middle of Big 5 heaven. The famous Addo National Park and the Woody Cape Dune and Forest Reserve (a national heritage site) are within 70kms of our door.

5kms from us are the local game reserves, Sibuya and Kariega Park. Viewing the animals roaming in an authentic and original space within the 5 biomes is a treat not to be missed. We would be happy to arrange special rates for day trips (subject to availability).

Choose Woodlands Cottages for a simple, affordable, safe and well-priced stay – the ideal base from which to enjoy these phenomenal animal viewing experiences.

Schotia Day trips are a great opportunity to view 40 different mammal species and about 200 different animals.

A mere 45 mins from Woodlands, the land has been owned by the Bean family since the early 1800’s.

The Schotia experience is a close up encounter with Rhino, Lion, Elephant, Buffalo, Hippo, Crocodile, and a variety of antelope.

We would be happy to secure special deals on day trips for our guests.

Addo National Park is an absolute must-see.

45 mins from Woodlands, hundreds of majestic elephants roam this enormous park. Sharing their home are animals such as the Lion, disease-free Cape Buffalo, Spotted Hyena, Lynx, Impala, Duiker, Kudu, and the curious little Dung Beetle.

Choose to self-drive, or allow us to arrange the trip and pack a picnic for your day trip to Addo.

Woody Cape Nature Reserve - Addo

A quick 35kms from Woodlands is the Woody Cape Nature Reserve which forms part of the greater Addo Reserve.

This lush 20 000 hectare forest is truly magical. Visitors will have the unique privilege of seeing, hearing and smelling one of the few untouched parts of our world where trees and plants have never been farmed or converted for man. The hikes, birdwatching and photographic opportunities at Woody Cape have been described as “life-changing”.

Stroll under a canopy of forest trees, listen to the chorus of the bird life, rest and enjoy a picnic on a log or bench. This is a tranquil and unforgettable experience.

The forest backs an expanse of dune fields on the Eastern extreme where the rainfall is considerably higher than average. These dunes fields, running 60km to Port Elizabeth and 6 km inland at certain points, are currently being evaluated as a World Heritage Site.

The Woody Cape reserve also covers Bird Island, 5 km out to sea, breeding ground of the Great White Shark. Trips to the island can be arranged from Port Elizabeth harbour.

Although the vegetation is designated as Tongaland-Pondoland lowland forest, it has Afromontane affinities. Dominant trees include Ochna, Apodytes, Cassine and Sideroxion, while frequently sub-dominants include Euclea, Pittosporum, Rapanea, Strychnos, Pteroceiastrus and Schotia.

Some of the mammals in the forest include Bushbuck, Cape Grysbok, Steenbok, Grey Duiker, Vervet Monkey, and Small and Grey Mongoose.

Perhaps the most exciting element of the forest is the 400 bird species perched in the trees.

Guests are welcome to contact the local Diaz Cross Birding Club to arrange birding excursions. The Club has compiled the following list of birds viewed in the forest:
622 Apalis, Bar-throated 625 Apalis, Yellow-breasted 431 Barbet, Black-collared 672 Batis, Cape 722 Bokmakierie, Bokmakierie 709 Boubou, Southern 546 Brownbul, Terrestrial 545 Bulbul, Dark-capped 717 Bush-shrike, Olive 719 Bush-shrike, Orange-breasted 219 Bustard, Denham's 152 Buzzard, Jackal 154 Buzzard, Steppe 627 Camaroptera, Green-backed 863 Canary, Brimstone 858 Canary, Forest 859 Canary, Yellow-fronted 648 Cisticola, Lazy 629 Cisticola, Zitting 680 Crested-flycatcher, Blue-mantled 523 Crow, Cape 522 Crow, Pied 513 Cuckoo-shrike, Black 317 Dove, Laughing 314 Dove, Red-eyed 319 Dove, Tambourine 517 Drongo, Fork-tailed 143 Eagle, African Crowned 138 Eagle, Long-crested 707 Fiscal, Common (Southern) 206 Flufftail, Buff-spotted 655 Flycatcher, African Dusky 664 Flycatcher, Southern Black 654 Flycatcher, Spotted 89 Goose, Egyptian 551 Greenbul, Sombre 458 Lark, Rufous-naped 703 Longclaw, Cape 392 Mousebird, Red-faced 390 Mousebird, Speckled 637 Neddicky, Neddicky 312 Olive-pigeon, African 521 Oriole, Black-headed 682 Paradise-flycatcher, African 694 Pipit, Plain-backed 649 Prinia, Tawny-flanked 712 Puffback, Black-backed 524 Raven, White-necked 589 Robin, White-starred 581 Robin-chat, Cape 578 Robin-chat, Chorister 579 Robin-chat, Red-capped 511 Saw-wing, Black (Southern race) 584 Scrub-robin, Brown 867 Seedeater, Streaky-headed 740 Starling, Black-bellied 737 Starling, Cape Glossy 733 Starling, Common 576 Stonechat, African 80 Stork, White 772 Sunbird, Amethyst 771 Sunbird, Collared 758 Sunbird, Greater Double-collared 765 Sunbird, Grey 760 Sunbird, Southern Double-collared 493 Swallow, Barn 1105 Thrush, Olive 436 Tinkerbird, Red-fronted 527 Tit, Southern Black 4133 Turaco, Knysna 316 Turtle-dove, Cape 686 Wagtail, Cape 171 Harrier-Hawk, African 55 Heron, Black-headed 442 Honeyguide, Lesser 441 Scaly-throated Honeyguide 427 Hornbill, Crowned 81 Ibis, African Sacred 84 Ibis, Hadeda 402 Kingfisher, Brown-hooded 129 Kite, Yellow-billed 243 Lapwing, Black-winged 242 Lapwing, Crowned 843 Waxbill, Common 799 Weaver, Cape 790 Weaver, Dark-backed 791 Weaver, Spectacled 804 Weaver, Thick-billed 1172 White-eye, Cape 321 Wood-dove, Emerald-spotted 419 Wood-hoopoe, Green 450 Woodpecker, Cardinal 448 Woodpecker, Knysna 452 Woodpecker.

Birding Outing

Birding in our bush, in our estuaries or shores is prolific. We have about 400 species active in our area. Due to all the game reserves , Addo national park and the sea reserves the natural surrounds allow special freedom for the birdlife to live freely. All along Route72 ( 350 km) there are numerous location to enjoy the walking or sitting space to test your skills or search the elusive one you have not ticked off your list. There are aplenty experienced and knowledgeable groups or individuals that will gladly assist in your explore.

Birding on the Sunshine Coast