Sand Forest Lodge Hot
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Close to the Big 5 game reserves of Zululand and the shores of iSimangaliso Wetland Park, Sand Forest Lodge is the perfect stopover and a highlight on the Zululand Birding Route. 

With one of the few remaining patches of Sand Forest and a large variety of indigenous trees planted throughout the open grassland of the property, the site is excellent for birding and wildlife photography.

Nyala, Impala and Red Duiker are regularly encountered, but it is the numerous bird baths scattered throughout the property that provide excellent opportunities for bird photography. As the day heats up, there is constant activity at these birdbaths with many hard to view and photograph species coming down to drink.

The numerous fruiting trees also attract many fruit eating and insectivorous species. A walk through the Sand Forest will produce some of Zululand’s most sought after species that include Narina Trogon, African Broadbill and Pink-Throated Twinspot.


Best Time to Photograph
Mid mornings and late afternoons
Type of Photography
  • Birds
  • Insects
  • Trees and plants
Best Time of Year
Throughout the year
Photographic Tips
Sand forest birding and photography may be difficult due to low lighting and dense vegetation, but sitting patiently in a forest glade can be rewarding. It is also worth moving between the numerous birdbaths from mid-morning onwards. Walking the birding trail at dawn is particularly rewarding.
Recommended Gear
Long-range telephoto lenses together with cameras with high ISO ratings are recommended. Tripods and flashes are also suggested.


Season and Weather
Summer months can be extremely hot and humid and afternoon thundershowers can be expected. Winter weather is more pleasant with cool temperatures and more stable weather patterns.
Other Activities
  • Bird Watching
  • Walking
  • Camping
  • Trees and plants


Closest Town
Getting There
Sand Forest Lodge lies just off the N2 past the town of Hluhluwe. From the N2, take the Hluhluwe/Sodwana Bay off-ramp. Follow the signs toward Sodwana Bay/False Bay Park. Turn right onto the Sodwana Bay Road. After approximately 6km, turn right on to the False Bay Park Road. Sand Forest Lodge is 900m from the turning - on the left side of the road.


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Peter Chadwick
Author: Peter ChadwickWebsite: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
As a dedicated conservationist, Peter Chadwick has 30 years strategic and operational conservation experience in terrestrial and marine protected area management. He has worked within all of the major biomes in southern Africa as well as having provided expert conservation advice at a global level. His conservation and wildlife photography is a natural extension to his conservation work where he has numerous opportunities to capture photographs that showcase the beauty and complexity of the outdoors. Peter’s photography is internationally recognized, with this work appearing globally in a wide range of print and electronic media.