Flamingo Lake is possibly the best base in the entire Overberg for bird watchers.
Deep in a Nature Reserve, on the edge of both lake and sea, and with the
immense wealth of wetlands birdlife literally on your doorstep, it is indeed
a very special place. Our Bot River lagoon is one of the top hotspots for birding
in the Hermanus area, and is recognised both locally and internationally as an
Important Bird Area - IBA. You will see several species right there in your own private
garden, more in the milkwood forest, and on walks around the edge of the lake you will
see very many more.
Our elegant and comfortable interiors have been designed to fit in with the natural environment, and while you will enjoy a touch of modest luxury, this does not detract from the wilderness experience of being close to nature.
Flamingo Lake is set inside an exclusive private estate not accessible to members of the public.
As our guests, you will enjoy all rights of access during your stay, as well as use of all the facilities in the estate.
The estate is in turn inside the Middlevlei Nature Reserve - about 450 hectares (about 1100 acres) of rolling dunes still recovering from the removal of alien vegetation, and is one of the very few areas of coastal lowlands fynbos under official protection.
Bird populations vary according to the time of year, the amount of water in the lake, the amount of time that has elapsed since the lake was last opened to the sea, and of course, to the whim of the birds. Flamingos come and go, but we have seen flocks of about a thousand flamingos on the lake, as well as flotillas of about 60 pelicans. At its best, the lake is teeming with water birds - there may be thousands of red-knobbed coots, and hundreds of ducks, shovellers, pochards, stilts, egrets and herons.
For even better bird watching, we are developing a series of walks around the estate, and into the nature reserve, past secret pans of water where Herons breed, large groups of Sacred Ibis make their homes, and weavers and bishops nest amongst the reeds.
At night, you might hear an owl hooting, and in early mornings you may be greeted by the mournful call
of the cape batis, harsh alarm cries of the Southern Boubou, and the cheerful call of the Cape Robin.
Especially when the lake is low, there can be huge crowds of terns, gathering in their thousands and periodically swooping into the sky in an amazing umbrella formation. At this time too is when flocks of Sacred Ibis scavenge along the edge of the estuary.
Flamingo Lake is only a few minutes' drive away from other hotspots:
The beach is not for swimming.
Dangerous currents keep the bathers away, and the result is that we have about 12 kilometres of almost deserted sandy beach where the rare Oystercatchers breed, otters, mongooses and small buck leave their footprints, and the noise of the city seems to be a lifetime away.