Infanta and surrounding area activities
Your hosts Hilary and Tim have a wealth of knowledge about the area so when you visit Mudlark River Front Lodge they will make your stay an unforgettable experience with a range of activities along the Breede River (including the Witsands river bank), Mudlark fishing charters, bird watching, whale watching, and other ocean and estuary activities.
Both are exceptional anglers, members of the Breede River Conservancy and Hilary is an excellent birder.
, and are available. Other activities include fly fishing, snorkeling, walking, spear fishing,wind surfing, surfing, kiteboarding, mountain biking, swimming, canoeing and river cruising.
The Breede River Estuary is the Cape’s premier fishing estuary and one of the best in South Africa.
The most common fish is the Spotted Grunter which attains a weight of about 6kg.
The estuary is also known as the home of the big kob with the largest recorded size of 64kg. These fish are not as numerous as in the past but are regularly caught during the season from October to April.
Garrick (Leervis) Shad, Steenbras are also caught in numbers. The largest Garrick caught this year on fly is 21kg.
The lodge caught the most spotted grunter this past fishing season – about 800 of them and 99% were released.
Fly Fishing is steadily increasing and many Garrick are caught along the sand banks. Fish ranging up from 300mm to 1 meter in length are routinely caught. The best time for fishing for these fish is two days before a spring tide.
There is also sea fishing, rock fishing, surf fishing and ski-boating. The target fish on these fishing expeditions is usually kob, silver and dusky which can be caught within a few miles of the mouth. Many reef fish are also available but are not usually of a large size but great fun can be had on light fishing tackle. The most common reef fish are Red Roman, Sante and Mussel Cracker.
Yellow fin tuna make an appearance in February and stay until April. They are not huge (about 20kg) but arrive in huge shoals close to land about 2 kilometers away and provide excellent sport.
The lodge offers Breede River fishing charters on the estuary and sea. We have a 28ft Butt Cat, White Pointer equipped with all safety equipment, GPS, fish finder and Shimano tackle. Bait and snacks are provided. Tim, our skipper, has vast experience of the area having fished here for twenty years.
He has also represented the South African Deep Sea Angling Association in international fishing competitions on many occasions.
The Lodge has 3 Dinghies with 15 HP engines for hire for fishing or for exploring 40 kilometers of navigable water.
The area around the lodge has been identified by nature conservation as a renosterveld paradise.
Please remember to purchase your fishing licence before you come down to The Mudlark. Fishing licence info.
The annual migration of Southern Right Whales makes its way along the East coast usually arriving in June and tapering off in November.
The whales come to San Sebastian Bay to give birth and breed so it is a hot-bed of whale action.
The bay is an ideal area for whales because of its slowly sloping bottom and the estuary mouth which is the ideal condition for whale activity – the equivalent of a 5 star hotel for them.
There are many viewing sites, Witsands offer beach veiwing but the best veiws are from the low cliffs alongside Infanta village where the whales are so close that one feels one can almost touch them.
This area is sparsely populated so you almost have the whales to yourself. In 2011 there were 85 whales and 40 new calves. Over the last three seasons the most Southern Right Whales were seen in the bay surpassing all other well known spots in the number of whales in South Africa.
Dolphins can also be seen in the early morning on their way hunting for food.
At the lodge itself many species are resident including South Africa’s national bird the Blue Crane and the endangered Black Oyster Catcher. Fish eagles, herons, sunbirds and kingfishers are amongst some of the other birds that are frequently seen.
Bird List - see our Gallery for over 50 pictures of birds spotted at the Mudlark
Walks along the river bank and through the fynbos are the walking areas of choice. The ocean is only two kilometers away. Boats may also be hired to watch the estuarine birds on the various mud flats and sand banks.
The magnificent, indigenous garden at Mudlark River Front Lodge is the perfect setting for nature lovers and bird watchers alike. We boast an abundant bird life and more than 206 species have been identified to date.
We are lucky in the fact that we have estuary and water birds also in close proximity True birding enthusiasts can also visit the De Hoop Nature Reserve, a mere 40 km from the lodge where the many visiting waders can be studied at leisure. Or, take a cruise on the river at low tide for the waders, or enjoy a pleasant walk in the fynbos for the sunbirds, You should catch a glimpse of the elusive Southern Tchagra.
Download a list of birds that have been identified at the lodge and surrounds to date. Birds 2012>