Port Elizabeth’s Swartkops Lagoon Estuary is home to over 10 000 waterbirds, including the Greater Flamingo. Here’s Tourism Tattler’s recommendation on Where to Stay in and around Nelson Mandela Bay:
Rivers Edge Guesthouse – A Birders Paradise on the river’s edge
Rivers Edge Guesthouse is an ideal home-away-from-home for corporate executives, leisure tourists and family holidays, in tranquil and natural surrounds, and right on the river’s edge.
Located in Redhouse on the banks of Port Elizabeth’s Swartkops River Estuary, the guesthouse overlooks the Zwartkops Wetland Conservancy and Aloes Nature Reserve.
With five en-suite rooms available, including a self catering garden cottage, Rivers Edge Guesthouse is only 15 minutes from either Port Elizabeth, Uitenhage or Despatch and an hour’s drive to all world renown “Big 5” game parks in the malaria-free province of Eastern Cape. Day trips to the Addo Elephant Park, Shamwari Game Reserve and a host of other game parks are a mere 40 minutes away.
The village of Redhouse is a safe, friendly community that protects the interests of its residents and allows for both young families and older citizens to live active, healthy and neighbourly lives. Many activities in the village are organized for both visitors and villagers to mingle together, yet they also enjoy the private, quiet life that Redhouse has to offer.
The village offers a beautiful public garden, squash courts, lawn bowling green, yacht club, and rowing clubs. The University of Port Elizabeth (UPE) Rowing Club and the Grey High School Rowing Club are both based in Redhouse. Besides activities within Redhouse, there are also ample attractions and places of interest in and around the greater Port Elizabeth area to visit during your stay at Rivers Edge Guesthouse (read more here).
For mountain bikers, the Swartkops river estuary with its adjacent salt-pans that surround Rivers Edge Guesthouse provide a maze of interesting trails over flat terrain during the dry season.
For birders, the Swartkops Estuary is one of the best places in South Africa to see the less common estuarine waders, terns and greater flamingo. It is an important Bird Area, with over 10 000 waterbirds in summer and is one of the “must see” birding venues in Port Elizabeth.
For fishermen, casting a line from the private jetty in front of Rivers Edge Guesthouse can result in good catches, and saltwater fish species that can be hooked here include dusky kob, smallspotted grunter, white steenbras, Cape stumpnose, and Leerfish (aka Garrick).
A series of surveys has accounted for 86 species of fish that commonly occur in the Swartkops river and estuary system.