Mudlark River Front Lodge

Experience and immerse into the awe-striking surroundings encompassing the river, mountains and fynbos.

Grade

Tame

Disabled Friendly

No

Accommodation

Yes

Team Building Facilities

Yes

Family Friendly

Yes

Make your way to the Mudlark Riverfront Lodge. The lodge is located at the mouth of the Breede River where the Indian Ocean and Breede River meets. At Mudlark Riverfront Lodge, experience and immerse into the awe-striking surroundings encompassing the river, mountains, and fynbos.

If it’s a soul-rejuvenating getaway that you’re looking for, the Mudlark Riverfront Lodge offers the perfect Breede River accommodation. The lodge is a three-hour drive from Cape Town.

Not only is the lodge located on the banks of the largest river in the Western Cape, but the 22-hectare estate also forms part of the Lower Breede River Conservancy. What makes the location of the lodge unique is that no other habitation can be seen. What’s more, the lodge offers magnificent views of the estuary, the Potberg mountains in the distance. The lodge faces north and is protected from the prevailing sea breezes, and is surrounded by fynbos on three sides and the river in front. The Mudlark River Front Lodge offers exclusivity to residing guests, with unique decorated private rooms. Our menu is renowned for its excellence; using products sourced fresh from the sea, river and surrounding farms. Embracing the West bank of the Breede River, the Mudlark Riverfront Lodge is a small intimate lodge with accommodation for 10 adults, and 4 children. Be sure, have a look at Mudlark Riverfront Lodge accommodation prices.

This Breede River accommodation offers the perfect location for relaxing and exploring the Overberg area. Some of the main attractions in the Breede River Estuary are:

This is one of the best whale watching areas in South Africa, and is known as the” Whale nursery of South Africa”. Whales swim close to the cliffs at Cape Infanta and seem to be within touching distance, 85 adult whales and 40 calves counted during the 2011 census.
The Breede River is a popular fishing hotspot with Kob of up to 50kg, Spotted Grunter, and Garrick up to 12kg regularly caught. As the angling is so good the Breede River is known as the “Home of the Big Kob”.
De Hoop Marine Reserve a World Heritage Site is our neighbor.
An amazing 205 bird species can be found around the lodge, riverbank, and coast. This area is also part of the Cape Floral Kingdom with hundreds of varieties of fynbos and renosterveld.
There are various stunning walks and activities on the Breede River including, fishing, fly fishing, water skiing, snorkeling, kite surfing, surfing, and sunset cruises.

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.

Breede River Activities. Infanta activities. Infanta family activities. Breede River family activities.

Whale Watching, Bird Watching, and outstanding fishing are available. Other activities include fly fishing, snorkeling, walking, spear fishing, windsurfing, surfing, kiteboarding, mountain biking, swimming, canoeing, and river cruising.

Fishing
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 cob 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 the 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 is caught along the sandbanks. 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.

Yellowfin 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 license before you come down to The Mudlark. Fishing license info.

Whale Watching
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.

Whale Watching on the Breede River. Infanta whale watching. St Sebastian Bay whale watching.

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 viewing but the best views 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.

Bird Watching
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 Watching on the Breede River. Infanta bird watching. St Sebastian Bay bird watching.

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 mudflats and sandbanks.

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.

Breede River accommodation
Experience the welcoming and friendly atmosphere of the Mudlark Riverfront Lodge, a well-known Breede River accommodation. The lodge is located at the mouth of the Breede River where the river meets the Indian Ocean, displaying magnificent views.

See our Gallery for pictures of the Mudlark Riverfront Lodge >

The Mudlark Riverfront Lodge offers an open entertainment and dining area situated at the central timber lodge. There is a large comfortable lounge with a fireplace for those chilly winter evenings and DSTV is provided.

Beauty and excitement don’t end there. Together with five comfortable rooms, Mudlark Riverfront Lodge offers a relaxing lounge with river views and a friendly fisherman’s bar where one can spend the evening in the company of new found friends.

This leads out onto a large shaded timber leisure deck offering exceptional views, where one can laze the day away bird spotting or watching the happenings on the river, or enjoy sundowners as one watches the golden sun dip behind the Potberg Mountain.

Rooms at Mudlark Riverfront Lodge
The Mudlark Riverfront Lodge Breede River accommodation offers a serene environment for those looking to get away from the crowds as the lodge only houses a maximum of ten guests.

All our double rooms are also of timber construction have beautiful panoramic views of the estuary and the surrounding fynbos. Our five en-suite bedrooms are thoughtfully decorated; some with private balconies. All have en-suite bathrooms, heaters, fans and separate entrances and all the rooms are very comfortable. We have two twin beds, two double and one family room.

The bedrooms at Infanta accommodation are situated on both sides of the lodge. The communal dining area overlooks the river, the perfect spot to enjoy breakfast with a stunning view.

Link to our Gallery for more pictures of all the rooms >

Breede River guest house. Breede River accommodation. Infanta guest house. Infanta accommodation. Breede River guest house room. Breede River accommodation room. Infanta guest house room. Infanta accommodation room.

Breede River guest house. Breede River accommodation. Infanta guest house. Infanta accommodation. Breede River guest house room. Breede River accommodation room. Infanta guest house room. Infanta accommodation room.

Breede River guest house. Breede River accommodation. Infanta guest house. Infanta accommodation. Breede River guest house room. Breede River accommodation room. Infanta guest house room. Infanta accommodation room.

Enjoy Delicious Cuisine at Mudlark Riverfront Lodge – Breede River Accommodation
Enjoy a hearty home-cooked English Farmhouse Breakfast and a three-course dinner featuring local fare harvested from both the river and the ocean at Infanta accommodation. Traditional specialties include oysters, fresh line fish, calamari, and ostrich.

Breede River Cuisine

Lunch is available if requested. Hilary our chef and owner trained in England and specializes in country cuisine. She was the top chef in the Overberg Chef of the Year 2000 competition (Guesthouse Category).

Traditional braais (barbeque) are sometimes done alfresco on the deck. Meals are taken in the communal dining room. If you are out for a day picnic lunches can be arranged.

Great hospitality and individual service are what guests experience far away from home.

Mudlark Riverfront Lodge is owned and managed by your friendly hosts Hilary and Tim. Both will go out of their way to make your stay relaxing and memorable.

Breede River Attractions
The Breede River area has wonderful historic and natural attractions all within a stone’s throw of the Mudlark River Front Lodge.

The Southern Right Whale

Southern right whale watching on the Breede River. Whale watching Infanta. Whale watching St Sebastian Bay.

Infanta hosts annual whaling spectacular the likes of which can’t be witnessed anywhere else in the world.

The whales that congregate in this area for calving purposes every year are considered to be the least understood of all the species, they have inhabited the southern oceans for over 60 million years and are said to have the most highly evolved brain of all mammalian species. Every year from June to late November they move from the Southern Atlantic Ocean to the coastal regions of South Africa, Australia, and South America. The region along the southern coast has some of the best viewings of these gentle giants and by all accounts, the best of these is Infanta/Witsand.

In 2011 a survey counted 85 whales and 40 calves a massive number considering that they have been a protected species for barely 40 years.

The calving is a natural complement to an area that is already full of beauty.

De Hoop Nature Reserve

De Hoop Nature Reserve is 42 km away and is open from sunrise to sunset. Covered in limestone fynbos, the De Hoop coast is a marine reserve which extends 3 kilometers out to sea. Along the coast, you will see the finest examples of intertidal ecosystems in the Cape. Snorkeling in large clear pools is one of the best ways to appreciate this intertidal world.

De Hoop NR Protea2 0709.JPG

De Hoop has several mountain bike trails, and there is also the 5-day whale trail. There are several walking trails which offer glimpses of rare plants and birds. The walks range from 6km to 15 km and can be up to the mountains of the Potberg or on a coastal trail along the seashore.

The Cape Vulture Colony in De Hoop is the only remaining breeding colony in the winter rainfall region. There are 24 breeding pairs which are fed by park rangers most days. Call for times.

On the drive through the Reserve, you are likely to see Bontebok, Cape Mountain Zebra, Baboons, Ostriches, Eland, Grey Rhebuck, Duiker and Steenbok.

Covered in limestone fynbos, the De Hoop coast is a marine reserve which extends 3 miles out to sea. Along the coast, you will see the finest examples of intertidal ecosystems in the Cape. Snorkeling in large clear pools is one of the best ways to appreciate this intertidal world.

De Hoop is also a world heritage site and borders our property.

Infanta

Infanta is the ‘sleepy little town’ on the Cape Town side of the Breede River mouth, a little fishing hamlet, that comes alive in the holiday periods.

Infanta.jpg

You would be forgiven for thinking time has stood still, there are no shops or restaurants. The beachfront and the

rocky shoreline are great for fishing. There are easy walks in the surrounding fynbos-covered hills. The biggest attraction is

the huge amount of whales that visit this coastline during the whale season.

Witsand

witsand.jpg
The small town of Witsand on the mouth of the Breede River was once a bustling port town due to the natural anchorage provided by the estuary. In the 1800s the Witsand harbor was bursting with steamboats bound for Cape Town. But now Witsand is just a sleepy coastal town with less than 400 local residents and pristine natural surroundings. It is the perfect place to go if you need to get away from the hectic pace of city life.

The Mudlark Riverfront Lodge can take you across to Witsands by boat if you are wanting to do a day trip and explore more. Situated in the heart of the Cape floral kingdom, one of the most biodiverse regions in the world, Witsand are a nature lover’s paradise and a great place to reconnect with the elements. Just don’t expect to get a good cell phone signal.

Beach lovers will enjoy the 4km of pristine beaches which give Witsand (literally ‘white sand’) its name. At the end of the beach, you will find Moodie’s Well which provided fresh water to some of the first western inhabitants who sought out accommodation in the area.

History buffs will also appreciate the great historical value of Witsand. The town has many old buildings and sites of historical interest left over from when it was a bustling port town. For example the Barry Memorial Church, which was built in 1849 by the Barry family an important merchant family that lived in Witsand.

Pont at Malgas

Before roads made travel from Cape Town easy, Malagas was an ‘inland port’ for steamboats transporting provisions to the Swellendam area. Today Malgas is famous for its ‘man drawn’ pontoon across the Breede River – a service began in 1860 and still operational today. Pont is the last working example in South Africa. Vehicles and pedestrians are manually hauled across the river, with special rates for livestock. This service operates from sun up to sun down.

Malagas was the name of a Hottentot chief, whose kraal was situated near the site. The name of the village was changed to Malgas because, in the olden days, post for the village ended up in Malaga Spain!

Pont at Malgas

Wreck of the Kadie

A shipping service along the coast between Breede River and Cape Town provided a welcome alternative to the arduous wagon journey. A thriving river and coastal trade was developed by a Scotsman Benjamin Moodie and later Joseph Barry and Nephews in the 19th century.

By opening a sea route from Cape Town to the Swellendam area, these gentlemen were able to undercut land-based transport companies. Freshwater was transported in flat bottom boats from Malgas to Port Beaufort 48 km downstream at the mouth.

One of the more famous steamers was the 158-ton Kadie. Malgas became a bustling social and business center due to the inland harbor and the pontoon ferry service. The village peaked in the 1860s when it boasted a hotel, boarding house shop stores a school, church gaol and powder store.

Finally, the demise of the “SS Kadie”, a 158-ton steamer, which was wrecked entering the Breede River Mouth, coupled with the death of Barry in 1864 led to the collapse of the empire. Parts of the wreck can still be found close to Infanta at the river mouth.

Wreck of the Kadie

Cape Agulhas

Africa’s southernmost point where the Indian and Atlantic oceans meet. The name Agulhas is derived from the Portuguese word for needles. It is thought to refer to the needle-like rocks guarding the route, or to the fact that the compass needle makes no distinction between magnetic and true north at this point. More than 130 shipwrecks are strung along the coast, bearing silent testimony to the difficulties of navigation in this environment.

Not to forget the fascinating shipwreck museum in Bredasdorp, where you can lose yourself imagining what life on board some of these ships must have been like.

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