• Day trips to the closer Ben Lavin Nature reserve, where half and full day mountain bike trails are available
•Hiking trails in the Soutpansberg and Hangklip mountains
– Shiluvari is a birdwatchers paradise, and is home to both the montaine and riverine bird species. Shiluvari has recorded over 140 bird species on its property and includes the African finfoot, the green backed night Heron, Osprey, and all Kingfisher species.
• Arts and crafts route: Shiluvari is situated in the heart of the rich and diverse Venda and Shangaan culture, famous for their multi talented arts and crafts. Take one of the artists route and see local potters, wood carvers, textile weavers and bead makers all in their own villages. Guided half or full day tours to the artists are also available.
• Venda Legends route: Take a journey to the ancient spirits, and appease the python God….The heart of Venda takes a look at the secrets of Lake Fundudzi and the Holy Forests, where legend has it t he Giant python God of fertility dwells that demands the sacrifice of a maiden each year. The Thathe Vondo Forest is a beautiful indigenous forest that incorporates the sacred burial ground of the chiefs of the Thathe Clan, while the scenic Phiphidi Falls are believed to be the home of the water spirits that foster good relations with the ancestral spirits. …Stop at the Tshakuma fruit market along the way and stock up on the abundance of tropical fruit from the Levubu valley. Guided full of half day tours can also be arranged.
• Baobab meander: The Baobab is the undisputed King of the savannah trees of Africa and occurs mainly north of the Soutpansberg mountains and in the extreme North of the Kruger Park. The Giant tree is surrounded by Legend, one of which explains the root like branches by saying that the Gods, in a frivolous mood, planted the trees upside down, exposing the roots!! A winding road leads down the northern slopes of the mountain range through dramatic countryside. Aloes, mopane and giant baobab trees occur along the route to the hot mineral pools, game farms and citrus farms of Tshipise. The BIG TREE, the largest Baobab in the country with a girth of 43 m can be found near the Sagole Spa and the scenic Nwanedi national park. The park is situated 75 km’s north of Thoyoyandou on the R525.
• The Messina Nature Reserve, established to preserve the Baobabs of the area, over a hundred mature specimens of the fascinating tree can be seen. The strikingly beautiful reserve also contains the world’s oldest datable rock, a piece of granite gneiss 3852 million years old, and provides sanctuary to many game and bird species..
• Sunset cruises: Shiluvari has its own motorised raft, the “Savannah” which is used for sunset cruises along the Levubu River. Sip a gin and tonic, whilst keeping an eye out for the resident Hippo or croc…..Snacks and drinks are served aboard.
SLL was a founder member of the Soutpansberg Limpopo Birding route (now part of the Greater Limpopo Birding Route) in 2003.
Ideally situated, Shiluvari offers the discerning birder the opportunity to visit 3 eco systems within half an hour to an hours drive. These eco systems with the diverse birding opportunities are:-
Self drive or guided tours of the various areas are on offer from the lodge.
Shiluvari has been the host of the Glendower Forest Birding Festival for the past 2 years which has attracted birders from as far a field as Norway and the USA.
Shiluvari also offers interesting birding with 4 walking trails on the estate. Over 125 species have been sighted at Shiluvari including:-
•Green twin spot
•Crested guinea fowl
•Gorgeous Bush shrike
•White backed night heron
Shiluvari has a resident birding guide, Samson Mulaudzi, who is available to share his wealth of birding and local knowledge with you.
Samson has been interested in birds for a long time and with sheer determination taught himself until 2005 when the SLBR got sponsorship from De Beers and sent him on an introductory birding course. Due to his enthusiasm on this course Birdlife SA chose him to attend a further birding course at Wakkerstroom.
He has been employed by Shiluvari since September of 2006. Shiluvari has a joint business agreement with Samson whereby 80% of the revenue from his birding trips go directly to him. The idea is for Shiluvari to mentor market and develop Samson’s birding business.Samson has his own email address: firstname.lastname@example.org, where interested birders can contact him.