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Welcome to Zaagkuilsdrift!

Situated in the beautiful Pienaarsriver area, approximately 50 kilometers from Pretoria you will find Zaagkuildrift Bird Sanctuary and Lodge.  A fantastic birding area that boasts 430 different bird species, with a lodge that offers peace and quiet, excellent accommodation and great food.
You can download our brochure in .PDF here...

Zaagkuilsdrift is proud to be recognised as a Birdlife South Africa destination



Bird watchers and bird photographers' dream come true with 430 recorded bird species that will give you that special photo or fill up your birding list.


Take a Game Drive with us or explore the farm on the off-road trail with your bicycle and if you are lucky you will spot some game like Kudu and Waterbuck.


Explore our in-house aviary, and learn about our endangered birds programmes, and do not miss our reptile farm with snakes and crocodiles.


Book a chalet, relax and unwind in beautiful bushveld surroundings and enjoy our hospitality and great food, at an even greater price.

Some background of the lodge

Zaagkuilsdrift Bird Sanctuary and Lodge is part of the Southern Ground-Hornbill Recovery Programme and all Southern Ground-Hornbills on the farm are registered on the PAAZAB studbook and as such are managed through the PAAZAB African Preservation Programme. Our facility was of those chosen for captive breeding to help build a conservation insurance population with adequate genetic diversity with the potential for contribution to the reintroduction programme. The enclosures were specifically designed for the long-term housing of Ground-Hornbills.

bird watching

If you are one off the lucky ones you will spot the wild Marabou Storks circling over the farm in the afternoon and settle in for the night in the tall trees by the river on the farm and part of the neighbouring farm.

birding tours

There are guided tours through the enclosures in the mornings and afternoons where visitors are allowed to take photos and ask questions.


The trails on the farm are also suitable for walking, should you choose this alternative to bicycle riding. Down by the river, are benches where you can do your bird-watching undisturbed with only the sounds of nature around you.

bicycle rides

Off road biking trail available. This is an exciting alternative to walking. If you are lucky, you might even spot some of the game on the farm. There are kudu, impala, waterbuck, nyala and zebra to name a few.


Limited snacks and drinks are available for purchases at the kiosk at reception. Also on sale are novelties and gifts.


There are nine units available that can sleep up to 30 people, beautifully decorated with inspiration from our birds. The chalets are all grouped together with a dam close-by where you can watch the game drink water and view local birds and animals who enjoys the tranquillity.

The General Lodge Area

The Wattled Crane Project

Wattled cranes are almost extinct and we received three, 7-month old chicks from the Wattle Crane Recovery Program. (KZN Wild Life, KZN Crane Foundation, PAAZA, JHB Zoo & Endangered Wild Life Trust) The birds are raised with the purpose of breeding more birds in captivity as to build a sustainable population in captivity, which eventually may lead to some being released back into the wild.

Interesting Facts about Wattled Cranes:

At a height of up to 175 cm, it is the largest crane in Africa and is the second tallest species of crane, after the Sarus Crane. The wingspan is 230–260 cm, the length is typically 120 cm and weight is 6.4–7.9 kg in females, 7.5–9 kg in males. Among standard measurements, the wing chord length is 61.3–71.7 cm, the exposed culmen is 12.4–18.5 cm and the tarsus is 23.2–34.2 cm.

The back and wings are ashy gray. The feathered portion of the head is dark slate gray above the eyes and on the crown, but is otherwise white, including the wattles, which are almost fully feathered and hang down from under the upper throat. The breast, primaries, secondaryies, and tail coverts are black. The secondaries are long and nearly reach the ground. The upper breast and neck are white all the way to the face. The skin in front of the eye extending to the base of the beak and tip of the wattles is red and bare of feathers and covered by small round wart-like bumps.

Wattled cranes have long bills and black legs and toes. Males and females are virtually indistinguishable, although males tend to be slightly larger.

Juveniles have tawny body plumage, lack the bare skin on the face, and have less prominent wattles.

Get in touch with us!

What our clients say

  • Testimonial #5

    My story might be a bit long to read, but just like a student in art class cannot hand in an uncoloured mosaic, our experience at Zaagkuilsdrift is most definitely worth colouring! Last year December, I was looking for a...

    Janine and Werner Roets Alberton
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  • Testimonial #4

    Zaagkuildrift Lodge is ideally located for birders who want to visit the excellent and well know birding areas Kgomo-Kgomo and the Zaagkuildift road. In addition the property itself hosts numerous bird species. The property borders the Pienaars River and it...

    Ernst Retief / Regional Conservation Manager: Gauteng, Mpumalanga and Free
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  • Testimonial #3

    Of all of the places I have stayed all over the world, Zaagkuilsdrift is by far one of my favourite places.  Close to nature and as a bird photographer and nature lover, I can relax and enjoy nature in a...

    Peet van der Walt
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Reception ara