Nature Reserves

The Amanzimtoti Bird Sanctuary, situated off Umdoni Road, hosts a wide array of bird and aquatic life. A 20 minute trail leads you through typical coastal bush and with some luck you might even spot the elusive Natal Bush Buck. Breakfasts, light meals and teas are served from the Charity run Umdoni Tea Garden who also cater for business breakfasts, functions and parties.

The Vernon Crookes nature reserve boasts 56 mammal species as well as various fish, amphibian and reptile varieties. The 2189 ha reserve has an interesting diversity of indigenous flora and a fine example of coastal forest attracting abundant birdlife to the area. Visitors can drive around the reserve, enjoy walks and relax or fish at the watering holes, ideal locations for game spotting. Accommodation is available in the form of a 20-bed rustic hut and five rondawels.

The breathtaking Oribi Gorge, named after the shy Oribi Antelope, was formed over millions of years by the steady erosion of the Mzimkulwana river flowing over rock and sandstone. Semi-deciduous forests, mammal species and birdlife thrive in this natural haven and over 500 species of plants grow virtually undisturbed in the gorge below. Visitors can experience a thrilling adrenaline rush abseiling down the highest site in the world or rafting the rapids.

Amongst the great commercial plantations in the Harding area, about 75 kms inland from Port Shepstone, lies one of the largest indigenous forests in KwaZulu Natal. The Weza/Ngele Forest, a state-proclaimed nature reserve, offers horse riding and mountain biking trails, hikes and trout dams for fly fishing. Small mammals and birdlife abound in the magnificent surroundings.

Further south, nature lovers can enjoy a day visit at the Mpenjati Nature Reserve situated on the banks of the Mpenjati River. Two walking trails offer visitors the opportunity to view blue duiker, forest antelope and a host of bird species. The 1.8 km Yengele trail is routed through one of the largest dune forests in the region.

A seed until released is only a promise of a tree
Myles Munro
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