Coast KZN

28 Apr 2021

Numerous nature trails to choose from

Southern explorer (South Coast Herald) Picture: Umtamvuna Nature Reserve offers a wonderful opportunity to get away from it for a while

Whenever one visits the Kwa-Zulu Natal South Coast you are struck by the magnificence of its abundance foliage. Everything grows in this subtropical paradise and there is an extraordinary variety of plants, trees and flowers to be found, says Vicky Wentzel, Director of The Southern Explorer

Ventures by Sweetdale
Offering 120 hectares of beautiful coastal nature, thrilling adventures and fun for the entire family,
it boasts two advanced mountain bike trails, three walking/running trails and the challenging alpine hiking trail. There are kids play areas along the way and dogs on leashes are welcome.

Skyline Nature Reserve
This stunning nature reserve in Uvongo consists of some 380 indigenous and 400 exotic tree species. Hikers are able to view a variety of resident wildlife in this 40-year-old arboretum, including blue duiker, grey duiker and bushbuck. There is an incredibly scenic hike that goes through the River Valley Nature Reserve, passing grasslands and riverine forests, home to impala, nyala, grey and blue duiker.

Mpenjati Nature Reserve in Trafalgar
This beautiful coastal reserve has trails varying in length, from a quick hike through to the four-hour walk all the way to Mbizana River at Southbroom. Hikers will walk along beaches, alongside rivers and witness a range of wildlife endemic to this varying landscape.

Beaver Creek Coffee Estate
This key tourism destination near Port Edward has a wealth of outdoor activities on offer, including a number of hiking trails across both farmland and indigenous terrain. Hikes from the coffee estate range from around 45 minutes through to two hours, with stunning views of Mtamvuna River.

Clearwater Trails
The nearby Clearwater Farm also has a number of incredible hiking trails that extend from the farmland through indigenous landscape all the way to Umtamvuna River Gorge.

Umtamvuna Nature Reserve
Another great day out near Port Edward is this stunning coastal reserve which has several marked trails for fantastic wild- and birdlife viewing. There is even a large colony of endangered Cape vultures which can be observed in their nesting sites.

Umtamvuna Nature Reserve.

Vernon Crookes Nature Reserve
The 2 189 ha reserve enjoys a diverse ecosystems that support a variety of wildlife. This includes scarp forest, grasslands, wetlands, rivers, dams and cliffs, all of which are home to a mixture of game – zebra, blue wildebeest, bushbuck, blesbok, impala, blue duiker, black backed jackal, dassies, mountain and common reedbuck, among others.

TC Robertson Nature Reserve
On the edge of Scottburgh, sitting against the south bank of the Mpambanyoni River, is TC Robertson Nature Reserve. The 60 ha reserve was established in 1989 by Dr TC Robertson and is renowned for its incredible birdlife, with some 180 to 200 species found here.

Umdoni Park Nature Reserve
The 210-hectare park near Pennington invites hikers to stop in at the Environmental Centre for maps and information before embarking on one of the many trails.

Lake Eland Game Reserve
This is a beautiful 2 500-ha game reserve which gives visitors the chance to get close to some of Africa’s wildlife. There are several hiking trails within the reserve as well as a magnificent suspension bridge. This is a great venue for day visits or a family holiday offering self-drive game drives to view a variety of wildlife.

Blesbok can be seen at Lake Eland Game Reserve and Skyline Nature Reserve. Photo: Justin Klusener.

There are also horse rides, bike trails, 4×4 trails and picnic sites, with an on-site restaurant and tea garden alongside a children’s playground.