Nature & Wildlife places of interest to visit while on the South Coast of Kwazulu Natal, with wild animals, reptiles and game.
Nature & Game Reserves more info…..
sponsor: Lake Eland Game Reserve
The Sardine Run more info…..
Aquariums, Marine Animals & Birds more info…..
Jolly Boats are for hire at St Michaels, Uvongo, Margate and Ramsgate estuaries. Enjoy a paddle up one of the beautiful south coast rivers, where you can stop and enjoy the peaceful sounds of nature at its finest.
Animal & Reptile Farms
Crocworld Scottburgh, Riverbend Crocodile Farm & Pure Venom Reptile Park
Crag’s View Wild Care Centre, currently closed to the public, situated on Crag’s View farm, Port Edward, is the only official wildlife rehabilitation centre serving the lower south coast region, KwaZulu-Natal (KZN).
If you thought the South Coast was just about the beach – think again
There are opportunities to head inland and discover the wonders of the Kwazulu-Natal countryside.
Approximately 12 kms from Port Shepstone the Umzimkulwana River has etched a spectacular gorge into the mountains to create a rugged, natural landscape of breathtaking beauty. The gorge, some 27 kms long and one km at its widest point. The edge of the gorge has been turned into an extreme adventure hotspot, with the world’s highest natural abseil alongside a waterfall, and a monumental gorge swing and slide which requires you to leap off the cliffs some 160 meters above the gorge floor. It is pretty intimidating stuff, but at least you know you are held by safety equipment of the highest international standards. White water rafting through the gorge with challenging grade three rapids to negotiate is offered in the rainy season when the river is full.
Nature trails and bird sanctuaries provide a pleasant diversion for nature lovers who enjoy a little peace and quit. Put on your hiking boots and grab a pair of binoculars and a bird book and you are ready to head out for an awesome birding experience. The South Coast offers some of the best birding in the country with habitats ranging from sea shore to coastal lagoons, grasslands, gorges, forests and mountains.
The nine nature reserves in this region boast a combined bird list of 386 species, including Pied Mannikin, Narina Trogon, African Broadbill, Spotted Thrush, Orange Thrush, Blue Swallow, Cape Parrot, Knysna Warbler, Knysna Woodpecker, Half Collared Kingfisher, Finfoot and Broad-tailed Warbler.
During the annual sardine migration in June/July, pelagic birds abound. Local birding boffins tip Oribi Gorge, Umdoni, the Umtamvuna and Mpenjati nature reserves and Uvongo as prime birding spots.
Nature lovers must find time to visit the unique Trafalgar marine reserve with its 90 million year old fossil beds. In clear conditions an underwater reef provides an exciting snorkelling experience. A few minutes drive from Trafalgar, you cross yet another river mouth and lagoon, the Mpenjati, part of the 66 ha nature reserve protecting the unspoilt beach and dune forests, stocked with bushbuck and blue and grey duiker. Well marked trails provides exciting hiking opportunities.
Further inland along the N2 you will come across Harding, a pioneer town encircled by mountains and forests that is steeped in history. Here you will find the Weza/Ingeli state forest, one of the largest indigenous mist belt forests in the province, criss-crossed with hiking trails. This is a birder’s paradise with an array of impressive raptors and forest birds, including the rare Narina trogon. The entire route from Port Shepstone to Harding is a magnificent drive through some breathtaking scenery, and is well worth it. Roadside crafts, markets and B&Bs are dotted along the way, so why not make a journey of it?