Mpenjati Nature Reserve in Trafalgar has trails varying in length, from a quick hike to a 4-hour walk to Mbizana River at Southbroom. Picture: Justin Klusener.
Mpenjati Nature Reserve in Trafalgar has trails varying in length, from a quick hike to a 4-hour walk to Mbizana River at Southbroom. Picture: Justin Klusener.

14 places to enjoy a South Coast hiking adventure this weekend

By Travel Reporter Time of article published Nov 27, 2020

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The KZN South Coast is fast becoming an outdoor paradise, and if hiking is on top of your bucket list, there are plenty of options to choose from.

Here are 14 places to enjoy a South Coast hike adventure:

Skyline Nature Reserve in Uvongo

Between Uvongo and Margate lies Skyline Nature Reserve that consists of some 380 indigenous and 400 exotic tree species. Hikers can view a variety of resident wildlife in this 40-year-old arboretum, including blue duiker, grey duiker and bushbuck. Visit www.kznwildlife.com

ANEW Resort Ingeli Forest in Harding

Ingeli Forest, the second-largest indigenous forest in KZN, has a wide variety of walking and running trails suited to all ages. It offers 3km, 3.5km, 7.5km, 10km, 15km and even loop-out routes that cross through forest streams and past waterfalls. Visit www.anewhotels.com

KwaXolo Caves Adventures

KwaXolo Caves is home to centuries-old San rock art and some of the most incredible views. Hikers enjoy views of the waterfall and gorge, with a picnic spot available. The one-and-a-half-hour hike is open to anyone aged 8 and over. Call 076 185 3447 or 074 8873 742.

River Valley Nature Reserve in Margate

This scenic hike stretches through the River Valley Nature Reserve, passing grasslands and riverine forests. You may see impala, nyala, grey and blue duiker as well as 145 species of indigenous birds.Visit www.rivervalleynaturereserve.co.za

Mpenjati Nature Reserve in Trafalgar

This beautiful coastal reserve has trails varying in length, from a quick hike to a 4-hour walk to Mbizana River at Southbroom. Hikers will walk along beaches, rivers and see wildlife. Visit www.kznwildlife.com

Clearwater Trails near Port Edward

Clearwater Farm also has many incredible hiking trails that extend from the farmland through indigenous landscape to Umtamvuna River Gorge. Visit www.clearwatertrails.co.za

KwaNzimakwe Multi-Trails

Situated between Mpenjati Nature Reserve and Ezinqoleni is the KwaNzimakwe Multi-Trails that fuses natural beauty with local cultural heritage. The KwaNzimakwe Multi-Trail Park allows hikers and birdwatchers to immerse themselves in this stunning region along a 4-kilometre trail. Email [email protected]

Beaver Creek Coffee Estate

Beaver Creek Coffee Estate boasts many outdoor activities including hiking trails across both farmland and indigenous terrain. Hikes from the coffee estate range from around 45 minutes through to two hours. Visit www.beavercreek.co.za

Umtamvuna Nature Reserve

Just 8 kilometres from Port Edward is this stunning nature reserve, home to the Red Desert, which happens to be the world’s smallest desert. The three trails found in this reserve include the Kingfisher Trail (30 minutes), the Loerie Trail (2 hours) and the Fish Eagle Trail (4-hour circular route). Visit www.kznwildlife.com

Vernon Crookes Nature Reserve

Vernon Crookes has a vast selection of hiking trails within the 2 189-hectare reserve, ranging from one hour to six-hour hikes. Visit www.kznwildlife.com

TC Robertson Nature Reserve

The 60-hectare nature reserve is home to some 200 bird species including the African fish eagle, rush warbler and African Goshawk. The route spans 12 kilometres. Email [email protected]

Lake Eland Game Reserve

This 2 500 hectare game reserve offers visitors the chance to get close to some of Africa’s wildlife. There are several hiking trails within the reserve and other activities like ziplining, the gorge swing, suspension bridge, paintball and scooter tours. Visit www.lakeeland.co.za

Bushbuck Trail in Southbroom

Active environmentalist and founder chairman of the Southbroom Conservancy, David Hallé created this hour-long trail which meanders behind the local tennis club through dense coastal vegetation. There are great bird and bushbuck sightings with benches, bridges and signage making this an easily-navigable trail. Visit www.southbroom.org

Oribi Gorge Nature Reserve

Just 25 kilometres inland of Port Shepstone is this unique space. Within the 1 917-hectare reserve is the iconic gorge where the Umzimkulwana River has carved through sandstone over millions of years. There are some great trails in the reserve; the Hoopoe Falls Trail (7km), the Nkonka Trail (5km), Baboob View Trail (1km), Samango River Trail (1,5km), View Trail (9km), and Horseman's Point (4,5 km). Visit www.kznwildlife.com

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