Bluff Nature Reserve was proclaimed on the 24 October 1974 and is 45 ha in extent.
The reserve, consists of a large pan and adjacent forest and is situated in the Bluff suburb of Durban.
The pan is a home and a refuge for many water birds and waders.
Two bird hides are sited along the edge of the pan and provide excellent bird viewing opportunities for visitors.
Spoonbills and cormorants nest in the edges of the reedbeds in late winter and spring.
There is one self guided trail in the reserve which meanders around the pan and offers a wonderful opportunity to explore the diverse water-bird life in the reserve.
A complete bird list is available from the field ranger.
The following mammals have been recorded in the reserve. Giant musk shrew, hottentot golden mole, velvet monkey, multimamate mouse, grey climbing mouse, angoni vlei rat, common rodent mole, large spotted genet, banded mongoose, and slender mongoose.
This 26 hectare reserve on the southern bank of the Umhlanga River in Umhlanga Rocks, north of Durban consists of an estuary, dune forest and coastal forest. It was proclaimed in 1980. There are two trails in the reserve which offer opportunities to explore the fascinating animal and plant life in these two forest types.
The trails also provide pedestrian access to the beach. There is a small picnic site situated at the entrance gate. Bushbuck, blue and grey duiker as well as other smaller mammals occur here. Numerous species of birds have been recorded in the reserve which also boasts the southern-most location of the crested guineafowl.
Amatigulu Nature Reserve is situated on the Indian Ocean coastline in Northern KwaZulu-Natal between the Tugela and Amatikulu River mouths. The Reserve is approximately 100 km from Durban and is one of the few places in Southern Africa where wildlife can be viewed feeding on forested dunes overlooking the sea.
Visitors can indulge in a variety of game drives (4 X 4 required) and self-guided walks through the many vegetation types found in the reserve. The Coastal Forest grasslands and rivers attract much birdlife, including the rare african finfoot, and populations of giraffe, zebra, waterbuck and smaller antelope occur in the reserve. Other activities include canoeing on the Amatigulu Estuary and Nyoni River, boating and easy access to the beach where surf angling is good. Fishing in the estuary is also extremely rewarding and a whale watching tower is situated quite close to the camp.
Renowned for its sport fishing, scuba diving and snorkeling, Sodwana is situated on the coast within the Greater St Lucia Wetland Park, South Africa`s first World Heritage Site.
The reserve lies adjacent to Africa’s southern-most coral reefs.
The Maputoland and St Lucia Marine Reserves are linked to each other to form a continuous protected area stretching 150 km from the Mozambique border southwards to Cape Vidal and 3 nautical miles out to sea.
In summer, loggerhead and leatherback turtles come out of the sea to nest on the beaches.
Aside from Sodwana’s wealth of opportunities for diving , boating and angling, a five-km self-guided trail is available for the enjoyment of nature lovers and bird enthusiasts. Malaria precautions are necessary.
Ongoye Forest is an exceptionally rare and diverse habitat. It is probably the most famous example of the extremely rare scarp forests.
The Ongoye range is well-drained by numerous fast-flowing streams such as the Umlalazi and its tributaries the Thondo and the Intuze arising from valley-head springs and is of great importance as a water catchment area.
It has large array of rare and endemic tree and plant species that make it "a must" for the more discerning nature lover.
The many tree rarities include magnificent giant umzimbeet, Millettia sutherlundii, forest mangosteen Garcinia gerrardii, forest water berry, Syzygium gerrardii and pondoland fig Ficus bizanae amongst others. The cycads Encephalartos ngoyanus and Encephalartos villosus are also found here.
Birding and hiking are also very popular all year round. There are about 130 bird species found on the reserve. The green barbet is endemic to the forest. Bushbuck, red duiker and red squirrel are also found. The giant Wood's cycad, Encephalartos woodii, now extinct in the wild, but surviving at the botanic gardens in Durban only occurred here.
Throughout Zulu history the Nkandla forest has been a place of mystery, the home of supernatural beings, and a formidable stronghold and place of retreat. The Chube are the iron-workers associated with the Nkandla and they were never conquered by Shaka. It has always been the last retreat of the Zulu from Shaka's time to that of Bhambatha.
The Nkandla Forest is one of the most outstanding examples of surviving mist belt forest in South Africa.
The forest covers the crown and south-western slopes of the ridge which lies above the Mhlatuze and Thukela rivers at a height of between 1100 and 1300 m above sea level.
Streams rising in the forest form deep gorges leading into the Nsuze river which runs along the base of the ridge.
Apart from being an area of great, often pristine, natural beauty, the Nkandla Forest represents a rare relict type of high wet rain forest, of which very few examples survive. They are relicts of times in the distant past when the climate was wetter, and even colder.
Situated in southern Zululand, near the town of Eshowe, are two beautiful indigenous forests Dlinza and Entumeni. Both consist almost entirely of coastal scarp forest with a few glades of grassland. Known for their birds and plants, the forests are also home to a number of mammal species. The forests are currently visited by bird watchers from all over the world with the hope of catching a glimpse of one of the rare species which occur there.
Both forests have hiking trails which allow easy access for visitors to enjoy their unique cool atmosphere. Early morning is the best time to visit as the forests echo with bird calls before the heat and cicada beetles take their toll a little later in the day.
This small nature reserve serves as the headquarters of KZN Wildlife (KwaZulu-Natal Nature Conservation Service).
Situated on the northern slopes of Pietermaritzburg, this reserve provides an environmental education and outdoor recreation area for the people of the Natal Midlands.
Impala, zebra, blesbok, bushbuck, grey and blue duiker, rock hyrax and crown eagle inhabit the reserve.
Of special interest amongst the large number of indigenous and exotic plants growing throughout the park, are the numerous species of cycads growing around the Douglas Mitchell Centre and the endangered Hilton daisies which grow naturally in the grasslands in the park.
A model 'environmentally friendly' bird garden and the iDube trail, a circular self-guided walk are available to visitors.
This secluded getaway is found on the South Coast some 12 km inland from Umzinto, along the Ixopo road. The reserve's wooded slopes, grassland ridges and clear views of the ocean to the east offer the ideal setting for communing with nature while enjoying the excellent trails, picnic facilities and autotrail.
The reserve boasts 56 mammal species. These include zebra, blue wildebeest, bushbuck, blesbok, oribi, reedbuck, blue and grey duiker, black-backed jackal, vervet monkeys, rock hyrax, tree hyrax, caracal, slender mongoose, white tailed mongoose, egyptian mongoose, banded mongoose and porcupine.
The abundant birdlife (some 300 confirmed species) includes a number of spectacular raptors like the Crowned and Martial eagle which nest in the reserve, while an interesting variety of indigenous flora adds to the reserve's attractions, not least in spring when the veld is alive with colour.
Enseleni Nature Reserve consists of coastal grasslands and forest and the Nseleni river provides a freshwater habitat.
For birding enthusiasts the reserve boasts several unusual or rare species, namely African finfoot, purple crested lourie, Pels fishing owl, white-eared barbet and three species of elusive nightjars, Mozambique, fiery necked and European.
Game species occurring in the reserve include giraffe, wildebeest, zebra, impala, reedbuck, waterbuck, bushbuck, bushpig, red, blue and grey duiker, hippopotamus, crocodile, large-spotted genet and the shy bushbaby.
Steeped in history, from the Bushmen to the British, and including an Anglo-Boer battlefield, this reserve offers a lot to the visitor.
There are five major ecosystems present; grassland, forest, wetland, mixed woodland and cliffs.
This ensures a high biodiversity, with many special plants, animals and birds.
The 900ha reserve borders on the historical town of Vryheid in northern Zululand.
The many trails in the reserve take the visitor through or past all of these ecosystems, and allows one to take in beautiful views of Vryheid and the surrounding area.
Some of the animals occurring in the reserve include eland, zebra, impala, blesbok, mountain and common reedbuck, bushbuck and oribi.
Many grassland orchids and wild flowers grace the plateau and the forest hosts many tree and shrub species.
Ozabeni lies north of Lake St Lucia, west of the Maputoland Marine Reserve, east of the Mkuzi river and swamps, and south of Sodwana Bay National Park and Mbazwana town.
Covering an area of 46 OOOha, it is generally flat and low lying except for the dunes along the eastern perimeter.
Dotted with many pans and small lakes, the entire area is part of a wetland system draining into Lake St Lucia. During the preceding centuries, rivers changed course, dunes have moved and sediments have flooded over the area gradually filling the ancestral Lake St Lucia with silt until the northern-most sections formed into what is now the Ozabeni, a flat, low-lying wetland draining into modern St Lucia, now much reduced in size.
Much of the land is covered either by grasses in the drier sections or reeds and sedges in the wetter areas whilst the eastern dune lines are covered in dune forests.
Along the north western section of the reserve is found more bush which transforms into dry sand forest.
Eleven pans and small lakes are found in the area, Lakes Neshi, Mozi, Yengweni, Mdlanzi, Mpanza, Ntshangwe, northern Bhangazi and Ngobezeleni (which drains straight out to sea at Sodwana Bay), Bikibiki, Mfula and Ndlebeni.
Falling from the heights of the Lebombo Mountains down across the Phongolopoort Dam to typical african savannah in the west, this reserve is the oldest proclaimed conservation area in Africa.
Proclaimed on the 13th of June 1894 by President Paul Kruger and reproclaimed in 1903, ostensively to protect declining game numbers, but in reality as a stratagy for the old Transvaal Republic to gain access to the sea, the reserve contains a large number of special ecosystems and habitats. These include the unique veld type called Golela, which is an important Suni antelope breeding habitat.
The species rich Lobombo Mountain forests found in deep moist soils in the south-east facing valleys and slopes on the eastern side of the reserve, and the western savannah with Themeda grassveld dotted with knobthorns and maroela trees.
The area boasts a bird list of over 300 species and a range of plains game including white rhino, giraffe, blue wildebeest, kudu, impala, nyala, warthog, waterbuck, common and mountain reedbuck and zebra. Elephants have just been recently re-introduced!
Spioenkop Mountain stands sentry over thorn savannah and water where visitors can see panoramas that stretch from hot valley bushveld across cool water to the Drakensberg Mountains often covered in snow in the winter.
Steeped in Anglo Boer War history, the reserve boasts a rich selection of wildlife including white rhinocerous, giraffe and a variety of plains and bushveld antelope. The abundance and variety of species assures visitors a rewarding game experience.
Spioenkop Mountain is the site of the infamous Battle of Spioenkop which took place in 1900 where the British suffered one of their worst defeats of that period.
The Battlefield is accessible by road and the 360 degree view from the summit can only be described as spectacular.
The distant blue hills and undulating thornveld valleys of KwaZulu-Natal make a superb backdrop for the scenic Weenen Game Reserve.
With the Bushmans River flowing through a spectacular gorge in the reserve, Weenen's excellent road system and walking trails, visitors have many scenic and game viewing opportunities as they walk or drive around the reserve.
Both black and white rhino have been introduced since the 5 000 ha reserve was proclaimed in 1974. Other re-introduced game includes giraffe, red hartebeest, eland, zebra, kudu, ostrich and common reedbuck. Other species which have recolonised the area included grey duiker, bushbuck, steenbuck, black-backed jackal, hyaena and mountain reedbuck. These and the more than 251 bird species, the scenic landscape and the rich valley bushveld vegetation contribute to Weenen's growing reputation as a small but superbly appointed wildlife destination accessible for both day and over-night visitors.
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