Shongweni Dam and Game Reserve
Shongweni Dam and Game Reserve is just 30 minutes from Durban and offers a variety of leisure activities. A game drive or hike along Ntini Trail is the perfect opportunity to see wildlife. Some of the local residents include rhino, buffalo, giraffe, zebra, impala, waterbuck, kudu, wildebeest, caracal, black backed jackal, dassie, warthog, ostrich, 3 duiker species and mongoose. There are over 200 bird species recorded here. Shongweni Dam is home to the Umzinyathi Canoe Club, boasts beautiful picnic sites, a campsite, tented cabins overlooking the dam and a bush lodge. To get the adrenalin pumping, why not try some rock climbing, abseiling, mountain bike rides or a guided canoe journey. If your work life provides more than enough adrenalin, sit back and do a bit of fishing?
Traveling along the N3 towards Pietermaritzburg, take exit 32 – Hillcrest / Assagay / Shongweni. Turn left at the top of the off-ramp and from here on you can follow the sign boards for Spirit of Adventure / Shongweni Dam / Shongweni Resources Reserve. After a short while, you’ll see that the sign boards direct you to turn left into the M48. Thereafter (within about 700 meters) you’ll turn right and just keep going (for about 6 kilometers) until you get to the gates of the reserve.
The Ntini Trail meanders through grassland, combretum woodland, valley bushveld, riverine forest and past spectacular cliffs. A variety of wildlife can be observed during the hike. This trail is not strenuous and walking slowly to observe the animals it will take 2 to 3 hours to complete. For your own safety, this hike may not be attempted without a guide; booking is required.
To view animals from the comfort of a vehicle, you can book a game drive with the reserve.
Spirit of Adventure operates from the reserve and offers a variety of adventures; booking is required.
You can contact Spirit of Adventure to join a canoe journey, if you are a regular – why not join the Umzinyathi Canoe Club, or you can contact the reserve to hire a canoe.
Opening & Closing Times
During winter the reserve is open from 6am to 6pm. In summer, depending on the day, the reserve opens as early as 5am and closes only at 7pm.
Picnic & braai facilities; campsite; lodge; tented cabins; hiking; game drives; canoeing; over 200 bird species; rock climbing; abseiling; mountain biking; fishing; grassland; woodland; riverine forest; cliffs.
You will need the following:
• Walking shoes;
• Swimwear (why not use this opportunity to work on your tan);
• A towel;
• Braai vleis, charcoal, firelighters & refreshments.
Important points to remember:-
• Try to plan ahead, so that you can book a tented cabin, a guide for the hike, a canoe, and maybe one of the adrenalin sports;
• Dust off the fishing rod and bring it along;
• Don’t forget the charcoal and firelighters at home.