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Oribi Gorge Nature Reserve hikes, Port Shepstone

Oribi Nature Reserve Hikes, Port Shepstone, KwaZulu-NatalThere are three very pleasant hikes in the Oribi Gorge Nature Reserve which lies about 20 km from Port Shepstone on the KwaZulu-Natal south coast. The Umzimkulwana River has carved out a magnificent 24 km long gorge as it makes its way to the Indian Ocean. Although this natural wonderland is little known in South Africa it is a sight not to be missed.

Following is a brief description of the 3 trails:

1. Hoopoe Falls hike. This is an easy route which follows the river from the main picnic site in the gorge. You will be flanked by the towering sandstone cliffs of the gorge as you follow the river for about 1.5 hours when you will join the trail running alongside the Mbalala Stream to the Hoopoe Falls. 7 km, 4 hours, return on same route.

2. Nkonka hike. This route also starts at the main gorge picnic site but will take you through the forested slopes above the river and then along the bottom of the west and northern facing slopes. 5 km, 2.5 hours, return on same route.

3. Mziki hike. Again this walk starts at the main gorge picnic site but takes you to the top of the cliffs where you can enjoy the spectacular views over the gorge as you make your way through grasslands. It can also be started at the restcamp. 9 km, 5 hours, return on same route.

Accommodation is available in a camp at the head of the Umzimkulwana Gorge with a wonderful view of Oribi Gorge. There are six 2 bed huts with electricity, shower and toilet as well as cutlery, crockery and bedding. For larger groups there are two chalets which can accommodate 8 and 7 people respectively, both with cutlery, crockery and bedding.

Tel: +27 (0)39 679 1644 or 072 042 9390 if no answer on landline.

More info on the town of Uvongo More info on the Hibiscus Coast area

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