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LOCAL TIME: 08:22 pm | Tuesday, 16 July
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Silaka Nature Reserve, Port St Johns, Eastern Cape

Silaka Nature Reserve, Port St Johns, Eastern CapeA relatively small reserve, the 4000ha Silaka Nature Reserve lies in a beautiful indigineous-forest valley just south of Port St Johns on the Eastern Cape’s Wild Coast. The reserve encompasses all that the Wild Coast has to offer with untouched stretches of beach, a meandering river with a beautiful estuary at its mouth, wild and rugged coastline and valleys filled with dense, indigenous coastal forest.

With its proximity to the town of Port St Johns, it is a fantastic place to immerse oneself in the true splendours of the Wild Coast. Silaka is a true nature lover’s paradise and the diversity of plant and animal life here, as well as the diversity of landscapes, is truly spectacular.

Trails through the reserve follow the banks of the Gxwaleni River and lead through the evergreen forest, providing walkers with the opportunity to get close to this stunning piece of nature. Birdwatchers should look out for the Knysna Turaco, Cinnamon Dove and Grey Cuckooshrike, which are often seen along the banks of the river in the forest. Looking away from the branches, the forest floor blooms with mosses, lilies and orchids.

Blesbuck, Burchells Zebra and Blue Wildebeest graze the grassy plains just above the rugged coastline, while Cape Clawless otters can often be seen venturing onto the beach. Here, on the sea-facing slopes, Red-Hot Pokers, Strelitzia and Flame Lilies bloom.

Having a view of beautiful indigenous forest or the spectacular coastline from wherever you are in the reserve, it is certainly a worthwhile addition to any journey into South Africa’s amazing Wild Coast.

Getting there: from Port St Johns, follow the tar road towards the beach and look out for the sign to ‘Second Beach Silaka’ which turns to the right. Follow the signs from here over a bridge and up a steep hill to the reserve gate.

More info on the town of Port St Johns More info on the town of Wild Coast