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Umbogavango Nature Reserve, South Coast, KwaZulu-Natal

Umbogavango Nature Reserve, South Coast, KwaZulu-Natal

Umbogavango Nature Reserve is situated about 25 km south of Durban on the South Coast of KwaZulu-Natal. It was founded in 1989 and doubles as an environmental education centre for the children in local schools. This 36 ha reserve was established at the site of the storm water trap dams serving the AECI industrial plant at Umbogintwini. The dams catch the storm water drainage from the industrial site to prevent the pollution of the Amanzimtoti River.

Because these dams are high in nutrients they attract an abundance of water fowl such as the African Crake, Black Crake and Baillon’s Crake making this reserve a popular birding spot. In addition birders can expect to spot dark-capped Yellow Warbler, Black-throated Wattle-eye, Southern Brown-throated Weaver, Yellow-rumped Tinkerbird and Grey Waxbill. Over 200 species have been recorded in the reserve. Five bird hides overlook the dams.

There are also six scenic walking trails and a well laid out picnic area. The longest trail follows the dams and passes through a forest of exotic trees where you are likely to see the long-crested eagle and the black sparrowhawk. There are also significant wetlands and indigenous vegetation and 100 different indigenous tree types – home to a variety of small mammals including otters.

It is necessary to arrange your visit by contacting AECI security at Tel: +27 (0)31 949 2111 where an indemnity will have to be signed, but it is well worth the trouble.

Getting there: turn left off the N2 onto Moss Kolnic Drive just south of Umbogintwini. Turn right over the N2 and then right again into the AECI factory after about 1 km.

More info on the town of Winklespruit More info on the eThekwini area