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Umtamvuna Nature Reserve Hikes, Port Edward, KwaZulu-Natal

Umtamvuna Nature Reserve Hikes, Port Edward, KwaZulu-NatalThe Umtamvuna Nature Reserve is situated on the border between KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape about 8 Km from the town of Port Edward. It is a botanical paradise and the scenery is truly spectacular creating some of the most beautiful and interesting trails on the KwaZulu-Natal coast.

You will see rare trees and endemic species found nowhere else as well as buck, monkeys, baboons and abundant bird life – 259 species recorded including African crowned eagle, secretary bird and the Knysna woodpecker.

Following are the trails:

1. Lourie Trail. This is a relatively easy walk along the eastern bank of the Umtamvuna River through a forest. 2 Km long, 1hour, circular route, access from Pont entrance.

2. Fish Eagle Trail. Slightly more difficult as you ascend steeply up the gorge to the grasslands above after following the river upstream for 3 Km. You continue along the edge with spectacular views of the river as it winds its way through the gorge to the sea. 8 Km long, 4 hours, circular route, access from Pont entrance.

3. Ingungumbane Trail. A steep climb down to the Bulolo River and then back up through the forest to the grasslands. Although the trail is steep this is really well worth doing. 4 Km long, 3 hours, circular route, access from the Beacon Hill Entrance.

4. uNkonka Trail. Down to the Bulolo River and then downstream to the Umtamvuna River. There are a number of good swimming spots along the river but the terrain is a little difficult to negotiate. A steep climb back up to the grassland follows where you can enjoy the spectacular views over the gorge. 8 Km, 6 hours, circular route, access from the Beacon Hill entrance.

5. iMpunzi Trail. This route takes you through the grasslands along the eastern boundary of the reserve and then links up with the Fish Eagle trail ending at the Pont entrance. 8 Km, 4 hours, one way only, access at the Beacon Hill entrance.

6. iMziki Trail. Descends to the Bulolo River and then back up to Western Heights, the largest grassland in the reserve where you can enjoy the magnificent vies as well as explore the forests, kloofs and a pristine vlei. 12 Km, 8 hours, circular route, access fro Beacon Hill entrance.

No accommodation available in the reserve.

Getting there: the reserve is 8 Km from Port Edward on the Izingolweni Road off the R61.

Tel: +27 (0)39 3132383

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

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