Take a walk on the wild side...
Stay on course as you explore a heritage trail, or take to the forests and revel in nature that is aeons old.
Umhlanga, Zulu for "Place of the reeds" for the profusion of reeds on the banks of the Ohlange River that flows just north of Umhlanga, was once part of a coastal dune forest system. It provided sanctuary to a myriad small wildlife in and around the area today.
Umhlanga Lagoon Nature Reserve
The O'Connor Promenade, which hugs the shoreline, ends where the Umhlanga Lagoon Nature Trail begins. This is a delightful hour-and-a-half trail on a well marked path. Wander through stunning coastal forest on boardwalks that cross the Ohlange River on its way to the lagoon, buttressed by dunes. It is home to vervet monkeys, small buck and a profusion of butterflies and birds. Benches and picnic spots are discreetly provided. Follow the trail to reach both the beach and the lagoon, popular as a naturist "hideaway", as well as among parasailing enthusiasts and boardsailors. The remains of a Stone Age seashell midden can also be found near the lagoon.
Bookings: Contact Umhlanga Tourism 031 561 2271 to arrange a time
Notable among these is the Hawaan Forest. This unique indigenous woodland has remained in its natural state for centuries. It is a beautiful forest characterized by important species of trees with tropical attributes, and many small animals.
Entry is restricted and you need to book a place on a guided walk held on Saturdays at 8am. Ask too about the Umhlanga Ponds, one of the best birding sites on the coast.
Contact Number Hawaan Forest : 031-566 4018
Beachwood Mangrove Nature Reserve
South of Umhlanga, this is a well-organized reserve on the banks of the Umgeni River. A series of environmental education courses are held here and guided canoeing trips through the mangroves can be arranged.
Contact Amanda 083 644 3767