Krantzkloof Nature Reserve
Krantzkloof lies on the coastal escarpment between Pinetown and Hillcrest. It is a spectacular spot where the Molweni River and Nkutu River gorges converge. What you end up with is a 584 hectare reserve of prime coastal forest and grassland. It is home to over 200 species of birds as well as plenty of mammals like zebra, mongooses, bush buck and water monitors.
The reserve has 2 picnic areas, the most developed one being next to the dam at Kloof Falls. A few short walking trails which either take you up to the waterfalls or down into the gorge start at the picnic sites.
Vernon Crookes Nature Reserve
Vernon Crookes Nature Reserve is often said to be the gem of Kwazulu Natal reserves. Tucked away between sugar cane fields, pine tree plantations and tribal land, it is a haven of the weird and wonderful of the creepy crawly world. Amongst the coastal forest and open grassland you will find endangered beetles, elusive reed buck and the peculiar giant earth worm.
A drive around the reserve, either on the gravel roads or along one of the 4×4 tracks might lead you to the highest point in the reserve, and reward you with a sweeping vista all the way to the Indian Ocean. There are good braai facilities and an education centre for those who want to take their experience to the next level.
Beachwood Mangrove Nature Reserve
Mangrove swamp is one of the rarest landscapes in South Africa but you will find it in the Beachwood Mangrove reserve. The protected area is set about the Umgeni River estuary and conserves the mangrove trees and their habitat and the estuarine habitat.
Within the reserve you will see 3 species of mangroves – black, red and white as well as numerous birds. Birders will be happy to know there is a bird hide located in the reserve from which curlew, natal nightjar, dikkop and mangrove kingfishers can be spotted.
So, what are you waiting for? Get exploring, get breathing, get living!
If you’d like to visit these reserves, you need to be located in Durban or KwaZulu Natal at the least. You can browse accommodation in Durban on Sleeping-OUT here.