KwaZulu Natal Tourist AttractionsNew Germany Nature Reserve
Where? Off Mountain Ridge Road in New Germany, Pinetown, KwaZulu Natal
How? Call +27 (0)31 262-8239
The small New Germany Nature Reserve lies on Mountain Ridge Road (which becomes Methven Road) in the midst of New Germany's suburbia. As the street's name suggests the reserve rests on a hill overlooking Pinetown and New Germany.
Small the reserve may be but it aptly markets itself as 'wildlife on your doorstep' and lives up to its description. The reserve is perfectly placed for locals to enjoy late afternoon and weekend walks (without dogs, as the wildlife is protected), and it remains open every day of the year, bar Christmas, between 7.30 am and 5pm.
The reserve forms part of the larger New Germany Commonage that was once a farm known as Clermont back in 1948. It is divided into two parts – the nature park, which includes a walk-through aviary of largely indigenous birds, and a live snake display, on the north side of Mountain Ridge Road, and the nature reserve proper to the south.
For walks and a real feel of the outdoors head to the nature reserve, where a fairly long trail takes one up the south-facing slope through grassland, a patch of mature forest and a stand of silver proteas.
Little blue duiker, common duiker and the banded mongoose make this part of the reserve their home, but it is to the grasslands that birders head for specials like Shelley's francolin, zitting cisticolas, the Cape grassbird, little bee-eaters, African goshawks and African pipit. The forest is filled with robins and flycatchers whilst flowers attract numerous sunbirds.
Include a stop at the bird hide overlooking the dam (rumour has it there is a resident crocodile), and enjoy picnic sites. Contact the nature reserve for guided walks, or the environmental education centre for school outings.
There is no entrance fee to the reserve, and binoculars will come in handy as the walk-through aviary has over 120 species of local birds.