Sevenoaks, Natal Midlands
Sevenoaks train station lies just off the R33, south of where it passes the Umvoti Vlei Nature Reserve, between Greytown and Dalton. This is the open countryside of KwaZulu-Natal, typically a farming area where sugarcane is the predominant crop. Smallholdings and farms nestle side by side with views of hills and mountains
The actual 'village' of Sevenoaks is not much to speak of, merely a smattering of houses scattered on the R33 alongside farmers' fields. Hard to believe you are only a matter of an hour and a half outside of Durban, en route to the Drakensberg. A stay in Sevenoaks guarantees time out, down time and a chance to catch up, either on outdoor living, bicycle riding and walking, or simply time with a book. The views out here are incredible, and the greenery of the surrounds incredible. The well known Blinkwater Trails are only about 20 minutes from Sevenoaks.
These trails are the chosen breeding ground of the blue swallow amidst grasslands, indigenous forests, vleis, streams and the odd commercial farm. Four overnight trails are available to walkers, who might also catch a glance of the endangered wattled crane and a series of local buck.
And of course, Umvoti Vlei, made up of the headwaters of the Umvoti river is filled with wetland birdlife and a hide from which you can watch to your heart's content. It's a 267 hectare reserve roughly 11 kilometres outside of Greytown, which itself is on the Battlefields Route and full of history, including a museum or two and a variety of historic forts.
Look out too for trout fishing opportunities, the silo hiking and biking trail, the Montello and Kelly Hill hiking trails, the Shu Shu hot springs, and the 'optical illusion' roughly 21 kilometres along the Weenen/Musden Road, where a stationary car can look as though it is moving uphill.
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"Our tour group enjoyed the history of Sevenoaks, and spent quite a bit of time visiting the mosques, San paintings, etc. Of course, this is all against a ..." - Mohammad, Pilgrim's Rest
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