Eastern Cape Game and Nature ReservesThe Mkambati Nature Reserve
Flanked on either side by the forested ravines of the Msikaba and Mtentu Rivers, Mkambati Nature Reserve is 8000 hectares of coastal reserve that consists mainly of grassland, close to the KwaZulu Natal border in north-east Pondoland.
Despite being predominantly grassland, the incredible scenery is peppered with a swamp forest, cascading waterfalls and forested ravines - in particular, the views of the Msikaba gorge, when walking through the grassland above the river, are awe inspiring.
Perennial streams, like the beautiful Mkambati with its crystal clear pools and series of waterfalls, zigzag across the effortlessly large areas of grassland that support a range of animals and plants.
Eland, red hartebeest, blue wildebeest, gemsbok and blesbok have all been introduced into the reserve, whilst sugarbirds, sunbirds, croaking cisticolas, common waxbills and redshouldered widows rent the air with their cries.
There are also incredible areas of swamp forest where wild frangipani grow side by side with arum lilies and several sedge species grow in the water beneath the trees. It’s small wonder that frogs enjoy these low-lying areas.
A 2 kilometre canoe trip up the Msikaba River in the gorge is a highlight of a visit to Mkambati Nature Reserve. A journey best taken silently, it yields incredible sights of the African fish eagle or the crowned eagle and other bird life, as well as the Mkambati palm.
But the hiking and trails within the reserve are what attract so many visitors to Mkambati. One of the most popular walks in the Mkambati Nature Reserve is the trail along the Mkambai River to Horseshoe Falls, an incredible plunge of water falling first on to another terrace before dropping into the sea below.
Activities near to Mkambati Nature Reserve
Pondoland Marine Protected Area
The largest Marine Protected Area in South Africa, the Pondoland MPA lies on one of the most rugged, wild and beautiful coasts of South Africa - the Eastern Cape's Wild Coast. It stretches for 90 km between the Mzamba River, just south of...
More info and photographs: Pondoland Marine Protected Area
Wild Coast Horse Trails
Canter endless beaches, and enjoy exciting horse riding across rolling hills. Meander through Xhosa villages, untouched by time. Discover ship wrecks, deep wooded valleys and pristine river estuaries; discover places that few other tourist get to go to...
More info and photographs: Wild Coast Horse Trails
Pondo-Explore Hiking Trail
Pondoland is protected as the Pondoland Marine Protected Area – the country's largest marine reserve that conserves a rich ocean life protecting 90 km along the coast and between 10 km and 15 km offshore. It includes the Mkhambathi Nature...
More info and photographs: Pondo-Explore Hiking Trail