KwaZulu Natal Game and Nature ReservesThe Burman Bush Nature Reserve
Burman Bush, as the nature reserve is more commonly known in Durban, is 55 hectares of what remains of coastal forest in the heart of Morningside. Its value lies in the knowledge that little has changed in this patch of forest since 1850.
Everything around it, however, has altered as forest has been replaced by suburbs and industry. Within Burman Bush, despite the traffic noise, one gets a good idea of how things must have looked when settlers first arrived in Durban.
Burman Bush Nature Reserve forms part of the Durban municipal Open Space System, also known as D'Moss - a collection of spaces that amount to some 74 000 hectares of land and water, linked together in a network. Other areas in the network include Paradise valley and Kenneth Stainbank Reserve, as well as upper catchments and riverine and coastal corridors.
Small Burman Bush might be, but within it are three trails through the indigenous forest that lines the final stretch of the Umgeni River, and you can easily wander through here for two hours at a time exploring the local flora and fauna.
Fifteen different observation points are each marked by a wooden bench, but watch out for the Vervet monkeys, who won't hesitate to steal any snack you might bring along (there is a strict no feeding policy).
Burman Bush lies on a slope that rises from 19 metres above sea level to around 133 metres in places. This in just 1 kilometre's worth of climbing along a path that twists and turns and is often infiltrated by roots and rocks. As a result the trail is often used by runners and walkers.
Trails through the reserve are well marked with coloured concrete blocks, and there are picnic areas and braai facilities.