Empisini Nature Reserve, KwaZulu Natal
Empisini, meaning 'the place of the hyena', is 120 hectares of nature reserve just inland of Umkomaas on the KwaZulu-Natal coast. At least 50 of these hectares remain untouched and in a pristine state, which makes them home to a prolific bird life and an incredible forest area that runs along the Empisini stream.
Vegetation in the Umkomaas area is lush at the best of times, but the Empisini Nature Reserve takes it one step further and allows you a complete escape from it all, not least because the highlights of a stay here include overnight stays in treehouse accommodation (with the added adventure of no electricity), beautiful walks and trails, and picnic sites in the midst of nature.
Only 11 kilometres from the sea, Empisini's coastal forest reserve is also home to bushbuck, duikers and mongoose. Birds you can hope to spot whilst in the reserve include the black sparrowhawk, narina trogon, Knysna turaco, African emerald cuckoo, trumpeter hornbill and African black duck.
Empisini Nature Reserve is owned by the borough of uMkhomanzi and managed by the Umkomaas centre of the Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa.
Despite its allusion to the hyena, you won't have to worry about its presence during tranquil walks, family picnics and solitudinal ambles. Hyenas are not found here. A visit can easily be part of a seaside stay at Umkomaas - the combination of beach and coastal forest enough to attract anyone to this part of the world on holiday.
game and nature reserves in kwazulu natal