Things To Do in MtunziniMtunzini trails
Where? Umlazi Nature Reserve, Mtunzini, KwaZulu Natal
How much? Price on request
Start: Umlazi Nature Reserve
Finish: Umlazi Nature Reserve
Duration: from 15 mins to 6 hours
Fitness: easy to moderate
Our tip: if taking the Mlalazi River mouth trail and returning along the beach, check the beach exit ahead of time as it can be confusing once on the beach
The Umlazi Nature Reserve lies between the town of Mtunzini and the sea, a strip of coastline that forms the northern section of the Siyaya Coastal Park that, in turn, stretches from the mouth of the Mlalazi River to the border with Amatikulu Nature Reserve.
Just outside the reserve, via a boardwalk that takes you through a swamp forest and is particularly beautiful, is the Raphia Palm Forest. Add this as an extra leg to any day's hiking in the area for its scenery and the chance to catch sight of the palmnut vulture that nests high in the raphia palms.
Hiking in the Umlazi Nature Reserve takes the form of a couple of hikes. But it is the easiest and shortest hike, a mere 15 minutes, that is regarded as one of its best. For it takes one through one of the most outstanding examples of mangrove forest in the country, via John Dunn's Pool.
The Siyaya Coastal Dune Forest Trail is circular and begins in the south beach parking area, following the coastal forest next to the Siyaya stream. You may catch a glimpse of various buck.
The Mlalazi River mouth trail starts on the footpath that links north beach to the parking area and wends its way along 8 km of winding river trail right to where it meets the ocean at Port Durnford.
Other than hiking, there are various places to picnic and fish.