About Bayhead Natural Heritage Site

Durban's bay and extensive harbour is home to a remaining 15 hectare stand of mangroves - where formerly there were extensive mangroves (438 hectares) right around the edges of the bay - that is today a protected natural heritage site.

Did you know? An elevated boardwalk has been laid out as a trail around Beachwood, so even when the tide is in it’s still possible to explore the reserve.

Known as the Bayhead Mangrove Swamps it is home to the mud-skipper fish, various crabs, including the one talon bigger than the other fiddler crab, red mangrove crab, and the mangrove kingfisher - more than likely attracted by the amazingly high number of crabs that make the mangrove swamp their home.

It may lie in the middle of the city but the area attracts a surprisingly high number of waterbirds and Durban bay has recorded 120 species of aquatic birds. Put aside at least an hour and you can almost guarantee sightings of at least 30 different birds.

The adjacent tidal flats also attract an amazing number of birds – pelicans, gulls, terns – and a waterbird hide overlooking the flats makes viewing, particularly between low tide and the high tide when birds end up concentrated right in front of the hide as they lose ground.

There is a lovely boardwalk that winds its way through the mangroves in similar fashion to Durban's Beachwood mangroves.

Because of where it lies, in the harbour, these mangroves are under constant threat from environmental pollution, such as the recent cooking oil spillage from the Africa Sun Oil fire in Mobeni. The fire ruptured one of the pipes resulting in the leaking of unprocessed oil into nearby canals, ending up in the mangroves.

To reach Bayhead mangroves drive along Victoria Embankment (now called Margaret Mncadi Avenue) following Maydon Wharf signs until you bear left into Maydon Road. From here get into Bayhead Road and then follow the signs to the heritage site taking a left into Langeberg Road, which you follow across the railway bridge to the heritage site.

Need to Know

WhereTo reach Bayhead mangroves drive along Victoria Embankment (now called Margaret Mncadi Avenue) following Maydon Wharf signs until you bear left into Maydon Road. From here get into Bayhead Road and then follow the signs to the heritage site taking a left into Langeberg Road, which you follow across the railway bridge to the heritage site.

WhenBest during daylight hours.

Telephone+27 (0)031 361-8547

OvernightStay in Durban Accommodation, KwaZulu Natal

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