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About Entumeni Nature Reserve

Just outside the historical Zululand town of Eshowe, in the heart of the balmy KwaZulu-Natal Province, lies the beautiful forest reserve of Entumeni. This is a small nature reserve, occupying only about 750 hectares, but is rich in plant- and animal life.

Did you know? Entumeni shows off the natural splendour of eastern South Africa, but remains a small, quiet attraction that is ideal for those passionate about the natural wealth of this very special part of the country.

The Entumeni Nature Reserve was established in 1970 with the purpose of protecting the unspoilt forested gorge and the grasslands of this beautiful area. At 650 metres above sea level, the Entumenu reserve is home to a different combination of fauna and flora in comparison to those reserves and natural areas surrounding it at lower altitudes.

Some of the wonderfully scenic vegetation includes many different kinds of ferns, ground orchids, clivias, and dense shrubs.

This shrubbery, as well as the nearby sugar cane fields, makes this area the habitat of choice for a range of birds and other animals. In fact, due to its verdant abundance and higher altitude, this reserve is home to more animals than the nearby Dlinza Forest, which is more commonly known.

There are two main hiking trails through the Entumeni Nature Reserve, both of which are popular and showcase the stunning views. However, the steep incline of the local countryside means that hikers need to be quite fit and healthy, as those looking for a casual stroll will be surprised at the physical exertion required.

The uPiti Trail is a circular one that takes about two hours to complete, while the Ukhozi Trail is a four-hour trail that is considerably more tiring, thanks to the challenging terrain. Along this trail is the spectacular Ngoje stream’s waterfall, which is well worth the effort for fit hikers. Remember to take plenty of drinking water as well as a communication device (such as a mobile phone) when hiking. Apply sunscreen to all exposed parts of the body on a regular basis to protect against the harmful rays of the sun.

Bird-lovers are invited to visit the Entumeni Nature Reserve as it is home to a large variety of bird species. These include the brown robin, grey cuckoo shrike, olive woodpecker, yellow-streaked bulbul, Knysna turaco, green twinspot, croaking cisticola, and even the rarely sighted pair of crowned eagles. Additional wildlife that can be spotted in the reserve includes zebras, monkeys, leopards, blue duikers and the Cape clawless otter, amongst others. Significantly, the Miller’s tiger moth was recently spotted in this reserve despite previously being believed to be extinct.

The Entumeni Nature Reserve is secluded and quiet, but is still surrounded by towns and attractions that are rather well known and frequented by tourists. This makes it a convenient day trip destination for visitors to KwaZulu-Natal. Nearby attractions and towns include Amatikulu Beach, Tugela River Mouth, Prince's Grant, Blythedale Beach, Empangeni, Dlinza Forest, Martyr's Cross, Fort Nongqayi Museum Village, the Mtonjaneni Zulu Historical Museum, and the Mthonjaneni Spring.

Need to Know

WhereEntumeni Nature Reserve, +/-12 km from Eshowe, Zululand, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa

WhenBest during daylight hours.

Telephone+27 (0)35 474-9013

OvernightStay in Eshowe Accommodation, KwaZulu Natal

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