About Umhlanga Ponds

Only twenty minutes from the heart of Durban the Umhlanga Ponds lie adjacent to the Umhlanga Lagoon Nature Reserve at the edge of Umhlanga Rocks – a beautiful wetland refuge for coastal forest birds, animals and plants.

Did you know? The lagoon has a picnic site on the left-hand path heading towards the sea.

The 'ponds' themselves are referred to in inverted commas because they're actually a wastewater treatment works, but don't let this knowledge deter you from a visit as, despite this, the area is quite simply gorgeous.

This wildlife reserve, even though it is situated right on the edge of a busy and popular town, consists of coastal dune forest, reed beds, and a series of shallow, richly vegetated ponds on the Ohlanga River. The ponds are linked to the nature reserve by reed beds and coastal forest.

The ponds are four in number lying adjacent to the Ohlanga River, two of them largely overgrown whilst the other two remain unsullied. The major reason people head to the 'ponds', other than the beauty of the area, is the rich congretation of birds – over 215 species (more species even than in the adjacent lagoon) have been sighted here.

Birding specialists advocate there are fewer birds in winter than summer at the ponds, nevertheless, you can anticipate a minimum of 40 birds if you have a couple of hours to spare. Black crake, common moorhen, African purple swamphen and even lesser spotted African crakes, lesser jacana and African fish eagles have been spotted in the ponds of the lagoon nature reserve.

Surrounding the ponds is thick vegetation providing cover for a series of weavers, warblers, the red-faced cisticola and gems like the malachite kingfisher. Sunbirds head for the hibiscus hedge.

There are no facilities at the ponds, but the lagoon has a picnic site on the left-hand path heading towards the sea. The entrance to the Umhlanga Lagoon Nature Reserve is just past the Breakers Beach Hotel.

Need to Know

WhereUmhlanga Ponds, Umhlanga Lagoon Nature Reserve, Umhlanga Rocks, Durban, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa

WhenBest during daylight hours.

OvernightStay in Umhlanga Accommodation, KwaZulu Natal


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