About Umhlanga Lagoon Nature Reserve

A piece of wilderness at the mouth of the Ohlange River, Umhlanga Lagoon Nature Reserve is a popular destination for families who picnic and walk the wooden boardwalk only fifteen minutes from the heart of Durban.

Did you know? Umhlanga is Zulu for 'place of reeds' reflected in no small way by the copious numbers of reeds that grow on the banks of Ohlange River in the reserve.

The Umhlanga Lagoon Nature Reserve is a sanctuary not only for small wildlife but also for a number of wetland and coastal forest species. The reserve is small at only 26 hectares, but the trails are stunning and lead through dune forest, across the lagoon and onto the beach. At the lagoon mouth are the remains of a Stone Age sea shell midden.

The entrance gates lie just beyond the Breakers Hotel on Lagoon Drive and from there is a trail known as the Umhlanga Lagoon Trail that passes many labelled trees, like the coastal red milkwood, a rare sighting, en route through the coastal forest. There is also a picnic site.

Over 208 bird species make the reserve their home, as do blue and grey duiker, bushbuck and other smaller mammals. Water birds are prolific and one can sight herons, fish eagles, African rails and warblers without a problem. It is the shyer narina trogon, forest weaver, robins and tinker barbets that are more difficult to spot in the thicker bush of the forest.

There are daily guided walks through Umhlanga Lagoon nature Reserve along the trail, at 9am, 11am and 3pm that take roughly an hour and a half – ask at the Breakers Hotel reception area.

The Umhlanga Ponds lie just beyond the reserve, whilst over the freeway on the corner of Portland Drive and Herald Drive is a wonderful, preserved piece of ancient forest known as Hawaan Forest. Walks through the forest are managed by WESSA.

Need to Know

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

WhenDaily from 06h00 to 17h00.

Telephone+27 (0)31 205-1271

OvernightStay in Umhlanga Accommodation, KwaZulu Natal

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