Nature Reserve is open daily:
05h00 - 22h00
An entrance fee to the Umlalazi Nature Reserve is payable
but visitors staying
outside the Reserve can
and receive a temporary entrance card.
Umlalazi Nature Reserve makes up the northern
section of the Siyaya Coastal Park - about
42 kms of unspoilt coastline, which stretches from the mouth
of the Mlalazi River to the southern boundary of the Amatikulu
It covers serveral habitats including beaches which are popular
for swimming, surfing and fishing and lagoons, dune forests
The Umlalazi Nature Reserve (1 028 hectares) offers accommodation
in self-catering chalets and camp sites as well as picnic
sites and a network of trails where visitors can view a wide
range of creatures - great and small - from the fascinating
fiddler crabs and mudskippers which inhabit the mangrove swamp
to a roaming herd of zebras and duikers.
is a range of hiking trails in and around the Umlalazi Nature
Reserve. A short trail of about 15 minutes through one of
the best examples of Mangrove Forest to be
seen in South Africa, starts at the parking area at the lagoon
and takes the visitor past John Dunn's Pool.
This forest is inhabited by a number of strange creatures
of which the fiddler crabs are perhaps the best known.
Male fiddler crabs have an enlarged claw, which is used both
for displaying to attract females as well as in combat with
During mating season the mangrove forest is alive with gaiety
as the little males beckon to females with their enlarged
claws. Also worth looking out for is the mudskipper - a little
amphibious fish - which can often be seen skittering over
the mud surface searching for insects and small crustaceans
In the winter months this is the place to spot the Mangrove
Kingfisher. Energetic hikers can continue on the trail which
connects with the road to the mudflats which is often an excellent
The circular Siyaya Coastal Dune Forest Trail starts
at the parking area for south beach and follows the coastal
forest adjacent to the Siyaya stream. Bushbuck, red, grey
and blue duiker can be seen on this trail.
The Mlalazi River mouth trail is about 8kms
long but takes one along the beautiful winding river until
it enters the ocean at Port Durnford.
The trail starts on the footpath linking north beach with
the parking area at the lagoon.
If hikers are returning along the beach they are advised to
first check out the beach so they can recognise where to exit
on their return.
Just outside the Reserve is the Raphia
Palm Forest which can be included easily in one
of the trails through the Reserve.
There is a boardwalk through the swamp forest which provides
easy access to the heart of the colony of palms where the
prime specimens create an awesome cathedral-like effect. The
Palmnut vulture is often seen nesting near the top of the
Nature Reserve offers a network of hiking trails, picnic
spots and roads - making it the ideal place to spend a few
hours if you want to enjoy the outdoors or catch up on some
THE KIDS - Discover a new world
of the day: Boys net some bait before trying to hook the
the kids on holiday can be a trying and exhausting contest
of wills but with Mtunzini's clean and safe environment, its
great outdoor activities, miles of empty beaches and varied
cultural encounters the whole family can relax and explore
this wonderful natural playground with its infinite opportunities
to make new discoveries.
Here you have the freedom to roam, be noisy, get back to nature
and have an authentic experience!Kids love to be
near water while on holiday and Mtunzini has plenty of it.
The Umlalazi Nature Reserve with its protected lagoon, mangrove
forest and endless beach is a sanctuary for creatures great
and small and kids love exploring the mangroves which are
alive with red-clawed fiddler crabs sitting patiently in muddy
trenches, waiting to wage war against each other over the
leaves that fall from the mangrove trees. Ogling this spectacle
are the mudskippers - tiny fish with frog-like eyes that can
hop across mudbanks and look like miniature ETs on steroids.
beached mermaid is just one of the wonderful discoveries
make while beachcombing and exploring along the Zululand