Your best online guide to some great places around Mtunzini 

 

 

UMLALAZI NATURE RESERVE

 

 

Raphia Palm Natural Monument Coastal Dune Forest Hiking Trail Boat Launching site Main Beach car park Inkwazi Camp Site Umlalazi Nature Reserve office and entrance Umlalazi Nature Reserve Chalets Indaba Camp Site Mangrove Swamp hiking trail Lagoon car park Car Park Hiking Trail to the estuary Picnic site Boat launch
Umlalazi Nature Reserve is open daily:
05h00 - 22h00
An entrance fee to the Umlalazi Nature Reserve is payable but visitors staying
outside the Reserve
can pay once
and receive a temporary entrance card.
The 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 Nature Reserve.
It covers serveral habitats including beaches which are popular for swimming, surfing and fishing and lagoons, dune forests and grasslands.
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.


 TAKE A HIKE
There 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 other males.
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 to eat.
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 birding area.

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 raphia palms.
Umlalazi 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 serious birding.

FOR THE KIDS - Discover a new world

Catch of the day: Boys net some bait before trying to hook the Big One. 
Taking 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.

A beached mermaid is just one of the wonderful discoveries you could
make while beachcombing and exploring along the Zululand coast.