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Game Reserves in Durban | 16 Serene Safaris & Wildlife Scenes - 2019 

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Game Reserves in Durban | 16 Serene Safaris & Wildlife Scenes - 2019
Durban is known for its luscious landscapes & unique coastal reserves. Here we review all you need to know about game reserves, nature reserves & safaris in Durban.
Title Image

Game Reserves in Durban | 16 Serene Safaris & Wildlife Scenes - 2019

Durban is known for its luscious landscapes & unique coastal reserves. Here we review all you need to know about game reserves, nature reserves & safaris in Durban.
Title Image
Game Reserves in Durban | 16 Serene Safaris & Wildlife Scenes - 2019
Durban is known for its luscious landscapes & unique coastal reserves. Here we review all you need to know about game reserves, nature reserves & safaris in Durban.

Durban boasts an amazing diversity of landscapes, fauna, and flora waiting to be explored by you. Whether you’re looking to experience the Big Five, take to the trails or explore the diverse world of the coastal lifestyle, then this guide was made for you!

We cover a plethora of activities to keep you entertained, catered to the thrill-seekers and tamest of nature-walkers.

Don't forget to check out what’s happening in Durban today!

Nature Reserves Near Durban

Spending a day wandering through the coastal bush and grasslands while embracing the abundance of wildlife is perhaps one of the best ways to get outdoors. Take a look at the different gems Durbs has in its back garden - waiting to be explored by you.

Beachwood Mangrove Nature Reserve

Beachwood Mangrove Nature Reserve is located at the mouth of the Umgeni River in Durban North.

Meander through the mangroves @meisievanpletsen

The reserve was proclaimed in 1977 and protects 76 hectares of natural estuarine systems including mangrove swamp forest and estuarine habitat. The southern area of the reserve near the Umgeni estuary has an activity centre and a thatched gazebo which are available to educational groups and any other interested groups.

There is a boardwalk that meanders into the mangrove forest which allows the perfect opportunity to view wildlife and explore the surrounding estuary, you might even come across some of the many crabs said to inhabit the area.

  • Operating Hours:
    • Third Saturday of every month: 8am - 1pm
    • Or make an appointment: 082 559 2839
  • Address: Riverside Rd, Prospect Hall
  • More Info: Website

Paradise Valley Nature Reserve

The Paradise Valley Nature Reserve boasts 100 hectares of coastal and remnant grassland and a national monument - The Umbilo Waterworks.

Step into paradise @pacman85

There are four trails in the reserve that start at the Interpretive Centre and head down through the picnic area and onto some beautiful scenery and the waterfall.

It will take you about 20 minutes to walk to the waterfall on any of the trails; a walk that is well worth it. You’ll see the Bushbuck trail; the old dam wall and there’s a flat rock perfect for a casual picnic under the sun.

  • Operating Hours:
    • Mon - Sun: 7:30am - 4pm
  • Address: 10 Oxford Rd, Durban
  • More Info: Website

Kenneth Stainbank Nature Reserve

Situated next to the Yellowwood Park, the Kenneth Stainbank Reserve offers spectacular coastal forestry and grassland habitats from a range of fauna and flora.

Uncover some hidden gems @thisiskzn

If you’re looking for a day of adventure - then this reserve is a must-do for you! With zebra, bushbuck, impala, over 200 bird species and a secret castle on offer - a trip to the Kenneth Stainbank Reserve will not disappoint.

If you’re keen to get some exercise in, the reserve offers 13km of nature walks as well as a 10km mountain bike trail. An entrance fee is charged at the entrance gate, where you can get maps as well as plant and animal lists.

  • Operating Hours:
    • Mon - Sun: 6am - 6pm
  • Address: 14 Robin Road, Yellowwood Park
  • More Info: Website

Virginia Bush Nature Reserve

This 38ha reserve, situated in the suburb of Durban, is home to coastal bush and is an extremely popular bird watching spot.

Get those legs moving @brandoncrsa

The lower, lesser-known, section has a few walking trails perfect for a casual stroll with your dogs. The circular route around the reserve is about 1.5km but we recommend that you set aside about 2.5 hours to amble around the reserve.

This reserve is currently under the auspices of the Durban Metropolitan Open Space System.

  • Operating Hours:
    • Mon - Sun: 7am - 4pm
  • Address: Adelaide Tambo Dr, Durban North
  • More Info: Website

Bluff Nature Reserve

The Bluff Nature Reserve is Durban’s oldest nature reserve and is home to protected pan and forest areas.

Spot some slithery fellows @mdcowling

The reserve offers some spectacular birding opportunities from the two bird hides and there is a self-guided trail which meanders around the pan and offers the perfect chance to experience the diverse flora and fauna within the reserve.

A complete bird list is available from the field ranger and if you’re in luck, you might spot some of the other animals including giant musk shrew, hottentot golden mole, vervet monkey, multimammate mouse, grey climbing mouse, angoni vlei rat, large spotted genet, and banded mongoose.

  • Operating Hours:
    • Mon - Sun: 7am - 5pm
  • Address: Wentworth, Bluff
  • More Info: Website

Krantzkloof Nature Reserve

Situated along the coastal escarpment between Pinetown and Hillcrest, lies the Krantzkloof Nature Reserve.

Get a taste for the African bushveld @noldyisryan

Famous for its breathtaking views of the two river gorges, this reserve is a great example of dense coastal forests and grasslands.

The reserve is 584 ha in extent and boasts an abundance of wildlife including zebra, bushbuck, duiker and mongoose. If you’re looking to fill your day with gorgeous views, peaceful trails and an abundance of bird watching- then a visit to the Krantzkloof Nature Reserve is a must!

  • Operating Hours:
    • Mon - Sun: 6am - 6pm
  • Address: 152 Kloof Falls, Rd, Kloof
  • More Info: Website

New Germany Nature Reserve

This 110 hectare reserve situated on the outskirts of Pinetown is home to coastal grasslands, patches of forest and a host of wildlife.

Picnic with the locals

Common sightings include duiker, impala, mongoose, purple-crested turaco, green coucal and the Cape grassbird! If you’re keen for a day of walking, picnicking (or braaing) and some spectacular views, then a visit to this reserve is a must!

  • Operating Hours:
    • Mon - Sun: 7:30am - 5pm
  • Address: Gilbert Drive Park, New Germany
  • More Info: Website

Burman Bush Nature Reserve

Nestled in the suburb of Morningside, the reserve has three different trails to choose from.

See the wildlife at BURMAN BUSH NATURE RESERVE@cherylking55

The Hadeda trail is the local favourite, scattered with luscious trees that line the trail, providing much needed shelter from the sun.

Various wildlife can be seen and an avid bird watcher would enjoy these routes. Some of the wildlife that reside in the area includes:

  • Lanner Falcon
  • Purple Crested Turaco
  • Spotted Eagle Owl
  • Paradise Flycatcher
  • Buff Spotted Fluff Tail
  • Blue Duiker
  • Various butterfly species
  • Vervet Monkeys

Keep an eye on the monkeys with your loose belongings as they are notorious thieves. The reserve also has braai and picnic areas for you to enjoy with your family.

  • Operating Hours:
    • Mon - Sun, 7:30am - 4pm
  • Contact Number: (031) 201 1303
  • Address: Burman Dr, Durban
  • More Info: Website

Umhlanga Nature Reserve

The trail begins at the car park and takes you on an interesting route through changing terrain.

See the birds in durban@gone_birding

The wooden boardwalk takes you across the Ohlange River and then you enter a thick forest to emerge onto the sand with the stunning lagoon on one side and the ocean on the other.

A quiet and less frequented beach, a sneaky nude splash can be had. Whether you're visiting the beach or just there for the magical walk, Umhlanga will not disappoint.

The reserve also spans over to the Drakensberg mountains (Dragon Mountains in English), also known as the highest mountain range in Limpopo. Be sure to hire a guide if you want to take on one of the vigorous mountain hiking trails.

  • Operating Hours:
    • Mon - Sun, 7:30am - 5:30pm
  • Address: Blackburn
  • More Info: Website

Durban Botanical Gardens

If hiking isn’t your idea of a fun day spent outdoors, why not visit the oldest surviving botanical gardens in Africa?

Visit the Durban Botanical Gardens@designer_sai

Ranging from both indigenous and exotic plant life, the garden is responsible for many protected species such as the palm and cycads.

The Durban Botanical Gardens work alongside the University of Technology’s Horticulture department to provide a solid curriculum-based, hands-on educational experience. It is a sub-tropical paradise.

  • Operating Hours:
    • Mon - Sun, 7:30am - 5:30pm
  • Entrance Fee: Free
  • Contact Number: (031) 322 4000
  • Address: 70 St Thomas Rd, Durban
  • More Info: Website

Game Reserves Around Durban

Not only is Durban home to a handful of golden beaches, it also boasts some pretty amazing game reserves of the highest quality! So, if you’re keen to swap those slops for hiking boots, take a look at what Durbs has on offer for you.

Tala Collection Private Game Reserve

Sunset sundowners at their best

Situated on the hills of the peaceful farming community, Tala Private Game Reserve is a malaria-free wildlife sanctuary only an hour outside of the bustling city of Durban.

With 3 000 hectares of plains and grasslands, this game reserve is home to 380 bird species as well as big game like rhino, kudu, hippo, giraffe and antelope.

If you’re looking to relax in a picture-perfect setting surrounded by the sights and sounds of the true African bush - then get packing! The reserve is also the perfect venue for conferences and weddings and it gives guests the chance to explore the reserve on guided game drives and bush walks.

Thula Thula Private Game Reserve

Soak in the beauty of these majestic mammals@g_basile

Thula Thula is an exclusive family-owned and operated game reserve that prides itself in providing abundant game sighting, delicious food and high ethical standards.

As the oldest private game reserve in KwaZulu-Natal, this eco-safari reserve strives to maintain modern conservation and protection techniques.

The reserve is home to an impressive range of wildlife including 4 of the Big Five as well as picturesque views of the unique landscape.

Gwahumbe Game Lodge & Spa

Just an hour’s drive from Durban, the Gwahumbe Game Lodge & Spa offers the perfect getaway to enjoy the peace and tranquility of the bushveld.

Blend in with nature @gwahumbe

And if you want to get up close and personal with the reserve’s game, then take a game drive into the bush and feast your eyes on wildlife such as hippo, wildebeest, giraffe, zebra and many antelope species to name but a few. The reserve also enjoys an abundance of birds.

Hluhluwe Game Reserve

Keen for a road trip and some Big Five game viewing in extremely scenic surroundings?

Get up close and personal with these wild cats @hluhluwewildlife

Then a visit to Hluhluwe Game Reserve is for you! This game reserve is 253km north of Durban and is one of the oldest in Africa. The Hluhluwe Game Reserve is world renowned for its role in Rhino conservation and sets a benchmark for animal capture and sustainable utilization throughout Africa.

This KwaZulu-Natal Game Reserve stretches over 96 000 hectares of hilly topography and contains a diverse range of fauna and flora including the Big Five and wild dog, giraffe, cheetah and nyala.

Treat yourself to a game drive and guided walk, or take a self-guided walk along the auto trails.

Safari Tours In and Around Durban

Safaris are one of the best ways to get up close and personal with some of the most majestic animals that Durban has to offer. And luckily for you, there are a few safari companies that promise to make your experience unforgettable.

Tim Brown Tours

Specialist safari company Tim Brown Tours specializes in tours and safaris in the province of KwaZulu-Natal.

View the big 5 in DurbanTim Brown Tours

Winner of the 2016 Lilizela Award for Best Tour Operator in the region, the operator helps guests maximize their experience at an affordable price.

You can visit "Big 5" nature reserves on day and overnight safaris, an ideal experience for anyone interested in that ultimate African adventure. If you're visiting for a limited time or prefer urban activities, take a day tour of Durban city or a traditional Zulu village.

You can also consider a tour of the Drakensberg Mountains, a set of dramatic pyramid peaks that occasionally receive a coating of snow.

  • Cost:
    • R850 Upwards
  • Contact Number: 071 453 2781
  • Address: 1000 Hills Tourism Office, 47 Old Main Road
  • More Info: Website

1st Zulu Safari Tour Company

The 1st Zulu Safari tour company tours the animal kingdom, as well as offering tours of historical monuments, city tours of Durban, a top activity tour of things to do in the city, a tour of the townships (parts of this tour are done on foot), and even a visit to the St Lucia Wetlands.

Enjoy Safari and Tours around Durban@1stzulusafaris

They cover a broad area of terrain and categories and their tours are short and sweet with well-informed guides that are knowledgeable about all things Durban.

  • Contact Number: 031 337 3103
  • Address: 85 O R Tambo Parade, Durban
  • More Info: Website

Durban is a melting pot of adventure! From its warm waters and golden beaches to its abundant wildlife and luscious coastal living, it truly does provide tourists and locals with a chance to live their adventure. So, if you’ve got a penchant for adventure, then pack your backpack, grab a friend or two and head out for a day filled to the brim with new experiences.

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