A Visit to the Amatikulu Nature Reserve
Visiting this 500 ha Nature Reserve, offers you even more than the Umlalazi Reserve. You could hire a canoe, a raft or fly-fishing gear and enjoy a picnic at the river’s edge, or enjoy the four walking trails. Take the Amatikulu/Nyoni off ramp to reach the destination follow the N2 south. Contact: 032 453 0155
Add so much to your bird watchers list
With more than 300 bird species spotted in the Mtunzini area, don’t for get to pack in your binoculars. Mtunzini offers several self-guided trails through a variety of safe unspoilt habitats which makes it an excellent area for birding. The main birding spots include the Umlalazi Nature Reserve, the Raphia Palm Monument and around Twinstreams Environmental Centre.
Catch the big one
According to Arthur Powell, member of the Mtunzini angling club, you could catch all kinds of species. The Umlalazi ski boat club handles all the administration on behalf of the reserve and permits can be obtained by them for R 75.00 for a month’s access to launch your boat. Contact: The Ski Boat Club 035 340 1006
Satisfy your taste buds
Treat yourself at the Amatikulu Reserve to a Sunday lunch, for the Prawn Shak is open every Sunday and most Saturdays. With a view of the sea enjoy a seven-course meal that starts at 12pm and ends at 5pm. Contact: Reservations by Keshnee 084 7376 493
Show your golfing skills
Mtunzini has a challenging 9-hole, 71 par golf course with a spectacular view. This golf course was built in the early 1960, because the residents were tired of travelling to Empangeni every time for a game. Contact: 035 340 1779
Take an adventure to the river
Enjoy nature and Fish Eagle feeding on board Bob’s Barge. Contact: 072 586 6936
Feel the pulsating rhythm of mysterious and magical Africa as you re-live the excitement and romance of the days of Shaka, King of the Zulus, in this authentic re-creation of the Great Kraal overlooking the Phobane Lake. Situated 39 kilometers from Mtunzini between Eshowe and Melmoth, Shakaland nestles on the top of the Entombeni Hills, overlooking the Phobane Lake. A traditional Zulu Umuzi or homestead, divided into the home of the Zulu's and hotel rooms, this unique resort was the original set for the filming of the movies 'Shaka Zulu' and 'John Ross'. Experience the sight of assegaai-wielding warriors, share the fascinating secrets of the Sangomas and witness traditional customs such as tribal dancing, spear making and the beer-drinking ceremonies.Why not sample the local brew or have the sangoma throw the bones for you?
Eshowe Dlinza Forest Aerial Boardwalk
The Dlinza Forest Aerial Boardwalk in Eshowe is a 150-metre-long walkway built above the Dlinza Forest floor, which allows visitors to view flora, fauna and avifauna at a comfortable level. It ends with a 20-metre-high tower, offering dramatic views of both the forest canopy and surrounding countryside. The boardwalk employs a number of trained birding guides who are available to show visitors some of the delights of the forest. The Dlinza Forest is a 250-hectare indigenous coastal scarp forest, and is one of The Great Five Natural Forests in Kwa Zulu Natal. (The other forests are the Ongoye, Entumeni, Nkandla and Qudeni Forests, and lie on a 100-km line running northwest from the coast.) These five forests are the most important forests in Southern Africa from the aspect of unique biodiversity.
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. 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. 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.
Bonamanzi Game Reserve
Bonamanzi Game Reserve, a Big 4 Reserve, is a Natural Heritage Site bordered by the spectacular Lake St. Lucia Isimangaliso Wetlands – a World Heritage Site – and the magnificent Hluhluwe River. This privately owned game reserve and safari lodge is widely recognised as one of the best birding destinations in Southern Africa. Lake St Lucia and the Hluhluwe River give Bonamanzi its Zulu name, meaning “Look, Water!”. Its almost 4000 ha teams with game, and one of Bonamanzi’s special features is that it provides a safe and interactive bush experience in which you can do walks or drive, with or without the company of a trained field guide. To see the Big Five animals, the famous Hluhluwe Imfolozi Game Reserve is a short 20 minute drive away or join us on one of our Game Drives.
Traditional Zulu Ceremonies (Sat/Sun)
These traditional Zulu weddings and coming of age ceremonies take place in rural Zululand. We drive out into the Zululand hills in search of a ceremony that we have been invited to over old dirt tracks and hills. This makes for a great adventure and as we eventually check out other guests winding there way over the hills in a common direction. You can never be too early or late – this is Zulu time at its best. We meet the families and watch on while the preparations and final arrangements are being sorted out. There is strict protocol to be observed by both families. The pre-ceremony rituals and customs are all explained to you by your guide. These are truly colourful and vibrant real-life events are set in an idyllic backdrop of the Zulu countryside. Each ceremony has it peculiarities and your Zulu guides will explain each part of the ceremony to you. This is great chance to meet ordinary South Africans in their environment to share life’s experiences and learn about real Zulu life as it is today. Tours to these ceremonies leave from The George Hotel and Zululand Backpackers on Saturdays and Sundays from 12.00 pm – 5.30 pm; if you would like to experience this unique part of the Zulu culture, please contact Zululand Eco-Adventures.
Hluhluwe Imfolozi Game Reserve
The Nyalazi Gate is a mere 1 hour drive up the N2. It is home to Africa's Big Five and also other game including the elusive Cheetah, Wild Dog and Nyala. Prime game viewing takes place at hides overlooking pans and waterholes which enable visitors to see animals at close range. This KwaZulu-Natal park is the oldest game reserve in South Africa. It was established in 1895. Today, the Hluhluwe Imfolozi Park is world renowned for its White Rhino conservation and its Centenary Capture Centre is setting exceptional standards for animal capture and sustainable utilization in Africa.