Price range, per nightmin R max R
*All distances listed are as the crow flies, and not actual travel distances.
The 76ha Beachwood Mangrove Nature Reserve is situated on the KwaZulu-Natal coastline and bordering the Umgeni River in the suburb of Durban North. The reserve was established to protect the 3 species of mangroves who support a wealth of life in the intertidal zone. The evergreen mangrove tree throws out thick roots called props that trap silt and debris to form platforms from which other plants and animals survive. Birds nest in the thick mass of branches and crabs and the amphibious mudskipper fish dwell amongst the roots.
At the southern entrance to the reserve is an activities centre from where a bird list can be obtained. There are 3 routes to take along boardwalks above the high water line. A section of trail passes through natural forest to spot monkeys and birds up in the canopy. At the bird hide, there is a good chance of seeing the colourful mangrove kingfisher bird perched silently on a branch, waiting to ambush a fish swimming in the waters below.
Visitors have access to the restful beach which is pristine and from where anglers can walk to the southern end to try their hand at fishing from the Umgeni estuary called the Blue Lagoon. Look out for tiny balls of sand scattered along the beach that reveal the presence of Fiddler crabs. These crabs have one outsized claw that they use to collect up sand. The sand is rolled into a ball for the crab to extract food from it, then discarded.
The Beachwood Mangrove Nature Reserve is a short drive from the centre of Durban, take an Uber! Permission is required to visit the Beachwood Mangrove Nature Reserve, ask your host to arrange entry.