Wandering around Umlalazi’s forests

A visit to Umlalazi Nature Reserve would not be complete without exploring the extensive tracts of pristine forests protected in the reserve.

Umlalazi’s Siyaya Trail snakes through the forest, up and down over the densely vegetated dunes, for a distance of 3km. Enormous red and smaller white milkwoods (Mimusops obovata and Sideroxylon inerme respectively) predominate in the species-rich climax dune forests. The Siyaya Trail starts at the beach parking area and makes a large circle through the forest to end at the parking area again, but about half-way through a side-trail leads to a footbridge over the Siyayi stream and to the beach.

At the grove of Kosi palms (Raphia australis) a boardwalk has been constructed just above the level of the waterlogged forest floor, allowing easy access to these magnificent trees and the palm-nut vultures that feed and breed in them. Interestingly, the Kosi palms flower and fruit only once in their lifetime, when the tree is around 30 years old. Elsewhere in the swamp forests, a little further inland than the dune forest, ferns and the swamp fig (Ficus trichopoda) are the most noticeable species.

Umlalazi’s forests abound with insects and other invertebrates, numerous insectivorous and frugivorous forest birds, as well as forest dwelling mammals, of which the red duikers and vervet monkeys are the easiest to see.

24 thoughts on “Wandering around Umlalazi’s forests

  1. scrapydo2.wordpress.com

    Die pill miltipede fasineer my nogal. Nog nie so iets gesien nie. Hoe groot is hulle? Ons het hier in die huis sulke klein grysetjies wat hulself in sulke klein bolletjies rol as mens aan hul raak. Dis hierdie tyd van die jaar dat hul in kom. Ek dink dis die koeler weer wat hul laat inkom. Pragtige foto van die rooi duikertjie!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Candy Blackham

    Yes, it is beautiful – aren’t your children lucky! I have loved my travels in South Africa and I am thinking about the next expedition. I need to visit Oudtshoorn so I am considering travels in the Western Cape and the Karoo – what do you think? I will have 4-5 weeks.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. de Wets Wild Post author

      4-5 weeks gives you ample opportunity to explore South Africa’s Cape Provinces – Western, Eastern and Northern, Candy. There’s some very special wild destinations, Parks like Kgalagadi, Augrabies, Karoo and Mountain Zebra, and if you visit in August and September the wild flowers in Namaqualand should be spectacular.


    1. de Wets Wild Post author

      The wattle-eye was a new tick on our list! They are restricted to the lowland forests along South Africa’s eastern borders and I was thrilled to finally see them in person.



Please don't leave without sharing your thoughts?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.