On the banks of the lazy Mlalazi

The Mlalazi River is an excellent example of an estuary in good natural condition, and considered among the twenty most important in conservation terms in South Africa. It is also a focal point for many visitors to Umlalazi Nature Reserve, who come here to enjoy a variety of watersports, or just picnic on the banks (to the delight of the clever vervet monkeys who’ll quickly raid unprotected baskets!)

One of Umlalazi’s trails leads all the way from the parking area at the lagoon to the mouth of the Mlalazi River where it empties into the Indian Ocean. Hikers can then return along the same route, or along the beach – a total distance of 8 or so kilometers. Unfortunately when I attempted the trail on our recent stay about half-way to the mouth I encountered a washed-away stream crossing, probably following the good rainfall the week before we arrived. After the thought of hungry crocodiles eyeing me from somewhere unseen crossed my mind, there was no way I was going to try and wade through a muddy backwater, and unfortunately had to turn around. Oh well, next time we’re at Umlalazi I will give it another go (the trail I mean, I’ll still refuse to wade through a muddy backwater if the bridge isnt fixed by then…)

32 thoughts on “On the banks of the lazy Mlalazi

    1. de Wets Wild Post author

      Yep, when I am in their domain I’m very scared of the “flat dogs” AJ!

      The mangroves along the river does an excellent job of stabilising the banks against the wave action caused by the boats, and there really isn’t a constant stream of boats passing up and down – I think the reserve and Mtunzini Boat Club does a good job at controlling the use.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Pat

    Do avoid crocks! We can wait for the rest of the trail. A very beautiful area, I’ll look forward to seeing more. Good to see these healthy estuaries, so many are threatened these days.

    Liked by 1 person


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