Dlinza Forest Nature Reserve

The Dlinza Forest Nature Reserve is a 319-hectare pocket of indigenous forest, rich in a stunning variety of trees, other plants, birds and other wildlife – several species of which is rare or endangered.

View from the Dlinza Reserve’s Aerial Boardwalk

The Aerial Boardwalk is Dlinza’s main attraction, extending a distance of 125m and allowing easy access to the lower, middle and upper stories of the forest, thereby providing visitors with a glimpse into a world they’d seldom be able to experience otherwise. The boardwalk ends at an observation tower 20m high that emerges above the treetops.

Two walking trails, the iMpunzi (1.3km) and uNkonka (1.8km), lead through the forest – be warned though that there are some steep sections along the way and sturdy footwear would be an advantage. Along the way you’ll be enchanted by the sights, sounds and smells of the forest and you really do not want to be rushed while hiking at Dlinza, so be sure to allow yourself enough time! Roughly half-way along the uNkonka trail you’ll reach a lovely clearing in the forest called Bishop’s seat as it was a favourite spot for a local clergyman in years gone by.

Expert local bird guides can escort visitors through the forest – best to arrange this before your visit. Aside from the boardwalk and trails, visitors can enjoy a leisurely picnic in the grounds at the visitor centre. A rough and narrow road, the Royal Drive, passes through the forest but attempting it in a vehicle with low ground clearance would not be advisable.

Situated in the town of Eshowe in northern Kwazulu-Natal, the Dlinza Forest must be one of the most accessible of its kind in the country, although being entirely surrounded by the town does bring with it several management problems, not least of which is feral pets straying into the forest and killing wildlife, and exotic garden plants establishing themselves within the reserve.  There’s no accommodation in the reserve, but the town has a number of lovely bed-and-breakfast establishments or you could drive through from nearby towns, as we did from Mtunzini while staying in the Umlalazi Nature Reserve half an hour’s drive away.

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32 thoughts on “Dlinza Forest Nature Reserve

          1. naturebackin

            That is so true. We are so fortunate and should not take any of it for granted. Managers of such places often operate on a shoestring and need our support. In a way we are all custodians of these irreplaceable and vulnerable wonders. I really appreciate that you highlight a range of life and a range of places, showing that nothing is too small to be fascinating and valuable. Thank you.

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            1. de Wets Wild Post author

              Thank you very much for the kind words, Carol. It really means a lot.

              We find that the more we see and learn the more we want to see and learn! It is truly an addiction, luckily one we can share as a family and by extension with all our friends here at de Wets Wild!

              I honestly believe that by visiting these places, paying our dues in entrance and accommodation fees and supporting the shops and restaurants possibly operating in the reserve and local businesses surrounding them when we buy our groceries and fill up on fuel we can do our small part to ensure they remain relevant, sustainable and protected for future generations to enjoy visiting them as much as we do.

              I also believe that the positive impact on our health, both physically and mentally, of spending time in places like the ones we feature cannot even be measured in monetary terms. Our bank manager might disagree though… 😀

              And then, being a person trying very hard to walk in Faith I feel a little (actually a lot) closer to Heaven when I’m in the great outdoors…

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              1. naturebackin

                Thank you for your thoughtful comment. I agree – learning more is addictive, as one thing leads to another, and sometimes pieces interrelate surprisingly.

                I agree that visitors, such as ourselves, should support our conservation bodies and local businesses and crafters.

                Being in nature can be as healing as it is pleasurable. I am not a church goer, but I agree that experiences in nature can yield a profound sense of spirituality and gratitude, and I like to think they can inspire us to kindness.

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    1. de Wets Wild Post author

      The boardwalk really is a wonderful attribute of this small reserve, Jane, and while 125m might not sound very long it is an incredible experience that can easily take hours to appreciate fully.

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  1. John

    What a glorious and wonderful nature!😊 It is a side of South Africa you hardly see any nature program. You show so much of both animals and nature you’ve never seen before.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. de Wets Wild Post author

      Less than 1% of South Africa’s land area is covered by indigenous forests, John and I think that is why it is so seldomly featured in the mainstream media. It was probably a bit more in pre-colonial times but being a dry country for the most part we have other habitats that predominate.

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