Tag Archives: Natal Midlands

Summer at Midmar

We headed for Midmar Dam Nature Reserve in the Natal Midlands following our amazing time at Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park in December. The serenity of the large expanse of water in front of us sure was a dramatic change in pace from the five days of searching  for the “Big-5” that came before.

We had only one afternoon, one night and one morning to spend at Midmar before heading further inland to celebrate New Year’s at Golden Gate Highlands National Park, but thoroughly enjoyed ourselves walking around the beautifully kept grounds.

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Summer in the bush: Midmar, 29 December 2014

We’ll be spending only the one day at Midmar Dam Nature Reserve on this trip. But that’s not because the Natal Midlands area is not exceedingly beautiful!

Midmar 29122014

There, now we are all caught up with our daily trip updates – please page back for the delayed updates from Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park.

Umgeni Valley Nature Reserve

Umgeni Valley Nature Reserve

Umgeni Valley Nature Reserve

The Umgeni Valley Nature Reserve was established in 1976 by the Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa. To this day it remains one of our country’s foremost environmental education centres and thousands of learners participate in a variety of courses presented here annually.

Umgeni Valley Nature Reserve

Umgeni Valley Nature Reserve

The reserve lies on the outskirts of the town of Howick in the Natal Midlands and is easily accessible from the main N3-highway. It covers an area of just 759 hectares stretching along the course of the Umgeni River below the Howick Falls (in itself worth a visit). Umgeni Valley Nature Reserve protects a variety of habitats including dense riverine thickets, open woodland, thorn-veld, grasslands and towering cliffs. Giraffe, monkeys, zebras and numerous antelope have found a home in the Umgeni Valley, and among the 270 bird species that have been recorded in the reserve are to be found raptors like the Crowned, Fish and Verreaux’s Eagles.

Reedbuck

Reedbuck

Zebra and Blesbok in Umgeni Valley

Zebra and Blesbok in Umgeni Valley

Zebra in Umgeni Valley

Zebra in Umgeni Valley

Zebra in Umgeni Valley

Zebra in Umgeni Valley

Visitors can enjoy a picnic or tackle one of the seven different walking trails of varying difficulty, fly-fishing (strictly on a catch-and-release basis), mountain biking or rock-climbing. Guided game-viewing drives are available while a gravel road (negotiable, slowly and carefully, in a standard sedan vehicle), five kilometres in length, stretches from the reserve entrance along the edge of the gorge, offering scenic views of the valley and the river below. Accommodation in the reserve ranges from the dormitories used by visiting school groups to rustic bush camps, cottages and self-catering chalets.

Umgeni Valley Nature Reserve

Umgeni Valley Nature Reserve

Howick Falls

Howick Falls

One Shot, Two Ways

We encountered this bushbuck ewe this morning in the Queen Elizabeth Park Nature Reserve – the headquarters of Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife – in the city of Pietermaritzburg.

One Shot, Two Ways 2

One Shot Two Ways 1

One Shot, Two Ways” is this week’s photo challenge from WordPress

Natal Midlands, 9 August 2013

We’re spending the Women’s Day long weekend in the Natal Midlands. It is cold, rainy, misty and wet.

And utterly beautiful!

This picture was taken on our way to the Swissland Cheese Farm earlier today.

Swissland

We are now relaxing in our chalet at the Midmar Public Resort and Nature Reserve, our base for the next couple of days.