Queen Elizabeth Park Nature Reserve is located in the hills in the northern suburbs of the city of Pietermaritzburg, the capital of KwaZulu-Natal Province, and about eight kilometres from the city centre. It serves as the location for the head office of the provincial conservation agency, Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife, world renowned especially for their achievements in saving the white rhinoceros from extinction.
Entrance is free and a short drive into the reserve provides access to three shady picnic areas and the self-guided iDube trail. There’s no accommodation available inside the reserve.
Several game species (including plains zebra, bushbuck, dassie and the rare blue duiker) and a wide variety of birds occur in this small nature reserve, established in 1960 and only 93 hectares in extent, which protects a surprising diversity of habitats ranging from grassland to forest surrounded by a sea of urbanisation.
The Queen Elizabeth Park Nature Reserve is a fantastic asset to the people of Pietermaritzburg and especially those in search of some respite from the hustle and bustle of city life. It is a good thing though that we aren’t employed at the Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife headquarters, because we won’t ever be in the office!