Only an hour and a half’s drive north of Durban, lies the peaceful Umlalazi Nature Reserve. It’s the home of the palm-nut vulture, one of the rarest birds of prey in South Africa. Beach, mangrove swamp, dune forest and river edge are all available for enjoyable walks.

Main attractions

  • Coastal dunes forest
  • A pristine and seemingly endless beach

Umlalazi packs an awesome punch. In laidback, Zululand style, of course. Go canoeing on the Umlalazi River, fishing in the lagoon or the Indian Ocean surf, birding in the coastal forest or hiking through the mangroves…”

– Patricia McCracken, Wild 22


  • Rock and surf fishing
  • Water-skiing, boating, canoeing
  • Swimming, surfing, windsurfing
  • Sunset boat cruises
  • Walking

Top sightings: Raffia palm (largest palm in the world), palm-nut vulture, bushpig, red, blue and grey duiker

Accommodation: Log cabins, camping

Gate times: 05:00 – 22:00

Nearest centre: Mtunzini is 1km away (about 30 minute).

Know before you go

  • Fishing licences are available from the office.
  • Although swimming is allowed, beware of crocodiles (as well as sharks in the sea).

Contact reserve: +27 (0)35 340 1836

Ezemvelo Central Reservations: +27 (0)33 845 1000, [email protected]

Visit Umlalazi Nature Reserve’s home page.