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Umlalazi Nature Reserve, Mtunzini

Afrikaans name: Umlalazi-natuurreservaat

Looking across the Umlalazi Lagoon from the northern side

Photo © Steven Herbert

KwaZulu-Natal

The Umlalazi Nature Reserve is situated next to the town of Mtunzini on the KwaZulu-Natal north coast. The reserve comprises of coastal forest, a lagoon and the coast line. This makes for a variety of habitats which in turn leads to a wide variety of animal life that may be found here.

One of the most interesting things to do is to take a walk on the trail through the mangrove forest. Thousands of crabs scuttle out of your way. You may also see mudskippers and, in winter, the Mangrove Kingfisher.

Accommodation in Mtunzini

Just outside the reserve is the raffia palm monument where you will see the huge raffia palms and, with some luck, a Palm-nut Vulture.

The lagoon offers some opportunity for fishing and water-skiing but be aware that you may encounter a shark or Nile Crocodiles (that walk through the mangrove forest with the crabs is not sounding so scary anymore is it?).

There is both hutted accommodation and a camp site.

There are plenty of crabs amongst the mangroves

Photo © Steven Herbert

Above - Choose whichever of the following statements suits you:

a) I love crabs so Umlalazi Nature Reserve is the place for me!

or

b) I hate crabs which means you are never going to get me to visit Umlalazi Nature Reserve!

There are lots of crabs at Umlalazi but they are mainly in the mangroves so, even if you are scared of these little guys, it is worthwhile visiting this great nature reserve.

Burchell's Zebra in Umlalazi Nature Reserve

Photo © Steven Herbert

Above and below - There are some lovely picnic spots on the banks of the lagoon although you may have to chase away some of the wildlife to get to use them.

Vervet Monkeys in Umlalazi Nature Reserve

Photo © Steven Herbert

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References and further reading

Chris and Tilde Stuart's Guide to Southern African Game and Nature Reserves - Author: Chris and Tilde Stuart - Year Published: 1989 - Page: 149

Reader's Digest Illustrated Guide to the Game Parks and Nature Reserves of Southern Africa - 2nd edi - Author: Editor - Alan Duggan - Year Published: 1991 - Page: 156

The Pictorial Motoring Atlas of South Africa - Author: Maxwell Leigh - Year Published: 1987 - Page: 134

Top Birding Spots in Southern Africa - Author: Hugh Chittenden - Year Published: 1992 - Page: 279

Where to see Birds in KwaZulu-Natal - Author: Bennett and Herbert - Year Published: 1995 - Page: 45

Where to see Birds in Natal - Author: Gordon Bennett - Year Published: 1989 - Page: 35

Where to Watch Birds in Southern Africa - Author: A. Berruti and J.C. Sinclair - Year Published: 1983 - Page: 166

Wild Issue 20 - Author: - Year Published: 2012 - Page: 76

Wild Issue 22 - Author: - Year Published: 2013 - Page: 78

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