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“Umtamwuna: best hike for tree huggers”

Umtamvuna Nature Reserve
Reviewed 11 May 2017

Umtamvuna Nature Reserve near Port Edward offers strenuous hiking tours and is a dictionary of Southafrican botany for tree huggers. Parking is free at the main gate, but there is no parking attendent. From the main gate, we choose the porcupine route. You can choose between trails (round trips) of 3 to 8 hours walking length. At many trees you pass on the tour, you will read a name badge with the English, Africaans and Xhosa name. So many strange plants. You will not see all 385 species of woody plants growing here, but at least many of them. The path was well signposted. No chance/risk to get lost. Most of the trails offer a steep descend into the gorge. To get back to the car, you will have to ascend through the gorge again on another route.
People say there is bushbuck, serval, baboon, samango monkeys, blue and grey duiker and common reedbuck in the reserve. Well, we did not see them.

2  Thank siehstewoll
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviews (13)
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5 - 9 of 13 reviews

Reviewed 9 August 2016 via mobile

Staff was a bit slow but very friendly, the hike was beautiful and the paths were very well maintained

1  Thank Frank d
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 July 2016 via mobile

We visited Umtamvuna with 2 kids under 2. We opted for a 2 hour hike which was beautiful and pretty easy to do with 2 young kids in hiking carriers. The scenery was breathtaking and this was a great introduction to nature and hiking to our kids.

The office was deserted upon arrival and we waited for a while before we could buy hiking passes. We also struggled to find rubbish bins anywhere in the park.

This is a good day outing for families.

Thank Janet F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 March 2016 via mobile

Mtavuna Nature Reserve is only 3200ha large, but contains more rare trees than anywhere else in Southern Africa. There are 1400 species of flowering plants. Of these about 385 woody plants such as shrubs and trees. Enough said? Brush up on your botany skills in four languages: each tree along the trails is labelled, courtesy of SAs internationally leading botanists! Anyways, whether you want to go hiking for sports, fauna, flora, adventure, encounters, discoveries, this place has it all. The trails are well signposted so you won't get lost. You can go for a dip in the stream on a hot day. Bilharzia (see previous review) is more likely to occur in standing water so don't be scared. To help you chose the right trail, there will be a pamphlet at the office in Beacon Hill (see previous review) which is the main entrance to the reserve. I wish this pamphlet was available online! The second entrance to the reserve is at the estuary called Pont. I did the Fish Eagle trail on day 1 (starting from Pont) and the ingungumbane (porcupine in English) trail on day 2 (starting from Beacon Hill). I took much longer than the time mentioned on the pamphlet because I stopped for breaks often. It is amazing how nature reveals its beauty in a moment of peace and quiet. The trails are very safe and super well maintained. Go and experience this incredibly luscious and yet accessible piece of Africa.

2  Thank DoctorD5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 12 August 2015

It must have been the perfect season and weather for this hike, the strong wind on top was cooling after the hike up on the Fisheagle trail. We had lunch in the forest near a tiny waterfall, with baboons playing a small distance away. The muscle ache the next day was so worth it!

1  Thank Silvi227
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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