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Ntiskeni Nature Reserve

Ntiskeni Nature Reserve - Drakensberg & Surroundings, KwaZulu Natal

Ntiskeni Nature Reserve

The Ntiskeni Nature Reserve is situated near the source of the Lubhukwini River in the Umzimkulu catchment roughly 50 km north of Kokstad, and is now managed by Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife. From its establishment as a provincial reserve in 1978, the Ntiskeni Nature Reserve has remained a relatively unknown and unspoilt area until recently when a new road and lodge were completed, resulting in an increase of visitors to the reserve. The reserve covers 9200 ha and features a number of unique and interesting habitats which include magnificent wetlands, rolling grasslands, majestic mountains and cliffs, rocky slopes and a small indigenous forest also in the region.

The Ntsikeni Nature Reserve is surrounded by a series of aw- inspiring rock formations and buttresses which include Mangeni, Tsawule,and Elephant Hill. A constant and visible feature which towers in the background is the massive conical Ntsikeni Mountain after which the reserve is named. The Ntsikeni Wetlands are the largest inland wetland in South Africa, and cover a large portion of the reserve (1070 hectares). Due its importance as a natural habitat for a wide variety of bird species, and the fact that it is regarded as one of the KwaZulu Natal's 23 priority wetlands, the Ntsikeni Vlei has achieved status as a RAMSAR conservation site.

Over 120 bird species have been sighted at the reserve, with an average of 60 species recorded on a typical visit. Special species at Ntsikeni include the rarely seen Eurasian Bittern, the endangered Wattled Crane, Striped Flufftail, and an assortment of raptors and other predatory birds which include African Marsh Harrier, Montague's Harrier, Bearded Vulture, Cape Vulture, Cape Eagle Owl. Other species include amongst others, Denham's Bustard, Secretary Bird, Eastern Long-billed Lark, Plain-backed Pipit,and the endemic Yellow-breasted Pipit.

Aside from the striking natural beauty of the region, visitors are provided with excellent opportunities for hiking and horse riding with a number of tracks and trails running throughout the reserve. Mountain biking is also encouraged at Ntsikeni, with the Freedom Trail spanning a distance of 2,200 km, running from Pietermaritzburg via Ntsikeni Nature Reserve, Matatiele and Rhodes, until eventually reaching Cape Town. For visitors interested in local history and culture, a number of Khoisan Paintings can also be found within the Ntsikeni Nature Reserve, and visitors can embark on scenic hikes into the hills accompanied by experienced tour guides who provide interesting and informative insights into the daily lifestyle and culture of the San people who inhabited the region.

For more information regarding Ntsikeni Nature Reserve contact Park Warden Mbuyeselo Gxashe at 082 4322611.

Nearby Listings

Ndawana River Lodge

Self Catering House, Cottage, Chalet Accommodation in Underberg

19.5km North West of center of Ntiskeni Nature Reserve

Ndawana River Lodge offers luxury accommodation, total peace, solitude and tranquility. Situated in the Southern Drakensberg, bordering the uKhahlamba-Drakensberg Park, a declared World heritage Site.

Instant Booking

Belfast Guest House

Self Catering House, Cottage, Chalet Accommodation in Underberg

19.6km North West of center of Ntiskeni Nature Reserve

For your Larger-than-Life country retreat in the Southern Drakensberg, look no further than the Belfast Guest House. Belfast Guest House is self-catering luxury LARGER than life!!

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Valley Lakes Cottages

Self Catering House, Cottage, Chalet Accommodation in Underberg

21.3km North West of center of Ntiskeni Nature Reserve

All cottages are self catering and fully equipped, including linen, pillows and blankets. Bring your own towels. The kitchen is equipped with an electric stove and fridge / freezer, plus all crockery, cutlery and utensils. Braai facilities are ...

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Sleeps: 41 in 9 units/rooms
From R 600,00
Per unit, per night.

Umzimkulu River Lodge

Self Catering House, Cottage, Chalet Accommodation in Underberg

28.5km North of center of Ntiskeni Nature Reserve

A 38ha adventure playground set on a spectacular bend of the Umzimkulu River. A stocked 2ha dam and 2,5km of river which culminates in Thrombosis gorge rated as one of the best stretches of fly fishing and kayaking rivers in South Africa.

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Pear Tree Cottage

Self Catering House, Cottage, Chalet Accommodation in Underberg

28.7km North West of center of Ntiskeni Nature Reserve

Self catering and serviced. Fully equipped but not fancy ie. no TVs!!! But a healthy hearth! Provided with linen and electric blankets, but please bring your own towels. The kitchen has fridge / freezer, stove, kettle, toaster and all the ...

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Sleeps: 21 in 3 units/rooms
From R 1 300,00
Per unit, per night.

Lake St Bernard

Self Catering House, Cottage, Chalet Accommodation in Lower Berg Foothills

32.7km West of center of Ntiskeni Nature Reserve

Lake St Bernard is situated on the St Bernards Peak road off the R617 in the Southern Drakensberg. The 68 hectare lake is on a privately owned farm that is home to many species of buck and wildlife.

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Maluti Vista

Self Catering House, Cottage, Chalet Accommodation in Underberg

34.2km North of center of Ntiskeni Nature Reserve

Maluti Vista is a four bedroom contemporary Cotswold downs style home, sweeping verandahs with beautiful views. All four bedrooms are ensuite, the big bedrooms have private balconies and Flat screen TV's with DSTV and views of the mountains.

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Sleeps: 70 in 12 units/rooms
From R 585,00
Per person, per night sharing.

St. Bernard's Peak Mountain Lodge

Holiday Resort Accommodation in Lower Berg Foothills

34.2km West of center of Ntiskeni Nature Reserve

Accommodation is offered in picturesque self-standing thatched chalets set in tranquil gardens under age-old Oak trees. A shared dinning room in the principal building offers three good farmhouse meals

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Sleeps: 10
From R 1 980,00
Per unit, per night.

Berg View

Self Catering House, Cottage, Chalet Accommodation in Underberg

34.3km North of center of Ntiskeni Nature Reserve

Bergview offers luxury self-catering accommodation with a unique ambience of the log cabin. The house sleeps 10 people (up to 9 adults). It makes a perfect holiday for families with young children. Equipped with jungle gym, trampoline and rock pool...

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Sleeps: 24 in 12 units/rooms
From R 450,00
Per person, per night sharing.

Cedar Garden

Bed & Breakfast Accommodation in Underberg

34.7km North of center of Ntiskeni Nature Reserve

Cedar Garden is a spacious, well-appointed home set in a large cared for garden in the popular village of Underberg.

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Nearby Points Of Interest