Fishing for something new – Tugela River Mouth
After seeing my best girl off, i fled town and made my way up the North Coast of Kwa-Zulu Natal to Tugela Mouth, hoping to find more than what the coast had offered up so far.
The coast, especially the south coast and even the start of the north coast had proved a massive disappointment to me. Tuscan Villa’s, plenty of face brick and buildings were the main view. Not what i was looking for.
Tugela Mouth is a fisherman’s paradise judging by the amount of rods present at the Tugela Mouth Resort, my base for a couple of days. The resort was surprising, in that its campsites were generously spacious, divided by hedges offering a tiny degree of separation from my fellow campers and it had free wifi. A campsite with free wifi? Indeed.
I started my exploration by visiting the Eshowe Dlinza Forest and Aerial Boardwalk. A meagre R5 entrance fee and i was off on the short hiking trails that finish with a board walk through the tree tops to a viewpoint above the canopy. It was pretty magical to sit amongst these giants, walk through their tops and then gaze over the landscape above them.
My next stop was the Umlalazi Nature Reserve in Mtunzini. A steady stream of day visitors even in the week ( mostly fisherman … you getting the theme?) made this reserve seem a little crowded at times, but after heading off on the 4×4 trail i found secluded paradise next to the Umlazi River. Birds aplenty, silence, sunshine and i felt like i had found a bottle of mana from heaven.
The reserve also has access to a wind-swept beach and a short walk to the Umlazi River Mouth, the beach is well huge, so finding a quiet place to yourself doesn’t take a lot of effort.
My final destination was the tiny but absolutely unimagined Amatigulu Nature Reserve, situated between The Tugela and Amatigulu river mouths. I literally had the place to myself.
The park consists mainly of hikes through pristine coast forests, but a short 4×4 trail takes you off into the far reaches of the park where i encountered Zebras, Giraffes and some very shy Kudu’s.
After nearly giving up on the North Coast as a dud destination, it did a fine rescue job on itself. All three of these nature reserves are worth visiting and one cannot help but wonder what could have been if the whole of the Kwa-Zulu Natal Coast had been preserved like these pockets against man and his Tuscan Villa’s.