Nature Reserves

Ocean Grove Guesthouse is situated within a 45 km radius of no less than four prime nature reserves. A short drive through the country side will be rewarded with a visit to these wonderful, natural areas. Enjoy the prolific bird life, indigenous flora and various small wild animals.

Umtamvuna Nature Reserve

Umtamvuna GorgeThe Umtamvuna nature reserve borders on the Umtamvuna river and is the most southerly nature reserve in KwaZulu-Natal. A botanical paradise set in riverine forests and steep, rocky cliffs. For the more active, there are a number of well marked hiking paths and also mountain biking trails on which to enjoy the magnificent scenery. Hiking trails in the nature reserve vary in length and difficulty, from a short, leisurely forty-five minutes to a more challenging  four hours. For a more relaxed, leisurely experience, the nature reserve, may also be viewed at the top of the gorge, from a viewing deck which is accessible by car.

The Umtamvuna nature reserve is 3,247 hectares in extent and is home to many species of indigenous plants and bird life. Visitors may be rewarded with a sighting of the Cape vulture, Fish Eagle, Bushbuck, Serval (also known as a “Tierboskat” or wild cat), baboon, Samango Monkeys, Blue and Grey Duiker and Reedbuck.

Mpenjati Nature Reserve

Mpenjati Nature Reserve
Mpenjati Nature Reserve

The Mpenjati Nature Reserve is a 60-hectare area of protected indigenous coastal bush flanking the Mpenjati River and extending to the shores of KwaZulu-Natal’s south coast.  Only 5 km from Munster, it consists of a series of interlinking wetlands, grasslands and dune forests that sustain a variety of indigenous flora and fauna such as Blue Duiker, red Duiker, Grey Duiker, Bushbuck and Vervet monkeys.

Activities on offer at this nature reserve include hiking, bird watching, fishing and swimming. Picnic and braai (barbecue) facilities, along with ablution blocks, have been provided on both the northern and southern banks of the river.

The Red Desert

Only 15 minutes drive from Ocean Grove lies the very unusual  Red Desert. The world’s smallest desert. The desert is only 200 metres in diameter and 11 hectares in its extent. Visitors have likened the area to  a miniature version of the Arizona Desert. The low high hills and shallow valleys of exposed red soil are in stark contrast to the surrounding lush, tropical vegetation. Archaeological artifacts going back millions of years have been found here. The area is also home to plants that can be found in no other place on earth.

Oribi Gorge Nature Reserve

oribi gorge nature reserve
Oribi Gorge Nature Reserve

The scenic Oribi Gorge Nature Reserve lies some 21 km inland from Port Shepstone and offers delightful walks and self-guided trails to scenic spots.  The gorge consists of steep cliffs along the banks of the Umzimkulwana River.  Besides the magnificent views, visitors to Oribi may be rewarded with sightings of Bushbuck, Reedbuck and Blue and Grey Duiker. The gorge, with its diverse habitats, has a bird list of 250 species.

Besides the beautiful scenery, fauna and flora, Oribi Gorge also offers a wide range of exciting activities for the more adventurous.

Wild 5 Adventures

The Wild 5 Adventure Company, based at Oribi Gorge nature reserve, offers a range of extreme activites, guaranteed to get the heart racing. These include:

The Wild Swing

The highest swing in the world, 165m (55 Storeys), which is actually a combination of a bungee jump and a swing.  A full body harness is used to allow for a comfortable and safe experience.

The Wild Slide (Zip-line)

The Wild Slide is an exciting, but peaceful slide along a cable that spans the width of the gorge, 165 meters above the treetops with magnificent views of Lehr’s Waterfall and Baboon’s Castle.


Abseil down a 110 Cliff face, alongside a beautiful waterfall and enjoy the thrill of one of the world’s highest commercial abseils. The first 45m is a cliff abseil against the cliff while the remaining 65 m is a free abseil allowing one to take in the beauty of the gorge.

Safety is given the highest priority and beginners are given full instruction.  Only when they have satisfied the requirements, will they be lowered over the edge of the cliff. Qualified trainers are on hand at all times.

White Water Rafting

After making the necessary reservations, visitors meet the river guides at Oribi Gorge Hotel at 08:00.  After a full safety briefing, you will be driven down a 4×4 trail to the starting point on the Umzimkhulu River. Enjoy a full trip down the river, braving grade 2 to 4 rapids.  The duration of the trip depends on the paddlers’ skills and river conditions.  The happy, but exhausted group is then collected after the trip and returned to the Hotel.  The rate charged includes refreshments of juice, water and chocolate on the river.  Lunch can be ordered from the a la Carte menu, back at the Hotel.

Qualified guides are on hand throughout the experience to ensure a safe and enjoyable trip. Rafting operates all year round and booking is essential. A minimum of four people required.

Contact Wild 5 Adventures

Wild5 can be contacted on 082 566 7424 directly for enquiries and reservations, or email on