Mtentu Lodge sits on the edge of the beautiful Mkambati Nature Reserve and is the ideal point from which to explore the reserve. This makes for one of the ultimate holiday getaways in South Africa for nature lovers and those seeking a break from the busy city life. Our guests often find the scenic Mkambati Nature Reserve to be one of the highlights of the trips.
The reserve is situated right across the river form Mtentu Lodge and features a 10km coastline that covers rugged, rocky beaches, giving visitors a peek at the unspoilt nature the area has to offer. Other must-see features of the reserve include lush forested ravines, a swamp forest and even splashing waterfalls.
This pristine 8 000 ha reserve offers some of South Africa’s most beautiful natural scenery, including open grassland, dissected by streams and flanked by the magnificent forested ravines of the Msikaba and Mtentu rivers. The grasslands cover a large portion of the reserve and support a fascinating and diverse flora population. Large numbers of grazing herbivores, such as Eland, Red Hartebeest, Blue Wildebeest, Blesbuck and even Gemsbok, have been introduced into the grasslands. Although only the first two species are indigenous to the area, it still offers a fascinating opportunity for game lovers to enjoy.
Among the birds which may be seen in this habitat are Red-shouldered Widow, Yellow-throated Longclaw, Common Waxbill and Croaking Cisticola, with Gurney's Sugarbird and Greater Double Collared Sunbird seeking nectar from the flowering strelitzias. Of the many streams running through the reserve, the Mkambati is perhaps the most beautiful with its crystal clear pools and series of spectacular waterfalls. The Horseshoe Falls are most impressive as they drop down over the terrace in a wide arc, the stream then tumbling over another waterfall before dropping several metres into the ocean.
Visitors can spot the breath-taking views of the Mtentu Gorge when walking through the stretching grassland situated above the river. At a bend in the gorge, a natural amphitheatre of towering evergreen forest is inhabited by a spectacular variety of birds, including Trumpeter Hornbill, Rameron Pigeon and many, many more.
If you wish to get to know the river a little more intimately, you can take a 3km canoe trip upstream. Along the way, you might just be rewarded with sight of the feathery-leaved Mkambati palm, the African fish eagle or the crowned eagle.
If canoeing and fishing is not for you, the reserve also features a variety of trails for hiking and cycling. One of the more popular routes is the walk along the Mkambati River to the breath-taking Horseshoe Falls which plunge into the sea far below your feet.
You might also want to catch a look at the two famous shipwrecks, the Sao Bento (1554) near the mouth of the Msikaba River and the Grosvenor (1782) lying in Lambasi Bay. These offer an interesting look into the culturally diverse history of South Africa.
Whatever you choose to do, the Mkambati Nature Reserve is not a destination to miss!