Dur­ban’s Lesser Known Cool Spots

Dur­ban’s Lesser Known Cool Spots

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Some­times the best trea­sures are right here on your doorstep – if you’re a Dur­ban­ite, that is. If you’re plan­ning to visit Dur­ban, you should know there is a whole lot more to this city than just beau­ti­ful beaches. Here are five places we think are amaz­ing, and also not too far off the beaten track.

INANDA MOUN­TAIN

About a 30-minute drive from Dur­ban cen­tral, Inanda Moun­tain is an epic spot with cliffs plum­met­ing down to the shores of Inanda Dam. The views are sim­ply stag­ger­ing, mak­ing this ar­guably the best look­out point any­where in Dur­ban. The top of Inanda Moun­tain is also an amaz­ing bird-watch­ing site, es­pe­cially in the late morn­ings when birds of prey catch the ther­mals off the cliff face and glide up right in front of you. This is the sort of place you can just sit and take in the view for hours. While in the area, why not also visit the Oh­lange In­sti­tute and see where Nel­son Man­dela cast his first vote in a demo­cratic South Africa? Or take a guided ur­ban walk and ab­sorb the rich cul­ture, vibe and his­tory of this amaz­ing area?

MZINYATHI FALLS

The mag­nif­i­cent Mzinyathi Falls are less than a 20-minute drive from uMh­langa. Yes, that’s right, so close – yet hardly any­one even knows th­ese falls ex­ist. The Mzinyathi River plunges down the side of a beau­ti­ful sand­stone am­phithe­atre, over 100 m into the Mzinyathi Gorge be­low. Tow­er­ing cliffs and thick forests make for an in­cred­i­ble day out. This is also a pop­u­lar rock-climb­ing

spot and af­ter heavy rains, the falls are a truly im­pres­sive sight. Guided hik­ing trails down into the gorge can also be ar­ranged through Dur­ban Green Cor­ri­dor.

RASTA­FAR­IAN CAVES

The Mzinyathi Gorge is also home to the “Rasta­far­ian Caves” – home to a com­mu­nity of Rasta­far­i­ans, many of whom have nor­mal jobs and com­mute back to the caves for wor­ship on week­ends. The caves can only be ac­cessed us­ing a tricky hid­den path, and have well-con­structed lit­tle stone rooms within made us­ing nat­u­ral rock from the area. Vis­it­ing the caves is strictly by prior ar­range­ment and with a guide, but it’s well worth mak­ing the ef­fort to learn more about this fas­ci­nat­ing cul­ture and site.

MFULA STORE

Deep in the Val­ley of a Thou­sand Hills, about a 30-minute drive from Hill­crest, is the most beau­ti­ful lit­tle spot you’ll ever find, Mfula Store. This old trad­ing store still op­er­ates and has great overnight ac­com­mo­da­tion fa­cil­i­ties in a deep, lush forested val­ley. Just down the road from Mfula Store, where the Um­geni and Mqeku rivers meet, is one of the most scenic and tran­quil pic­nic spots in KwaZuluNatal. Man­aged and main­tained by lo­cal com­mu­nity mem­bers, this site is great for a day out to re­lax and en­joy the river. The pic­nic site also has an amaz­ing set of rock for­ma­tions that form a nat­u­ral wa­ter­slide in the river. The store is con­ve­niently sit­u­ated close to iSithumba Ad­ven­ture Cen­tre where you can hire moun­tain bikes or en­joy an ex­tra­or­di­nary cul­tural ex­pe­ri­ence in this quiet com­mu­nity.

BEACHWOOD MAN­GROVES

Right at the Um­geni Mouth, near the Dur­ban Green Cor­ri­dor Green Hub, you’ll find the Beachwood Man­groves. This 76-hectare re­serve, a mere five min­utes from the city cen­tre, is a na­tional mon­u­ment and con­sists of rare man­grove swamp for­est and an im­por­tant es­tu­ar­ine habi­tat at the mouth of the Um­geni River. There is a beau­ti­ful board­walk into the man­grove for­est from which you can see crabs and other man­grove crit­ters go­ing about their day, and the area gen­er­ally of­fers an amaz­ing es­cape from the hus­tle and bus­tle of the city. Guided walks and ca­noe­ing can be ar­ranged through the Dur­ban Green Cor­ri­dor.

THE DUR­BAN GREEN COR­RI­DOR

To ex­pe­ri­ence any of th­ese amaz­ing offthe-beaten-track at­trac­tions, give the Dur­ban Green Cor­ri­dor a shout. Ev­ery­thing you do through Dur­ban Green Cor­ri­dors ben­e­fits young peo­ple, helps pro­tect na­ture’s open spa­ces, and sup­ports lo­cal job cre­ation. Dur­ban Green Cor­ri­dors, a not-for-profit or­gan­i­sa­tion, ad­dresses three press­ing needs: youth de­vel­op­ment, eco­nomic up­lift­ment, and en­vi­ron­men­tal stew­ard­ship.

Their ini­tia­tives fa­cil­i­tate healthy recre­ational ac­tiv­i­ties and na­ture-aligned ca­reer paths among chil­dren and young peo­ple. For marginalised and eco­nom­i­cally ex­cluded com­mu­ni­ties, they fa­cil­i­tate poverty re­duc­tion ef­forts grounded in eco­tourism and en­vi­ron­men­tal stew­ard­ship. And to pro­mote so­cially in­clu­sive and co­he­sive so­ci­eties, they bridge cul­tural bound­aries by in­tro­duc­ing lo­cal and in­ter­na­tional vis­i­tors to the cul­tur­ally di­verse heart of Dur­ban, its eco­log­i­cally rich her­itage, and the breath­tak­ing beauty that be­longs to all of its ci­ti­zens.

So for you as a tourist, as a back­packer, as a vol­un­teer, Dur­ban Green Cor­ri­dors is so much more than just a good holiday – you’re help­ing make our city a bet­ter place.

For Dur­ban Green Cor­ri­dor Reser­va­tions, con­tact +27 31 322 6026/7, +27 73 088 9874, email reser­va­tions@dur­ban­green­cor­ri­dor.co.za, or visit www.dur­ban­green­cor­ri­dor.co.za.

The beau­ti­ful Mzinyathi Falls

The Beachwood Man­groves are only five min­utes from the Dur­ban CBD

Ex­plore the Rasta­far­ian Caves

Visit Mfula Store with the Dur­ban Green Cor­ri­dor

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