5 hidden gems near Durban for nature lovers

Posted on 14 March 2022

Durban is undoubtedly one of South Africa’s most popular cities. The city is vibrant and welcoming with its bountiful beachfronts, tropical climate and lush greenery. Durbs especially also caters to all nature lovers by offering various gardens and natural attractions. This list of five hidden gems will inspire nature-lovers to book a one-way ticket to the delightful city of Durban.

1. Valley of 1000 hills

The Valley of 1000 Hills is a must-see attraction in Durban. It’s known for its infinite rolling hills that are densely populated with trees and other flora, and flowing streams and quaint village houses can be spotted hidden between the hills.  The valley, known for combining Durban’s indigenous Zulu heritage and the nature of the region, is located between Pietermaritzburg and Durban. It is perfect for scenic drives, nature exploration and people interested in learning about the Zulu culture and history.

2. Durban Botanical Gardens

The Durban Botanical Gardens is located on the east coast of Kwazulu-Natal. Established in 1849 this 15-hectare oasis is Africa’s oldest surviving botanic garden. The garden is filled with diverse plants, promoting biodiversity and environmentalism. The botanical gardens offer guided tours, scenic walkways, educational tours and even guided golf cart ventures through the area.

The gardens are home to various indigenous plant species. Credit: Wayne77/Wikimedia Commons

3. Durban Mitchell Park

Located in the Morningside suburb of Durban, Mitchell Park is a haven for nature-lovers looking for an escape from the city. Established in 1910, the garden is clothed with vibrant flora and structured pathways. The garden includes tropical fish, exotic birds, interesting reptiles and various small animals, and the colourful flowers bring life to the garden creating an alluring botanical display. Visitors can admire the diverse greenery, watch the many animals in their natural habitat, utilise the children’s playground and enjoy a stroll through the lush pathways.

Mitchell Park in Durban, Kwazulu-Natal. Credit: Chris Bloom/Flickr Commons

4. Durban’s Sunken Garden

Durban’s Sunken garden is situated along the golden mile beachfront. The garden offers stunning views, water features and many seating areas for visitors to use. The winding pathways and intricate landscaping create an almost magical atmosphere, perfect for picnics and family outings.

The Sunken Gardens are a historic part of Durban’s beachfront and date back to the early 1930s Credit: Getaway Gallery

5. Beachwood Mangroves Nature Reserve

Displaying seventy-six hectares of protected estuarine habitat, this mangrove swamp forest is extremely popular among nature lovers and hikers. The Mangroves offer various trails and engagements with the natural world for visitors. People can trek through the landscape and learn more about its delicate ecosystem.

Beachwood

Credit: Beachwood Mangroves Nature Reserve

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