KZN holds smallest desert in the world

Posted by Gabrielle Jacobs on 26 November 2018

The world’s smallest desert is right here in South Africa, in Port Edward, KwaZulu-Natal.

Credit: Red Desert Nature Reserve

The Red Desert is a rather surprising feature of KZN’s green South Coast landscape and is roughly 200 metres in diameter. The desert’s deep orange-red sands have been compared to parts of the Arizona Desert like the red Sedona, only in miniature.

In order to protect this special region, the South African National Roads Agency (SANRAL) has been working on building a fence to protect the desert which forms part of the Red Desert Nature Reserve, an area rich in biodiverse flora and fauna, albeit so small.

According to the Reserve, many archeological artefacts dating back several millennia have been found in this desert. More recently, however, it is believed to have been occupied by a Zulu tribe in the 1800s. Overgrazing by the resident cattle led to the area’s unique desertification amid Natal’s thriving lush vegetation.

Besides visiting this unusual section of landscape, travellers can also hike or bike trails in the nearby Umtamvuna Nature Reserve.


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Thiago in the worlds smallest natural desert 🌵 #reddesertnaturereserve

A post shared by Kirsty Nepomuceno (@kiagnew) on

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