Kenneth Stainbank Nature Reserve is a hidden gem located next to Yellowwood Park in Durban, South Africa. This 253 hectare reserve is one of the finest coastal and riverine forest areas remaining in the greater Durban area, making it a popular destination for nature enthusiasts and bird-watchers. The reserve offers a wide range of activities for visitors, including 13 kilometers of nature walks, a 10-kilometer mountain bike trail, and even night drives.
The reserve is named after Kenneth Stainbank, who bequeathed the land to be protected as a nature reserve. The reserve is home to a variety of wildlife, including zebra, bushbuck, reedbuck, impala, duiker, monkeys, mongoose, bushbabies, and dassies. Visitors to the reserve can also expect to see a diverse range of birds, including the grey cuckoo shrike, tambourine dove, white-eared barbet, red-chested flufftail, narina trogon, olive woodpecker, lemon dove, and yellow-bellied greenbul.
The reserve is well-maintained by Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife, and although there is no accommodation within the reserve, visitors can find nearby options in Yellowwood Park. Additionally, the reserve offers a handicapped trail leading into the forest from the car park, allowing visitors of all abilities to explore the reserve’s natural beauty.
Popular activities and tourist destinations at Kenneth Stainbank Nature Reserve
Visitors to Kenneth Stainbank Nature Reserve will have the opportunity to immerse themselves in nature and experience a range of popular activities and nearby tourist destinations.
The reserve offers 13 kilometers of nature walks that take visitors through the coastal and riverine forest and bush clump/grassland mosaic areas. This is a great way to get up close and personal with the diverse wildlife that inhabits the reserve.
The 10-kilometer mountain bike trail is a popular activity for both locals and tourists. The trail is regarded as moderately challenging, making it a great weekend ride that won’t leave you exhausted.
Kenneth Stainbank Nature Reserve is a bird-watcher’s paradise. With a diverse range of bird species, visitors can spot everything from the grey cuckoo shrike to the red-chested flufftail.
The reserve also offers night drives, which are a unique way to experience the reserve after dark. This is a great opportunity to see nocturnal wildlife and enjoy the peace and quiet of the reserve at night.
In addition to the activities within the reserve, there are several popular tourist destinations nearby that visitors can explore.
Durban Botanical Gardens
This lush, tropical garden is home to a diverse range of plant species, including indigenous and exotic species, as well as a wide variety of birds and reptiles.
Moses Mabhida Stadium
This iconic stadium is located in the heart of Durban and is a popular destination for sports fans and visitors who want to experience the city’s vibrant culture.
The Durban Beachfront
The Durban beachfront is a popular destination for locals and tourists alike. Visitors can enjoy the beach, take a stroll along the promenade, or relax in one of the many cafes and restaurants.
The Old Fort
In addition to the stunning natural beauty of the Kenneth Stainbank Nature Reserve, visitors to Durban also have the opportunity to explore the rich history and heritage of the city. One such gem is the Old Fort, a historical complex comprising of a museum and beautifully landscaped gardens.
The Old Fort has a rich and storied history, having been named after the camp in which the British were besieged by the Boers in 1842. After being neglected for a time, Colonel Molyneux took it upon himself to revamp the building and its gardens, making them a testament to the Old Fort’s significance. Today, it is a National Monument, maintained by the Durban City Council, the Historical Monuments Commission, and the Royal Durban Light Infantry Comrades Association.
Visitors to the Old Fort can stroll through the beautiful gardens, peppered with memorials and other historical features, and learn about the complex’s unique history through helpful plaques. The old barracks rooms have been renovated into retirement homes for ex-soldiers and their wives, while the charming little chapel on site showcases many tablets and brasses that commemorate important figures in South Africa’s history, such as Dick King and John Ross.
Additionally, the museum at the Old Fort features interesting historical artifacts, including a gun from the wreck of the Grosvenor, which sank in 1782, and a timber seat from the Southampton war ships. These mementoes offer visitors a glimpse into South Africa’s past, making the Old Fort a must-visit destination for those interested in the country’s history and heritage.
Warriors Gate MOTH Museum of Militaria
The Warriors Gate MOTH Museum of Militaria is a must-visit destination for history and military enthusiasts visiting Durban. Established by World War I veterans, the museum serves as the international headquarters of the MOTHS organization. The museum boasts a rich collection of medals, badges, battlefield relics, uniforms, and other items that shed light on South Africa’s involvement in both World Wars.
Visitors can take guided tours of the museum and learn about the history of these wars and the impact they had on the country. The museum’s collection is a fascinating glimpse into the past, showcasing the bravery and sacrifices of soldiers who fought for their country. From the stunning collection of medals to the well-preserved uniforms, there is something for everyone at the Warriors Gate MOTH Museum of Militaria. Whether you are a history buff or simply looking for a new experience, the museum is well worth a visit.
Old Court House Museum
The Old Court House Museum in Durban is a must-visit destination for those interested in the rich history of the city and its surrounding areas. As the capital of KwaZulu-Natal Province, Durban is a bustling urban center that has been a hub of activity for centuries, and the Old Court House Museum serves as a testament to this. The museum was once a court house, but it was also much more than that. It was loop-holed during the Anglo-Zulu War of 1879 and saw both of the South African Wars, the Bhambatha Uprising, and both World Wars I and II, and acted as a recruitment center.
The museum is located in the central part of Durban, just a few meters away from the Durban City Hall, making it easily accessible to both tourists and locals. It is also close to many other popular attractions and activities. The two-story exhibition space tells the intriguing history of the area and its people, who have played an integral role in the modern identity of Durban and South Africa.
Visitors can explore the Durban Room, which has fascinating exhibits, including replicas of Henry Francis Fynn’s cottage, a sugar cane press, haberdashery store, and pharmacy of yesteryear. The Costume Room is also a highlight, showcasing the original clothing styles and pieces that have been preserved over time.
The Old Court House Museum also caters to those conducting formal research and the enquiry section is equipped to assist with old photographs and extensive documentation. After exploring the museum, visitors can visit the Greenacre Museum shop, which has a wide range of mementoes, postcards, and keepsakes for purchase as reminders of their visit or gifts for friends and family.
The KwaMuhle Museum in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal is a crucial part of South Africa’s rich cultural and historical heritage. This museum, named after the Zulu term “the place of the good one” in reference to its first manager, Mr Marwick, is dedicated to exploring the apartheid system and its impact on modern society. The museum is housed in a building that was once the Department of Native Affairs, a government department that enforced apartheid laws and made life difficult for non-white South Africans. Today, this building has been transformed into a place of hope, where diversity is celebrated and those who fought against injustice are honored.
The museum is one of four major local history museums in Durban, including the Old House Museum, Old Court House Museum, and the Port Natal Maritime Museum. Visitors to these institutions will get a well-rounded understanding of South Africa’s past and present, and learn important lessons for shaping the future.
Exhibitions at the KwaMuhle Museum include photographs, videos, and objects from the apartheid era, and offer a holistic approach to South Africa’s history. This museum is not only valuable to local and international visitors but also to researchers, historians, students, and social scientists who are interested in South Africa’s past and present.
Visitors to the museum can also visit nearby attractions such as the Durban Art Gallery and the eThekwini City Hall, or take city tours to learn more about the coastal city and its national and international identity. Entrance to the museum is free and is open every day except Sundays and public holidays. Visitors are advised to set aside a few hours to fully explore the exhibitions and treasures within the walls of the KwaMuhle Museum.
uShaka Marine World
Kenneth Stainbank Nature Reserve is a nature lover’s paradise, situated in Durban, South Africa. Surrounded by lush vegetation and diverse wildlife, it offers visitors a chance to experience nature at its best. However, if you’re looking for a more thrilling experience, then uShaka Marine World is the place to be.
As Africa’s largest marine theme park, uShaka Marine World is a world-class entertainment and tourism destination that covers over 15 hectares of prime beachfront. With a focus on family entertainment, the park features a 5th largest aquarium in the world by volume of water, a 1200 seater dolphin stadium, seal stadium, penguin rookery, restaurants, shopping center, and more.
Take a tour of Sea World and enjoy the many interactive activities such as snorkeling through reefs, scuba diving, or take part in edutainment tours. There are also several areas to enjoy some adventure, including Wet ‘n Wild World, a fresh water entertainment wonderland that offers separate pools for kids and adults, relaxing river rides, and high-speed chutes for adrenaline junkies.
For a unique experience, visit the Rocky Touch Pool where you can touch starfish and sea cucumbers, or go to the Open Ocean where you can gaze through a large window and feel as though you’re standing underwater with the many open ocean fish. Don’t miss out on the Dangers of the Deep, where you can see some of the most feared creatures of the ocean, including sharks, sea snakes, devil firefish, and stonefish. You might even be able to touch a shark as it swims past during feeding time.
Explore the beauty of the Coral Gardens, one of the richest and most diverse ecosystems on earth, or visit the Deep Zone, a window into the lives of some of the most unusual and spectacular animals inhabiting the ocean’s depths. If you’re a fan of penguins, then you’re in luck as uShaka Marine World is home to a breeding colony of African penguins.
Getting to uShaka Marine World is easy as it’s located in central Durban. Simply join Point Road from West Street or Victoria Street to reach the park. With so much to see and do, uShaka Marine World is a must-visit destination for anyone visiting Durban or the surrounding areas.
Umgeni River Bird Park
The Durban Country Club is a golfing gem in Durban, South Africa, made up of two estates separated by the Umgeni River. Established in 1922, the club boasts a rich history and has been recognized as one of the World’s Top 100 Golf Courses by Golf Magazine USA. The premiere course, Durban Country Club, is located on the southern side of the Umgeni River and is bordered by both the river and the Indian Ocean, providing golfers with stunning views of the ocean.
The club’s beautiful Cape Dutch architecture, including the modern Moses Madiba Sports Stadium, which was built for the 2010 Soccer World Cup, is a sight to behold. The golf course at Durban Country Club is a combination of beauty and challenge, and has been host to the South African Open 17 times. The third hole is considered one of the best in the world and is the signature hole. Visitors are welcome to play, but it’s highly recommended to book accommodation and tee-off times in advance.
The semi-links course has been masterfully carved into the dunes and is surrounded by a variety of tropical trees. The club offers a truly wonderful golfing experience and should be on the must-play list of any golf enthusiast.
Krantzkloof Nature Reserve
Krantzkloof Nature Reserve is a beautiful destination located just 20 minutes drive from Durban, situated 4 km from the center of Kloof village. Established by the Natal Parks Board in 1950, this nature reserve boasts an impressive 532 hectares of dense forest and vegetation, making it a haven for wildlife. The well-developed picnic area adjacent to the dam at the head of Kloof Falls is one of the reserve’s most popular attractions, providing visitors with stunning views across the forested gorge cut by the Molweni River.
Another picnic area, located at Nkutu Falls, can be reached by taking a right at the top of Bridle Road into King George Avenue, which becomes Valley Drive, and continues to the bottom of the hill. The Parks board has also established a Conference Centre on site, which is easily accessible by following Kloof Falls Road.
Visitors to Krantzkloof Nature Reserve can enjoy organized walks that originate from the picnic areas and allow them to view the falls or descend into the gorge, following the river course. These walks are available on weekends and can be arranged in advance. In addition, two well-marked viewing sites along Bridle Road provide visitors with breathtaking views of the surrounding area. Whether you’re looking for a peaceful picnic, a scenic hike, or a stunning view, Krantzkloof Nature Reserve is a must-visit destination near Durban.
Kenneth Stainbank Nature Reserve is a must-visit destination for anyone looking to experience the natural beauty of South Africa. With its diverse range of activities, stunning scenery, and nearby tourist destinations, this reserve is the perfect place for a memorable outdoor experience.
Whether you’re a nature lover, bird-watcher, or just looking for a peaceful escape from the city, Kenneth Stainbank Nature Reserve offers something for everyone. With its scenic walks, challenging mountain bike trails, and diverse wildlife, this reserve is truly a hidden gem waiting to be discovered. So pack a picnic, grab your binoculars, and head to Kenneth Stainbank Nature Reserve for an unforgettable outdoor experience.