Located in the scenic Hillcrest area, Springside Nature Reserve is just a short 16-minute drive from the bustling city of Durban. This beautiful 21-hectare reserve is home to a variety of wildlife and vegetation, making it an ideal destination for those seeking a tranquil escape from the city.
Visitors to Springside Nature Reserve will be greeted by a picturesque stream, surrounded by lush forests and wetlands, that is perfect for a leisurely walk. The reserve also offers picnic and braai facilities for visitors to enjoy a meal in the great outdoors. Birdwatchers will be delighted by the diverse bird life in the area, making Springside an ideal destination for bird enthusiasts.
Aside from being a haven for local residents, Springside Nature Reserve is also home to a variety of little mammals, indigenous flowers, wetlands, grasslands, scarp, and swamp forests that help to protect the biodiversity of the area. The reserve offers two hiking trails that are often the site of guided walks, where visitors can learn about the local conservancy projects and the environment.
For families and children, Springside Nature Reserve offers a fun and educational experience with its children’s environmental holiday programs. These programs provide an opportunity for children to learn about crabs and other creatures, or the mysteries of science through the use of microscopes.
Popular Tourist Activities and Attractions at Springside Nature Reserve
In addition to the wonderful hiking trails and picnic areas at Springside Nature Reserve, there are many other popular tourist activities and attractions in and near the area.
Join a guided walk led by a local conservation expert to learn about the history, flora, and fauna of the area.
With its diverse bird life, Springside Nature Reserve is a great destination for bird enthusiasts. Visitors can bring their binoculars and spend the day observing and identifying the different species of birds that call the reserve home.
Valley of 1000 Hills Experience
As mentioned, Springside Nature Reserve is part of the Valley of 1000 Hills Experience, which includes a variety of attractions, activities, and cultural experiences in the area. Visitors can take a scenic drive through the valley, visit local traditional Zulu villages, or go on a cultural tour.
Hillcrest Farmers Market
Just a short drive from Springside Nature Reserve, the Hillcrest Farmers Market is a popular destination for tourists and locals alike. Here, visitors can sample and purchase a variety of locally grown produce, as well as handmade crafts and gifts.
Durban is known for its beautiful beaches and oceanfront promenade. Visitors can spend a day lounging on the beach, swimming in the ocean, or strolling along the promenade.
These are just a few of the popular tourist activities and attractions in and near Springside Nature Reserve. Whether you’re seeking adventure, relaxation, or cultural experiences, there’s something for everyone in this beautiful part of South Africa.
Giba Gorge Mountain Bike Park
Giba Gorge Mountain Bike Park is another popular tourist destination near Springside Nature Reserve. Located in the stunning Giba Gorge, the park offers riders a range of clearly marked trails and an obstacle course with ramps and bridges for those who want to show off their skills. From the 5 km green trail, which is quite steep, to the longer and more tranquil orange trail along the valley, there is something for riders of all levels.
Even if you don’t own a bicycle, you can still enjoy the beautiful and peaceful setting of Giba Gorge. The park features a coffee shop where visitors can relax and escape the hustle and bustle of city life.
In addition to its scenic trails, Giba Gorge Mountain Bike Park is also home to some of the best permanent dirt jumps in the country. The park features a range of jumps, starting with a small kids’ line and progressing to intermediate and larger jumps, with the final set of jumps being reserved for professionals only. The park also features an epic quarter pipe for big air contests, making it a popular destination for adrenaline junkies.
For children and adults alike, the BMX track at Giba Gorge is a must-visit. With its challenging terrain and exciting jumps, the track is sure to delight BMX enthusiasts and thrill-seekers.
Giba Gorge Mountain Bike Park is a wonderful destination for outdoor enthusiasts, cyclists, and adventure-seekers looking for a little excitement near Springside Nature Reserve.
Oxford Village Shopping Centre
Another popular attraction near Springside Nature Reserve is the Oxford Village Shopping Centre. Located in Hillcrest, the centre is easy to find and offers a unique and fun-filled shopping experience for families.
The shopping centre is comprised of a series of Victorian-style buildings with green roofs and set amidst beautiful rose gardens. This stunning setting creates a relaxed and enjoyable outdoor shopping environment, perfect for a leisurely day out.
One of the main attractions of Oxford Village Shopping Centre is the Heritage Market, which features a wide range of craft shops offering a diverse selection of handmade items. From jewelry and textiles to ceramics and woodwork, the craft shops at Heritage Market are a treasure trove of unique and beautiful products. Visitors can spend hours browsing the various shops and finding the perfect souvenirs to take home.
Whether you are looking for unique gifts or simply want to enjoy a day out in a picturesque setting, Oxford Village Shopping Centre is a must-visit destination near Springside Nature Reserve.
Second Treasures Décor
Another must-visit destination near Springside Nature Reserve is Second Treasures Décor, a unique and eco-friendly shopping destination.
At Second Treasures Décor, visitors will find a wide selection of beautiful décor items crafted from recycled and repurposed materials. This eco-chic store embraces the trend of sustainable living and ensures that nothing goes to waste while maximizing the use of natural resources.
What sets Second Treasures Décor apart is their commitment to empowering local communities. Their staff consists of sole breadwinners who are taught business and ethical skills, including a wood craftsman, wire workers, a Zulu lady, and a gentleman who helps with all projects. The friendly staff and excellent service, combined with the outstanding craftsmanship of the products, make Second Treasures Décor a must-visit destination for anyone looking for unique and eco-friendly décor items.
Whether you are looking for one-of-a-kind décor items for your home or just want to admire the outstanding work being done at Second Treasures Décor, this is certainly a destination worth checking out during your visit to Springside Nature Reserve.
Giba Gorge Horse Trails
Nestled in the heart of Giba Gorge is the stunning Giba Gorge Horse Trails, offering a unique equestrian experience for riders of all levels. With over 10 years of providing horse riding trails, their horses are carefully selected for their character and temperament to ensure the best possible experience for riders.
The trails at Giba Gorge Horse Trails are nothing short of breathtaking, showcasing the natural beauty of the area with its rivers, waterfalls and diverse flora, fauna, and wildlife. The guided trails are perfect for families, couples, schools, and corporate groups, with options for beginner and experienced riders.
For an extra special experience, try one of their full moon rides or team building programs. The horse trails are located at Swallow Farm, just a stone’s throw away from Boot-camp S.A and the popular Giba Gorge Mountain Bike Park, which also has a highly recommended restaurant.
For those seeking an outdoor adventure that combines adventure, serenity, and natural beauty, Giba Gorge Horse Trails is definitely worth a visit.
Ludwig’s Star Roses
The Shongweni Farmers Market is a must-visit for those who love fresh, locally sourced produce. Located on the N3, just 30 km from Durban towards Pietermaritzburg, this market is open every Saturday from 7am and is a hub for local farmers, artisans, and food vendors.
Visitors can expect to find a wide range of fresh fruits, vegetables, and meats, as well as artisanal products like jams, preserves, and olives. There are also various food stalls serving up coffee, pancakes, and homemade bread to help jumpstart your morning. Whether you’re in the mood for a delicious breakfast or just browsing the stalls, the Shongweni Farmers Market is a great way to start your Saturday and immerse yourself in the local community.
Monteseel Rock Climbing Routes
Nestled in the rolling hills of the Valley of 1000 Hills, just beyond Botha’s Hill, lies the picturesque climbing destination of Monteseel. This rocky crag provides climbers with a challenging and rewarding experience, boasting over 300 different routes of varying difficulties. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned pro, Monteseel has something to offer, with many easy grade routes such as Cain on the Think Wall and Adam’s Apoplexy on the Hallucination Wall, and even challenging routes like Angel Dust Direct for hard climbers.
One of the oldest climbing spots in the province, Monteseel is widely accessible, with no need for a permit and the crags being located on public land. This makes it a popular spot for climbers, who come to explore the eastern and western buttresses, each over half a kilometre in length. The eastern buttress is the most popular due to its ease of access, however, the western buttress offers shade during the hot afternoons.
Climbing routes at Monteseel date back to the 1940s, and while some of the routes have been retro-bolted, most remain traditional, providing climbers with a truly authentic experience. The north-facing crags provide ideal climbing conditions in the winter, but during summer, it’s best to climb early in the morning when there is shade.
The Mountain Club of South Africa has detailed information on the climbing routes at Monteseel, making it easy for climbers to plan their next adventure. Whether you’re seeking a peaceful morning workout or a full day of climbing, Monteseel is a must-visit destination for climbing enthusiasts.
Located in the charming town of Botha’s Hill, just minutes from Hillcrest and about 37 kilometres from Durban and its international airport, the Treat Café is a must-visit for anyone in the area. It’s a warm and welcoming space that combines luxury and hospitality to offer an unforgettable experience.
At Treat Café, the menu features dishes made from the freshest, locally sourced ingredients. The cafe takes pride in its commitment to supporting the local community and introducing diners from around the world to the unique flavors of South Africa. Whether you’re grabbing a cup of coffee, enjoying a meal with friends or family, or indulging in sweet treats, Treat Café is the perfect place to relax and unwind.
For special occasions, Treat Café also has a formal function room designed to host parties, celebrations, and corporate events. The venue is equipped to ensure that your event is fun and successful, and little ones will love the jungle gym and milkshakes.
The cafe also offers a retail area with handmade goods, artworks, and gifts, which make great mementos of your time in KwaZulu-Natal or thoughtful keepsakes for friends and family back home. And for a truly memorable night out, Treat Café occasionally hosts starlight movies and themed evenings.
So whether you’re looking for a warm and inviting place to relax and indulge, or a venue to host a special event, Treat Café is the perfect choice. With its welcoming ambience, delicious menu, and efficient and friendly service, you’re sure to have a memorable experience at Treat Café.
Durban Via The Valley Of 1000 Hills
The Springside Nature Reserve is surrounded by many popular tourist activities and attractions. One of the most popular routes for tourists is the drive through the Valley of a Thousand Hills, which starts in Durban and ends at Nshongweni Dam. This route is roughly 250 km and takes at least a day to complete. Overnight stays can be made in Hillcrest, Hilton, Howick, and Kloof.
Starting in Durban, tourists can follow the N3 toll road towards Pietermaritzburg, taking exit 17 onto King Cetshwayo Highway and traveling past Pinetown. From there, they can turn right into Village Road and onto the M33, passing the Kloof railway station and Saint Agnes Church. Bridle Road will then lead into Krantzkloof Nature Reserve, where tourists can enjoy stunning views of Kloof Falls and a variety of bird life.
From Krantzkloof, tourists can follow Inanda Road towards Hillcrest, passing Botha’s Hill and the Rob Roy Hotel. Old Main Road will then take them through the winding hills of the Valley of a Thousand Hills, passing Drummond station and Monteseel. Monteseel is a popular climbing destination, offering over 300 climbing routes and breathtaking views of the surrounding wilderness.
Next, tourists can drive back to Old Main Road and join the N3, passing Cato Ridge and Pietermaritzburg. They can then take the exit for Howick and Midmar Dam, where they can enjoy a variety of water sports and outdoor activities at the nearly 3000 hectare Midmar resort. They can also visit the nearby towns of Howick or Hilton for dining and entertainment options.
Ttourists can return to the N3 for Pietermaritzburg and take the exit for Mount Michael and Cedara, turning right onto the R103. They will eventually arrive at Nshongweni Dam, which offers a serene setting for picnicking, fishing, and wildlife viewing.
This drive through the Valley of a Thousand Hills is a must-see for tourists visiting the Springside Nature Reserve, offering breathtaking views, outdoor activities, and plenty of opportunities for exploration and adventure.
Springside Nature Reserve is a must-visit destination for those seeking a peaceful escape from the city. Its location, beauty, and educational opportunities make it an integral part of the Valley of 1000 Hills Experience. Whether you’re a local resident or a tourist, Springside Nature Reserve promises to provide an unforgettable nature experience.