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Exploring the culture and environmental heritage of SA Kingdoms  

By Stella Sigcau

25 October 2019

Mpondo Kingdom: Mkhambathi Nature reserve

Mkhambathi Nature reserve, a 7720-ha coastal reserve of unspoilt nature and wildlife, is one of the most spectacular nature havens in the Mpondo Kingdom and one of the most beautiful in South Africa. Situated in the North Eastern part of the Kingdom along the beautiful coastline which stretches along 10km of beaches in the Indian Ocean, a driving distance from Lusikisiki, one the historic towns of the Kingdom, is flanked by the ravines of the Msikaba and Mthentu rivers.  

It is reported that one of the forested ravines is one of the few in the world which falls into the sea, which is a spectacular view and experience. The wild coast of the Mpondo Kingdom carries a lot of history including the various shipwrecks. In the Mkhambathi area the Sao Bento is reported to have crashed in 1554 near the mouth of the Msikaba River as well as the Grosvenor which crashed in 1782 in Lambasi Bay.

An environmental paradise Mkhambathi Nature Reserve is home to what is often referred to as the rain or a swamp of indigenous forests, a series of amazing waterfalls, gorges, perennial streams, crystal clear pools and open grasslands which support the diverse flora.

One of the most unique falls in this reserve is the Horseshoe Falls which drops over to the stream and continues to fall on another waterfall before it falls to the Ocean. During the famous Sardine Run around June or July period, the area becomes a popular fishing spot. The nature reserve is also home to a number of birds as well as herbivores such as Eland and Red Hartebeest which are indigenous to this area.

The reserve has a lot to offer the tourists, including hiking, self-guided game drives, swimming in the crystal clear pools, watching the birds, taking canoe trips, visiting the waterfalls as well as experience the hospitality of the Mpondo people who carry institutional memory told from generation to generation about the area and will share with tourists the amazing stories and tales of the yester years and the historic facts about the Kingdom.

 


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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January/February 2020

 
 
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