Trails in the iSimangaliso Wetland Park
Emoyeni is the Zulu word meaning spiritual wind. The Emoyeni Trail is situated in the Mfabeni section of the iSimangaliso Wetland Park, and is designed to show off some of the most beautiful parts of the park. Experiences on this trail are both varied and unique. The trail has been developed as a four night, five day excursion - a trail for the serious backpacker. It begins and ends at the Mission Rocks office and its total length is approximately 65 km. Each of the four nights is spent at a different campsite.
North of Cape Vidal is an area of approximately 15 000 ha, known as the Tewate Wilderness Area. Here no permanent structures or roads are permitted. Wilderness trails are conducted in this area between April and October.
These trails start on Friday afternoons and end on Tuesday mornings. Bookings through KZN Wildlife Reservations, Tel +27 (0)35 845 1000 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
The area in which the trails are conducted is particularly scenic and ecologically unique, ranging from wetlands to dune forest. Bird life is plentiful and there is always the possibility of seeing Black Rhino as well as many other species. A large variety of flowers, including Lilies and Orchids, can be seen during spring.
This is a guided trail through the forest down to Lake Bhangazi South.
This 3 km guided trail leads through the wetlands south of Lake Bhangazi.
The first trail leads in a southerly direction and is about 10 km long. The outbound section meanders through open hill sides, indigenous dune forest and pine plantations. Most of the return leg is along the rocky coastline where tidal pools abound with interesting marine life.
Known also as the Lake Trail, this 10 km route takes you in a westerly direction through indigenous forest, past the Mfazana freshwater pan. During the rainy season this pan is the home of many species of Waterfowl, Hippos and Crocodiles.
From the pan the trail crosses the St. Lucia/Cape Vidal road, goes over open grassland until it reaches the shore of Lake St. Lucia. At this point the trail swings north along the lake shore for about 1.5 km, then leads inland and back to Mount Tabor. Trail users are advised to be cautious when near the pans or lake as Hippos are plentiful and often lie up in the indigenous forest during the day.
The third leg is nearly 18 km long. This takes you through areas that are remote and relatively free of the sights and sounds of man. The trail heads northwards along the Mount Tabor ridge, then drops down into Bokkie Valley where you will be fascinated by the abundance of Reedbuck. From here the trail leads through forested dunes and then returns to Mount Tabor along approximately 8 km of uninhabited coastline. As beach walking during high tide is often difficult, hikers are advised to plan their walk on this stretch to coincide with the low tide when the going will be easier.
Hiking Trails around St. Lucia
In and around the village of St. Lucia there are many fascinating walks with a large population of many species of birds and the occasional sighting of one of the local Warthogs as well as small Antelope.
One can often hear the cry of the Fish Eagle, the trumpeting of the Hornbill and the bird that people come from afar to see (April - September) the flash of the Mangrove Kingfisher across the lake.
Please note that we are on the Zululand Birding Route.
There are many unique trails lasting from a half an hour to three hours in and around the village of St. Lucia. One of these trails winds through dune forest ending overlooking the ocean, bird life and Antelope are plentiful on these walks. Another short walk that can be done while staying in St. Lucia is the Mfazana Pans Walk.
Mfazana Pans, on the left-hand side of the Cape Vidal road, approximately 2 km north of Mission Rocks, is a small car park at the start of a trail leading down the pans. There are two hides and it is possible to see Hippo, a variety of Water Birds, Crocodiles and other animals. During drought periods these pans dry up. Since the reintroduction of Elephants (2001) into the area one needs to arrange for a guide at Mission Rocks Office.
Another interesting walk starts at Mission Rocks Beach, walking north worth on the beach, along uninhabited coastline for about an hour before one gets to a cave with fruit bats. It is recommended that this walk be undertaken during low tide.