GPS co-ordinates: 30d16’24.35″E 30d43’54.92″S
One of KwaZulu-Natal’s most spectacular natural settings, the scenic Oribi Gorge Nature Reserve, proclaimed on 1 April 1950, is 1 917 ha in extent. It lies snugly at the head of the spectacular Umzimkulwana River gorge, which is lined with dense coastal bush and forests. This small gem of a protected area lies some 21 km inland from Port Shepstone on the south coast of KZN. It is an easy 122,8 km drive from Durban. The breathtaking scenery along the gorge makes this a photographer’s and nature lover’s paradise, and offers the visitor a wealth of smaller wildlife species.
Oribi Gorge Resort, which commands an impressive view of the Oribi Gorge itself, offers a variety of different accommodation types that include a seven-bed fully-equipped self-catering chalet, an eight bed self-contained rustic cottage (which is an old farm house), and 6 two-bed self catering chalets. Each unit is equipped with a refrigerator, kettle, bedding, cutlery and crockery. There is a central communal kitchen, but there are also braai facilities at each chalet. There is also a braai boma for use by larger groups.
Visitors must provide their own food and beverages and, as with all Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife resorts, no pets whatsoever are permitted. There are also five campsites with plug points available, and which are served by a communal ablution block with hot and cold running water. There are no plug points for electric razors
Oribi Gorge offers some truly spectacular walks, and is a magnificent birding destination with more than 250 species recorded. A system of self-guided trails descends into the gorge or follows the edge of the cliffs, providing stunning views of the surrounding countryside. Details of these walks may be obtained from the Hospitality Manager at the Resort reception office. Visitors should always inform the Hospitality Manager of their proposed route when going on long walks, just case of an accident or unforeseen delay. Leopards occur in the area and are occasionally seen by visitors. Other small mammal species to be seen include bushbuck; common reedbuck; blue, and grey duiker.
There are numerous idyllic picnic spots on the banks of the river. Visitors are, however, advised not to swim or paddle in the river because of the risk of contracting bilharzia. For those folks needing a cooling dip, there is a reservoir swimming pool with a sundeck in the Resort, which is for exclusive use by residents.
Visitors are advised to bring with them a pair of binoculars, a first aid box, insect repellent, a hat, sun-tan and a torch. Petrol and oil are available from a filling station at Paddock, approximately 4 km from the camp, and there is a local country produce shop there that offers a variety of fresh produce and dairy products. General supplies can also be obtained from Port Shepstone. Charcoal, firewood and cold drinks are available from the Resort curio shop and credit cards are accepted. The access gate to the Resort is open 24 hours a day, summer and winter.
Private operators conduct a variety of activities within the reserve, the bungi swing being most popular with thrill seekers.
To get there, take the Kokstad road from Port Shepstone, ± 128 km from Durban on the main South Coast road and follow the signage!
Accommodation bookings are through the Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife Central Reservations Office in Pietermaritzburg
Postal: Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife, P O Box 13069, Cascades, 3202
By telephone on: 033 845 1000
Visit Website: www.kznwildlife.com
Book Online: bookings.kznwildlife.com
For more information go to http://www.kznwildlife.com/index.php/accomodation/resorts/oribi-gorge