A lovely piece of land measuring 4.5 hectares (11 acres) with a pond, green lawns, lush gardens and a stunning indigenous riverine forest. A fascinating self-guided trail will lead you through this lovely forest rich in varied bird life.
During the walk you can spot a wide selection of bird species. The Amanzimtoti Bird Sanctuary boasts about 150 species. Whilst relaxing in one of the hides overlooking the open water area you may spot spur wing geese, a giant kingfisher, a hamerkop, a white faced duck or a greenback heron amongst others. Enjoy a delicious snack at the tea garden which also looks out over the sparkling waters of the lake where you can catch a glimpse of even more water birds.
The Durban Botanic Gardens (Est. 1849) is currently Africa’s oldest surviving botanic garden and remains a national and local City asset actively contributing to plant conservation and plant-based education.
The Durban Botanic Gardens Trust was established in 1993 to support the Gardens key strategic areas in biodiversity, culture, education, heritage, horticulture, people and plants, and research.
The Golden Mile
Is the popular stretch of beachfront including the promenade that runs along with it. It runs roughly from uShaka Beach (where the uShaka Marine World is located) in Point Waterfront to Suncoast Casino and Entertainment World in the north and now includes a route directly to Moses Mabhida Stadium.
You can relax on the beach, swim in the sea, stroll past the shops and restaurants and visit the casino.
uShaka Marine World
The world class uShaka Marine World, situated in Durban, South Africa, opened in 2004. uShaka has fast positioned itself as a key attraction on Durban’s Golden Mile, offering a world of entertainment, excitement and fun. Visit Sea World the biggest aquarium of South Africa, Wet ‘n Wild waterpark, and uShaka Beach, or the Village Walk with its shops and restaurants.
Lake Eland Game Reserve
Covering an impressive 2500 hectares with diverse ecosystems of bushveld, grassland, coastal forest and wetland this natural landscape offers a place of peace and tranquility. Activities to choose from include a self-game drive, viewing the abundant wild life and flora to be seen from the comfort of your car. In addition, guests can walk across an 80m suspension bridge, ride horses and slide down their fabulous Zip Line or enjoy a 5km guided tour on a non-motorized scooter.
Mountain biking and trail running
At Rocky Bay Resorts, which is an 8 km drive from Bare Feet Retreat you can find Mountain Bike and running trails. The bike trails consist of an 9, 12km, 19km and then the more challenging 40km trail. As for the running trails, there are 4km, 6km, 8km and 10km options. All trails are well marked and scenic.
Mountain bikers can also head to Oribi Gorge to follow the scenic single tracks, meandering along the top of the gorge.
Umdoni Park Golf Club, one of the hidden treasures of the South Coast, boasts breath-taking sea views from 70% of the golf course and is situated in 200 hectares of indigenous coastal forest. The par 5 eighteenth and par 3 sixteenth holes are both elevated tees, which makes the length judgment critical.
Umdoni Park, a sanctuary named after the Umdoni tree, was established by Sir Frank Reynolds and presented to the nation in 1920 to preserve the indigenous fauna and flora and the Umdoni Park Trust was formed. The Park offers wonderful walking trails, excellent birding and the Komba Bird Sanctuary and Nkumbane Dam. If you are into indigenous plants you can visit the local Indigenous Nursery to see the beautiful plants native to South Africa.
Oribi Gorge and Vernon Crooks
The scenic Oribi Gorge Nature Reserve lies some 21 km inland from Port Shepstone (an hour drive from our B&B). The scenery along the gorge formed by the Umzimkulwana River is a photographer’s and nature lover’s paradise. There are numerous walking trails and idyllic picnic spots on the banks of the river. Wildlife to be seen in the reserve includes 250 birds, mammal species such as bushbuck, common reedbuck and blue and grey duiker and if you are very lucky Leopard.
If you want more action you can visit Wild 5 Adventures. They offer the Wild Gorge Swing, the world’s highest gorge swing, this activity means stepping (or diving) off the edge of the waterfall and plummeting into the 55-storey deep gorge. The free-fall is awesome and will have you accelerating up to the astounding speed of 120km/hours in 2.5 seconds. Other activities they offer are a 110m abseil, foefie-slide, 85m suspension bridge, white water rafting on the Umzimkhulu and paintball.
A 15-minute drive from Bare Feet Retreat, this reserve with its wooded slopes, grassland ridges and clear views of the ocean offers a great walking experience.
The reserve boasts 56 mammal species. These include zebra, blue wildebeest, bushbuck, blesbok, oribi, reedbuck, blue and grey duiker, black-backed jackal, vervet monkeys, hyrax, caracal, mongoose and porcupine. The abundant birdlife (some 300 confirmed species) includes a number of spectacular raptors like the Crowned and Marshall eagles, which nest in the reserve, while an interesting variety of indigenous flora adds to the reserve’s attractions, not least in spring when the veld is alive with color.
At Phezulu village, the world famous Gasa clan takes visitors into traditional beehive shaped thatched huts, where the various artifacts, beliefs and rituals are explained, giving foreigners an insight into the fascinating Zulu culture. The Zulu dancing show is impressive with the dancers in their traditional garb, showing off their skills with grace, agility and humor.
Phezulu also offers a Crocodile and Snake park where guests will be taken on a tour by knowledgeable guides. They will learn interesting facts about crocodiles and snakes. Tickets include entrance to both the cultural Zulu village tour and show and the crocodile and snake park.
A 5 minute drive away and part of the Mpambanyoni Conservation Development this is a nice place for families to come face to face with some of the biggest crocs. Besides crocodiles you can also find snakes, birds a kids play area, a small farm and a restaurant, which is a popular lunch stop, set among the lush indigenous gardens.
Please contact us for more information regarding these excursions