Mkhambathi Nature Reserve

This secretive and secluded reserve is the finest example of what is known as the Wild Coast, that spectacular stretch of shoreline on the east coast of South Africa which truly lives up to its evocative name. Open grasslands and pockets of indigenous forests are flanked by magnificent ravines. Several rivers cut through the reserve, many of which end their journey as waterfalls into the sea. It is one of the few reserves in South Africa which is owned by the local communities. Size: 7720 hectares. Situated between Port Edward and Port St Johns.


Blog posts

Days 19 to 24 – Year in the Wild 2013-14 – Mkambati Nature Reserve and Mtentu River Lodge

After the high mountains of the Drakensberg, where the air was cold and dry, the rocks hard and unforgiving, the hiking tough, and the bodies sore, we made our way to the land of soft air, warm water and rolling hills of honey-coloured grass. The northern Wild Coast is as close to paradise as you can get in South Africa

Bathed in gentle temperatures, the coastline between Port Edward and East London is caressed by tropical climes all year round, courtesy of the warm Agulhas Current which flows powerfully from near the equator to the tip of Africa in the south. (It's the fastest moving ocean current in the world, apparently.)

The most untouched part of the Wild Coast (so named for the huge waves that pound the coast) is Pondoland, between Port Edward in the north and Port St John's Read more »

Mkhambathi’s special soul

I was sad to leave the small Mkhambathi Nature Reserve in the Eastern Cape. It's truly a special place, and it's facing a fast-changing future, with threats of mining and unchecked development, especially the proposed N2 extension. On my way out of the reserve towards the Drakensberg, where I will be spending three weeks from today, I stopped by Tony Abbott in the nearby town of Port Edward. Tony is a retired farmer, who is also one of South Africa's most respected amateur botanists, and it was great to hear his views on the reserve, and the surrounding Pondoland area. Tony is of the view that the mining and the national toll road may not affect Mkhambathi itself, but of course, it will have a huge impact Read more »

Mkhambathi Nature Reserve…I’ve found what I’m looking for

I think I have found what I’m looking for. Mkhambathi Nature Reserve in the Eastern Cape is one of the most photogenic, pristine and priceless places I have been on my Year in the Wild. There is so much to admire about this relatively small 7000 hectare reserve on the northern Wild Coast of South Africa. Excuse all the superlatives which you'll come across in this blog..but this place deserves them.

The reserve runs along spectacular coastline, where calm inlets offer respite from the huge crashing waves indicative of the Wild Coast. Emerald grasslands roll down to the shores, and are dotted with eland and hartebeest, which you’ll often see against the blue backdrop of the Indian Ocean.

Pockets of Read more »