Silaka Nature Reserve

Just 400 hectares in size, this tiny reserve on the Wild Coast in the south-east of South Africa is only 6 kilometres south of the town of Port St Johns, making it easy to access. This is very much a handkerchief-sized piece of paradise in among a rapidly developing rural area. Nevertheless, it hosts important tracts of coastal forest and beach, with species like Knysna loerie, Cinammon Dove and Grey cuckoo shrike. Blue wildebeest and Burchell’s zebra graze the grasslands near the shore.

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Days 25 to 27 – Year in the Wild 2013-14 – The beautiful and ugly of Silaka Nature Reserve

The little Silaka Nature Reserve lies to the south of Port St Johns, one of the most beautifully-located towns in the country. It lies at the mouth of the Umzimvubu River, which has cut its way through high sandstone cliffs to empty itself out into the Indian Ocean.

Silaka is seven kilometres south of the town, and is only 4 square kilometres in size, making it one of the smallest protected areas in the region. Like Port St John's, however, it is one of the prettiest too. The hills are covered in indigenous coastal forest, where you can see samango monkeys and blue duiker (at just 30cm tall and weighing 4 kg, they are the smallest antelope in Africa). The small Gxwaleni River flows onto a wild beach, where huge waves crash against the shore.

But like Port St John's, it's immediately Read more »

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