Dwesa Nature Reserve

Together with the adjacent Cwebe Nature Reserve just to the north of Dwesa, this 6 000 hectare protected area directly south of Umthata contains the largest tract of pristine indigenous coastal forest in the Eastern Cape (the evergreen and dune forests have been protected since the 1890s). Although the reserve is small compared to Kruger or Kgalagadi, it nevertheless is a biodiversity hotspot, in a transition zone between the temperate and sub-tropical zones of the country. The grasslands have high plant diversity, while the wetlands and the Nqabara estuary hosts a healthy mangrove swamp. The marine protected area extends out to sea for 18 000 hectares. Today the reserve belongs to a community trust, but is managed for conservation with sustainable harvesting of inter-tidal resources.