There are two main hiking trails through the Entumeni Nature Reserve: The iPiti and uKhozi trails.
The iPiti Trail is a circular route that takes approximately 2 hours to complete, while the uKhozi Trail takes around 4 hours. Both trails start at a picnic site a few hundred meters from the Information Lapa at the main entrance.
The signage at the picnic site is quite old and dilapidated which makes it hard to know which path to take. Once you enter the picnic site, look out for the path to your right. This is the start of both trails. Once you’ve followed this trail for a few hundred metres you’ll get to a split in the path. Left follows the iPiti trail and right the uKhozi.
The uKhozi Trail is quite strenuous in sections and does require a fair deal of fitness to complete. After the path splits the trail descends quite steeply into the ravine below. At the time of this writing a few branches had been pulled into the pathway making it appear to be closed, however, we continued on past these without any problems. Once at the bottom of the gorge, the path crosses the stream and continues on until you reach the Ngoje Waterfall at the halfway mark. This is a great spot for a rest before following the path to the left and climbing back out of the ravine and into the grasslands. The last part of the hike is along the gravel road and back to the picnic site where you started.
There are no facilities in the reserve so prepare beforehand before heading out.
Important information for hikers
Approximate Hike Time:
iPiti: 2 hours
uKhozi: 4 hours
Circular (both trails)
Fitness level required:
The terrain of the iPiti Trail is not as strenuous as that of the uKhozi Trail, however, both require a decent level of fitness.
There are no permits required to do this hike.
When to go
The Entumeni Nature Reserve is open all year round
Hikers can visit the reserve at any time however, it is best to try and get there as early as possible to hear the owls and other nocturnal birds.
What to Pack
- Sun cream.
- Hat and sunglasses.
- Binoculars for birding.
- Comfortable closed walking shoes or strap-up hiking sandals.
- Mobile Phone (in case of emergencies).
- Layered warm clothes.
- Trail snacks.
Details to keep on hand
Zululand Birding Route
Tel: +27 (0)83 225 5960
The uKhozi Trail descends very steeply in sections so be sure to take it slowly and keep a sure footing.
These tiny arachnids are common in the bush and often end up on hiker’s shoes, socks and legs as they walk along grassy paths. Be sure to check yourself thoroughly after your hike to avoid getting bitten and potentially contracting tick-bite fever.
Getting to the Entumeni Nature Reserve
Directions from Durban: Take the N2 north and follow the highway out of Durban. Take exit 277 the Gingindlovu/Eshowe/Ulundi sign. Turn left onto the R66 and follow the road for approximately 27km. Turn left onto Kangela St and follow the road for 8km. Turn left at the Brooklee Farm Stall onto the gravel road. Follow the road for 900m and then keep right. At the next T-junction turn left and follow the gravel road up the hill. Continue on this road for approximately 3 km and look out for the brown Zululand Birding Route sign and turn right into the Entumeni Nature Reserve.
Once in the reserve, keep left and drive around the Information Lapa and follow the vehicle tracks to the picnic site and the start of the two hiking trails.