The River Valley Nature Reserve is not short of activities both onsite and off. Onsite activities range from bird watching, fishing, hiking, picnicking to family photo shoots. Off-site activities include Golf, visiting the beaches, whale watching, deep sea fishing, surfing, diving and the Gorge Swing. There is something for everyone.
The reserve offers well marked trails through riverine forests, coastal grassland and thickets, providing birders with over 130 different species to look for.There are also a number of dams attracting water birds.
Some of the specials that can be seen are : African Crowned Eagles, African Fish Eagles, Black Sparrowhawk, African Harrier Hawk, Narina Trogon, African Finfoot, Purple and Knysna Turaco, Green Malkoha, Spotted Ground Thrush, Blue-Mantled Crested Flycatcher.
Fresh Water Fishing
Fresh water fishing for Bass and Tilapia can be done in one of the dams on the reserve We have a catch and release policy on the reserve.
Walking and Picnicing
A scenic, well marked, self guided walk is available on the reserve. The route passes through grasslands and Riverine forests with a number of viewpoints. Antelope such as Impala, Nyala, Grey and Blue Duiker can be seen. Should one feel a little more sedentary there are a number of scenic spots where one can relax and enjoy the surroundings whilst indulging in a picnic.
Family Photo Shoot
The reserve lends itself to magnificent backdrops for Family or Couple Photo shoots. Why not take the opportunity while your are away on holiday to record some of your memories with a professional Photo Shoot. These need to be booked in advance and are subject to availability and weather conditions being favorable.
For the golfing enthusiast one couldn’t get much closer to a golf course. The reserve forms the northern border of the Margate Country Club. The course is really a delightful course to play. It is spread out over a large area with water features and lovely inland views adding to the golfing experience. Visitors are most welcome.
Other equally beautiful and challenging golf courses in the area are San Lameer, Southbroom, Wild Coast and Port Shepstone.
We are a short drive from a number of idyllic South Coast beaches. St Michaels is a great family beach famous for it’s surfing, with shark nets, life- guards, canoes and paddle boats to hire and beachside restaurant and pub. Uvongo Beach is well known for its picturesque waterfall, and offers safe bathing, boat hire, a restaurant and craft stalls. Margate Beach is a renowned holiday destination with its wide golden beach that is popular with swimmers. It offers a swimming pool, craft stalls and close to all the restaurants and shops of the bustling town of Margate. Ramsgate Beach is sheltered and protected beach offering boat rides, shark nets, life- guards and restaurants including the legendary Waffle House.
The Indian Ocean is warm all year round and combined with the tropical climate makes an ideal destination for swimming, sunbathing, snorkeling, surfing and sand castling.
Humbacked and Southern Right whales move north from Antartica to their breading grounds off the Mozambique coast. They pass the south coast between June and November. These magnificent creatures can be seen from the shore or close up on an organized whale and dolphin watching trip. There is a whale viewing platform at Ramsgate where one can view whales.
The South Coast is a fisherman’s paradise for deep sea, ski-boat, paddle-ski, saltwater fly, rock, surf, estuary, or even fresh water bass fishing.
Deep sea fishing is offered by a number of operators launching from either Shelly Beach or Ski Boat Bay
Summer brings King Mackerel (locally called ‘Couta), Dorado and Kingfish . In winter – particularly during our spectacular annual Sardine Run – you’ll have a good chance of catching game fish from the largest to the smallest. These include Shad, Garrick and Sharks that hunt all that moves along the Sardine Run.
Estuaries and river mouths also afford exciting catches, particularly during summer and on light tackle.
We are blessed with water temperatures seldom dipping below 20°C, the right balance of winds, great swells and point-breaks, the KwaZulu-Natal’s South Coast is a true surfer’s paradise. We are not far from the following surfing beaches: St Michaels, Uvongo, Luciene Point (when the westerly is up ), Ski Boat Bay and TO Strand. There are numerous surf shops stocking all the latest gear and lessons should you need.
Launching from Shelly Beach, Protea Banks offers an exceptional and exciting specialty Shark dive, for locals and international visitors alike.
During the summer months the Bull Shark (Zambezi) makes Protea Banks its home. Hammerheads are often seen overhead in their hundreds. Guitar Sharks, Coppers and Blacktips frequent this reef with a select few getting the privilege of seeing the elusive Tiger Shark.
In the winter months the The Ragged-Tooth Sharks congregate on Protea Banks to mate. Aside from sharks Protea Banks also boasts a vast number of gamefish such as Barracuda, Snappers, Yellowtail, Kingfish and Potato Bass.
Snake, Crocodile and Reptile Parks
Pure Venom is said to be the biggest reptile farm in Africa, it has an incredible collection of indigenous and exotic reptiles and it’s an ideal way to get up close and personal with a series of snakes, iguanas and crocodiles on the Hibiscus Coast.
Riverbend Crocodile Farm is also worth a visit to get to know more about these prehistoric looking creatures.
The South coast offers a variety of habitats from coastal and wetland environments to forest, woodland and grasslands. There are many birding destinations not far from River Valley Nature Reserve to keep you twitching.
The Sardine Run
Every year between June and July millions of Sardines migrate up the coast from the Cape. These are followed by thousands of dolphins and birds including Cape Gannets. If you are fortunate you might witness them coming ashore at one of the nearby beaches or you can go and witness this spectacle up close on a boat trip.
We are a short distance from Margate Airport where one can take scenic helicopter or fixed wing flights to see the wonders of Oribi Gorge or the treasures of the Wild Coast.
Shopping, Movies and Restaurants
River Valley Nature Reserve is not far from Shelly Centre, The Southcoast Mall and Margate offering a diverse range of shops, restaurants, coffee shops and movies.
Wild Coast Sun – Water World and Wild Waves
If you are in need of some high-speed water thrills, the Wild Coast Sun is only about 30 minutes drive away. The Waterworld offers speedboat rides, water skiing, jet skis and wake snake rides. Wild Waves will whet your appetite with some amazing water slides.
For the adventure adrenaline junkies a half hour drive up to Oribi will fulfil your cravings with gorge swings, abseiling, suspension bridges, zip lines and white water rafting.
River Valley Nature Reserve has a short trail that can be ridden on the property. If you are looking for a longer ride there are plenty of areas close by to ride including set trails at Lake Eland and Clearwater Trails. The local mountain biking club ‘Bundu Bashers’ organise weekly rides through the local farms leaving from Dura Cycles which is just down the road from River Valley Nature Reserve.