The Queen Elizabeth Park Nature Reserve is, just as its’ name indicates, a park and nature reserve in one. It serves as the headquarters for the KwaZulu-Natal Nature Conservation Service and is used as an outdoor education venue and has a small resource centre providing environmental education and outdoor recreation area for the people of the Natal Midlands.
The Park was established in 1960 and is considered a small reserve at only 93 hectares in extent. Despite its small size, the Park contains a variety of habitats which include forest patches, thickets, open woodlands and grasslands. The habits are home to wildlife such as Zebra, Blesbok, Impala, Bushbuck, both grey and blue Duikers, monkeys and Rock Hyrax. Visitors will not be disappointed when visiting and hoping to spot a bit of Game.
Queen Elizabeth Park also serves as an excellent birding destination, and visitors can expect sightings of crowned eagle, African Emerald Cuckoo, Olive Woodpecker, both Tawny-flanked Prinia and Drakensberg Prinia, four species of canaries, an assortment of weavers, Common Waxbill and Zitting Cisticola to mention a few. Of special interest amongst the large number of indigenous and exotic plants growing throughout the park, are the numerous species of cycads growing around the Douglas Mitchell Centre and the endangered Hilton daisies which grow naturally in the grasslands in the park.
The Queen Elizabeth Park Nature Reserve is a most pleasant park in which to spend a leisurely day enjoying fauna and flora close to a city centre. Visitors are welcome to picnic or braai at any of the shady picnic areas and the self-guided circular iDube Trail offers beautiful views of the city of Pietermaritzburg.
Currently Admission is Free, please contact the Park directly to confirm.
The Park is approximately 8 km from the city centre of Pietermaritzburg
From the city centre, travel along Commercial Road towards Howick.
Keep on Commercial Road as far as the traffic circle, taking Duncan Mckenzie Drive towards Montrose, over the freeway.
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