The 60-hectare Mpenjati Nature Reserve, flanking the Mpenjati River, lies roughly 20km south of the popular holiday town of Margate and extends to the shores of KwaZulu-Natal's south coast.

Pets are not permitted in the reserve In the interests of wildlife protection and there are no facilities for the disabled. There are also no shops at Mpenjati Nature Reserve, but stocking up for your excursion is convenient at Port Edward, only 12km away.

The Reserve consists of a series of interlinking dune forests, grasslands and wetlands, that sustain a variety of fauna and flora and is home to the shy, forest-dwelling blue, grey and red duiker, as well as numerous bird species and a host of vervet monkeys. The red duiker has become a threatened species.


On offer in this nature reserve is:

  • Bird watching
  • Fishing
  • Hiking
  • Swimming.


On both the north and south banks of the river there are:

  • Ablution blocks
  • Picnic and braai (barbecue) facilities


Ipithi Trail

The Ipithi trail on the south bank is 1.2 km long and holds the promise of sighting the indigenous blue, grey, and red duiker, as well as larger forest antelope species and a resident troop of vervet monkeys.

Yengele Trail

The Yengele trail on the north bank is 1.8km long and takes trail blazers through one of the largest dune forests on the south coast of KwaZulu-Natal. The main attractions to watch out for on this trail are a breeding pair of fish eagles and various forest antelope.


If you’re a keen birder, there are a variety of coastal and forest species to watch out for including the Half-collared kingfisher, Kittlitz’s plover, and osprey. Keep an eye out for the forest canary, orange-breasted bush-shrike, black-bellied starling and green twinspot in the dune forest area.

Observation platforms, ideally situated on each trail, provide excellent vantage points from which to view the beach, lagoon and wetlands. The lagoon is safe for swimming and is a popular spot for canoeists, fishermen and windsurfers.


Gates are open from:

  • 06h00 to 18h00 in summer (October - March) 
  • 07h00 to 17h00 in winter (April - September)

Contact details

Mpenjati Nature Reserve
Tel: +27 39 313 0531
Fax: +27 39 313 0447