Silaka Nature Reserve

This small but beautiful coastal reserve lies in a forested valley south of Port St Johns, and stretches from Second Beach to Sugarloaf Rock.  Trails lead to evergreen forest and provide the opportunity to view elusive birds such as Knysna Loerie, Cinnamon Dove and Grey Cuckoo Shrike. The Gxwaleni River flows through the forest and you should look out for the Half-collared Kingfisher and long tailed Wagtail at fast flowing stretches.

Giant forest trees are clad in mosses, lichens and epiphytic orchids, while lilies bloom on the forest floor. Blue Duiker and Bushbuck are indigenous to the forest but are secretive and seldom seen. Facing the sea are grassy hills where the stately Aloe Ferox blooms in winter. The Natal Red Rock Rabbit lives among boulders and introduced Blue Wildbeest and Burchell’s Zebra graze the palatable grasses.

At the reserve, there is a rest camp that consists of 15 thatched bungalows, each with two bedrooms, fully equipped kitchen, bathroom and braai (barbeque). The bungalows accommodate six people and each has a view of either the forest or the ocean. You should bring your own provisions, although the shop nearby at Port St Johns will have almost everything you need.

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