One of KwaZulu-Natal’s most spectacular natural settings, the scenic Oribi Gorge Nature Reserve lies some 21 km inland from Port Shepstone.
Oribi offers many delightful walks and self-guided trails to scenic spots in the reserve. Details of these walks may be obtained from the Camp Manager.
The scenery along the gorge formed by the Umzimkulwana River is a photographer’s and nature lover’s paradise. There are numerous idyllic picnic spots on the banks of the river.
Besides its magnificent views, Oribi has a wealth of other attractions as well. Wildlife to be seen in the reserve includes mammal species such as bushbuck, common reedbuck and blue and grey duiker.
Leopard occur in the area and with luck, you may join the select band of game viewers to have seen one of these secretive creatures.
The bird list numbers 250 and with its diverse habitats bird watching in Oribi is a rewarding experience.
What To Do On Arrival
Visitors who have reservations for the camp must report to the reception office. Office hours are from 08:00- 12:30 and 14:00- 16:00 daily. Day visitors to the reserve are charged at an entrance fee.
No pets are permitted in the reserve
Visitors are advised to bring with them a pair of binoculars, a first aid box, insect repellent, a hat, sun-tan and a torch
Petrol and oil are available from a garage at Paddock, approximately 4 km from the camp
There is a local country produce shop in the town of Paddock with a variety of fresh produce and dairy products available. General supplies can also be obtained from Pos Shepstone.
Visitors should always inform the Hospitality Manager of their proposed route when going on long walks.
There are no plug points for electric razors
Credit cards are accepted
Charcoal, firewood and cold drinks, are available in the camp curio shop
The access gate to the hutted camp is open 24 hours a day, summer and winter.
Accommodation at Oribi Gorge Nature Reserve:
The camp is situated at the head of the Umzimkulwana Gorge and commands an impressive view of Oribi Gorge.
The camp has electricity and consists of six two-bed huts each with an en-suite shower and toilet.
Each hut is equipped with a refrigerator, kettle and toaster. Bedding, cutlery and crockery are provided, but visitors must bring their own food and beverage.
Barbecue facilities are available next to each hut. There is also a “barbecue boma” or communal kitchen and the communal lounge features satellite television for guests.
A seven-bed self-catering chalet with three bedrooms, bathroom, fully equipped kitchenette, lounge/dining room and barbecue facilities is also available.
A reservoir swimming pool with its own sundeck is a unique attraction for camp residents.
Oribi Gorge Gate Times:
October to March: 05h00 to19h00
April to September: 06h00 to18h00.
The Umziki trail runs for 9km in length and will take about 5 hours to complete. This trail follows the top of the gorge and then drops steeply towards the bottom of the gorge before climbing again slowly out of the gorge.
The Hoepoe trail is a 7km round trip which will take about 7 hours to complete. This trail is a mostly level and meanders through forest following, and going across the Umzimkulwana river upstream. The trail passes majestic sandstone cliffs and braches off up the Mbabala stream to where the Hoepoe Falls (picture above) cascade into a cool and most inviting pool. Take the opportunity for a swim.
The Baboon trail is a 1km walk which winds its way through a flat grassland to a viewpoint above the gorge and then returns through the coastal forest. While crossing the forest it drops steeply but is well stepped. The trail takes about half an hour to complete.
Along the Umzimkulwana river, the Nkonka trail takes you for a 6km level walk downstream. It will take about 3 hours to complete.
Hiking Trails (Day & Overnight)
Take the Kokstad road from Port Shepstone, which is 128km from Durban on the main South Coast road (N2).
The entrance to the reserve is 21km from Port Shepstone (ignore the first turnoff marked Oribi Gorge about 10km from Port Shepstone). The road is tarred all the way.
Pass the FM tower situated on the left hand side of the road before turning off to the camp at the sign post near Plains. The road into Oribi Gorge turns off to the right along the Harding road.
Visitors to the camp should take this signposted turn-off near Plains. The reserve and camp turn-off is marked with the Natal Parks Board logo - the white rhino.