This is Durban’s “secret” green space. It’s closed to the public on a permanent basis… other than the third Saturday of every month. During those few morning hours it’s overseen by the most enthusiastic, knowledgeable and dedicated group of guardians, the North Durban Ezemvelo Honorary Officers. From 8am to 1pm they welcome the public into a fascinating world of mangroves, mudskippers and tidal landscapes. You can possibly make an arrangement with the conservation officer if your holiday does not cover this date.
The Beechwood Mangrove Forest is right at the Umgeni Mouth on the north side. This 76-hectare reserve, not 5 minutes from the city centre is a National Monument and consists of rare red, white and black mangrove swamp forest and an important estuarine habitat as the river and the tributary you walk along, drain into the Indian Ocean.
There are 3 trails in the reserve, taking you to the bird hide & to the swamp, where waders come to feed. Visitors can look forward to viewing birds such as the curlew, the Natal nightjar, dikkop and the mangrove kingfisher. There is a picnic site and thatched gazebo. Several interesting walking routes have been laid out. There is also a raised boardwalk into the mangrove forest so tides will not worry you as you wind to the mud flats. You can take a self guided option or go on a guided tour, which is arranged when you arrive.