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The Springside Nature Reserve conserves just 20 ha of scarp and swamp forest, grasslands and a series of wetlands as a stream runs gently and sometimes, sluggishly, through it. It is right in the middle of suburban Hillcrest.
The reserve is home to a variety of little mammals, indigenous flowers and due to the bio zones that are protected, there is good bird life. The forested areas provide shelter, nesting sites and food for many bird species; the grassland nurtures a multitude of indigenous wildflowers; and the natural wetland, among the few remaining in KZN, filters the stream, conserves water in droughts and reduces flood damage, whilst sustaining a vital wildlife habitat.
The reserve has one of the last remaining relatively unspoilt areas of Sandstone Sourveld Grassland in Hillcrest.  It is classified as endangered vegetation. There are 246 wild flower species, 173 bird species, 75 tree species, 11 mammal species and 10 reptile species.
The conservancy takes guided walks once a month which anyone can join. Visiting on your own, you can follow the Umdoni or the Protea Trails.

The Umdoni walk follows the stream on a maintained and clearly marked path from the car park to the end of the reserve. You will pass an interactive sundial: stand on the correct day of the year and your shadow shows the time. A little further is a beautiful shady area with a few young tree ferns. Further on, the Protea trail cuts in on the left from the upper grassland area and here you’ll find wonderful butterflies and birds. Keep following the stream, gently climbing towards the boundary of the reserve. The path veers right on meeting the fence and crosses a bridge over the stream. There’s a gate in the fence that goes to the Scout camp, and then it’s downhill as the trail takes you past some huge 4 metre high tree ferns before ending at a shady picnic area with tables, rustic benches and braai facilities. Also, toilet facilities.

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  • Sat08:00 - 16:00
  • Sun08:00 - 16:00
  • Mon08:00 - 16:00
  • Tue08:00 - 16:00
  • Wed08:00 - 16:00
  • Thu08:00 - 16:00
  • Fri08:00 - 16:00