The sixty hectare Empisini Nature Reserve is situated on KwaZulu Natal's South coast a short distance from the well known diving community of Umkomaas. The reserve is owned by the Umkomaas town council, and is managed by the Umkomaas Centre of Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa.
Empisini Nature Reserve was established in 1973, and consists mainly of
coastal forest, scrub and pioneer grassland, and a perennial stream and dam,
which support extensive reed and sedge beds.
One of the major attractions of the Empisini Nature reserve is the large wooden tree house which can be found deep within the forest, adjacent to the Empisini Stream. The tree house accommodates up to twenty people, and features a cold shower, a flush toilet and a kitchen with running water, as well as twenty mattresses which are supplied. There is unfortunately no electricity, and visitors are advised to bring their own gas lamps and cooking equipment, torches, sleeping bags, cutlery, crockery, food and drinks. For details contact Lesley at 039-973-0093.
The reserve also features a number of picnic and braai sites situated alongside the dam for the use of day visitors. The reserve also offer a number of excellent hiking trails which lead visitors through the various habitats of the reserve, providing outstanding opportunities for birdwatching. The area is home to a wide variety of birdlife which includes species such as Spotted Ground Thrush, Grey Cuckooshrike, Black Sparrowhawk, Narina Trogon, Lemon Dove, Knysna Turaco and many more. Bird lists and maps are available on request from the reserve management.
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