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Embrace the outdoors with hiking spots in Pietermaritzburg

In South Africa, we’re particularly lucky to have a range of exquisite nature trails. Pietermaritzburg is one of the country’s prized locations that boast dry-winters, and subtropical summers that are ideal for enjoying outdoor pursuits. Hiking is a popular pastime and with the pleasant landscape, wildlife and weather, you’ll have no reason to not get your hiking boots on.

Cumberland Nature Reserve

Spanning over 560 hectares, this private nature reserve is situated to the east of Pietermaritzburg. When visiting this hidden gem, find savanna, woodland, valley thickets and wetland along the way. This reserve hosts over 300 bird and 50 butterfly species and more than 200 flowers that you can spot. Explore terrains that range from cliff facing, wooded gorges and even discover the waterfalls nestled within the deep valleys. While the reserve is not open to day visitors, you can take advantage of the comfortable accommodation and have some much-needed time out or hiking adventures in the reserve.

Bisley Valley Nature Reserve

Located just off Gladys Manzi Road, the Bisley Valley Nature Reserve is a real treat for birdwatchers and frequent hikers that enjoy flat landscapes. Covering 350 hectares of grassland and thornveld, the reserve has no entrance fee and hosts a few trails to walk through. Discover the bird hides that overlook the wetlands or the dams that attract a myriad of birdlife. If you’re not an avid birdwatcher, the reserve is also home to zebra, impala and giraffe that you can occasionally see on your amble.

Ferncliffe Nature Reserve

The mistbelt forest of Ferncliffe is a nature haven for those that love making a difference in the world. Currently undergoing a rejuvenation project to remove the alien vegetation, you can volunteer to help clear parts of the forest or visit and hike through the cleared pathways. The forest will host a revitalised dam and flowing stream in the summer rainy season.

When you live within Hesketh Estate, you get to traverse through the protected conservancy that is intertwined with our lifestyle. Explore the indigenous grassland and fynbos situated in your backyard. Make nature a part of your life everyday by purchasing one of the limited apartments that invite the outdoors in or a freestanding home where your spacious private garden connects you to the conservation surrounding the estate

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