Oribi Gorge

oribi gorge view with bikeThe scenery along the gorge formed by the Umzimkulwana river is a photographer’s, and nature lover’s, paradise. There are numerous pleasant picnic spots on the banks of the river. There is a reservoir swimming pool, with a sun deck in the camp, so it is divided not to swim in the river due to the risk of contacting bilharzia. Wildlife to be seen in the reserve includes such species as Bush Buck, Common Reed Buck, Somango Monkeys, Oribi Antelope and Duikers. The wealth of birdlife in the reserve makes birdwatching a rewarding experience.

Take the Harding road from Port Shepstone, turn right to the Oribi Gorge only (12 kilometers from Port Shepstone) and prepare for some breathtaking scenery and high adventure. The Oribi Gorge was formed over millions of years as the Mzimkulwana river flowed over the flat land surface and picked out fractures in the rock, gradually eroding
them away and cutting deep into the earth’s crust.

Oribi Gorge Virtual Tour by 360 South Africa

At the base of the cliffs are rocks over 100 million years old while the cliffs themselves are formed from sandstone deposited about 365 million years ago. The Nature Reserve is situated in the gorge, which is approximately 27 kilometeres long and up to one kilometers at its widest point, and is administered by the Kwa-Zulu Natal nature Conservation service.

Due to its inaccessibility, the gorge has remained virtually untouched by man and has more than 500 plants, and is home to 225 bird species and numerous small mammals including vervet monkeys and rare samango monkeys.

The flowering plants deep in the gorge provide an enormous range of colors from scarlet red to azure blue. The gorge offers spectacular hiking and mountain biking, as well as view sites that are easily accessible for those who just want to relax and drink in the awesome scenery. Light plane flips can be arranged.

For the more extreme adventurers, the gorge offers the world’s highest abseiling site, and, in the rainy season (November to April) the river provides whitewater rafters with an adrenalin rush second to none.

There is accommodation available at the gorge including a hutted camp and self-catering chalet in the reserve, and at the Oribi Gorge Hotel with its wide verandahs and big log fires for those chilly winter evening.

oribi gorge riverleopard rock at oribi gorge

view of oribi gorge

oribi gorge vied in Google Earth with landscape mode onLehr falls at oribi gorge

Related articles: Wild 5 at Oribi Gorge , Lake Eland Nature Reserve

Last Updated (Saturday, 18 June 2011 22:56)

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