Urban Route: Conservation Legacy
Experience the South side of Durban- Whale Research and conservation
Conservation Legacy Route:
Whale research and Conservation forms a very important part in our KZN Whale Coast brand. The project includes the establishment of an online platform that will allow “citizen scientists” to upload photos of whales, to be identified by marine science experts. This will bring benefits not only for conservation of the whales and their ocean environment, but also for coastal communities through training and economic opportunities – they have in fact offered internships for Tour Guides in this field. Sea Quests’ primary goal is to support research, training and conservation expeditions that build knowledge and awareness of our oceans and contribute to sound decision-making and management of the marine environment. This takes place on the vessel M.Y. Angra Peguena, a 72ft ocean- going expedition vessel. Apart from their research and while they are in Durban Harbour they will offer fundraising events – e.g. music under the stars; a picnic day on the vessel at see or even a weekend cruise for divers etc.
The Wildlands Whale Time Project is supported by The Blue Fund, a partnership between Grindrod Ltd. and Wildlands. The Project’s goal is to bring science, conservation, tourism and community together around this iconic species. It aims to contribute to updating scientific knowledge of the Humpback whale populations and to engage public in whale sightings and associated monitoring of the distribution, behaviour patterns and habitat use of the whales.
The Treasure Beach Environmental Education Centre on Durban’s Bluff is rich in history and ecological importance. It is also the site of the original radar tracking station for coastal defense during World War 2 and has one of the last remaining patches of coastal grassland. The Centre has been operational since 1985 and Offers a wide diversity of educational experiences to all ages. The roof of the building can be used by our guests as a viewpoint to watch whales and dolphins moving up and down our coast, while enjoying tea & scones. This can be combined with an interpretive stroll in their patch of unique Coastal Grassland (led by a guide). Good Birds, Insect life, photographic opportunities.
Bluff Nature Reserve (Forest & Wetland)
Our Bluff Nature Reserve is a gem of a spot right in the middle of an urban/industrial space. The trail around the pan is pleasantly flat from beginning to end and great for birding butterfly or frog spotting or a general self-guided nature stroll. The hide overlooking the Southern end of the pan is a perfect spot to relax, spot some of our shyer water birds or even have a sun downer. This spacious structure is also wheelchair friendly and fairly easy to reach in a chair from the ample parking.
Bluff Eco Park
The Bluff Eco Park has various activities and programs in place. A cycle track, bird walks for local old age homes and other interest groups. General nature interpretation walks for the public/guests. Basic bird, tree, frog, butterfly or snake identification programs are available.
Wilderness Leadership School
Art Gallery & Castle – Mary Stainbank grew up on the farm Ndaba Nkulu in what is now the residential suburb of Yellowwood Park- some 30 minutes from the Durban city
centre. The family farm was the original settlement of the Stainbank family when they arrived in Durban on one of the family owned steamships which used to ply from England in the late 1880s. In that time the new arrivals would gather in Farewell Square and then proceed by ox wagon to their new sites. Guided tours available.
Kenneth Stainbank Nature Reserve
Kenneth Stainbank is a 253 hectare reserve in Yellowwood Park, Durban, which was proclaimed in 1963. Established as a result of a bequest of land from Mr Kenneth Stainbank, the area offers fine examples of coastal forest and grassland habitats for many species of plants and animals. Notable species are zebra, bushbuck, reedbuck, and impala, blue, red and grey duiker, vervet monkey, rock hyrax, slender mongoose, bush-baby, egyptian mongoose, banded mongoose, water monitor and genet. The reserve has an interesting variety of indigenous flora and over 200 bird species on record. There are 13 km of nature walks and a pleasant picnic site is available. A walk for the physically disabled has been specially designed. There is also a 10km mountain bike trail which is fairly challenging in places.