We have the most beautiful nature trails in Southbroom which are maintained by Anne, Alfred and Michael through funding from your membership fees and donations.
FREDERIKA NATURE PRESERVE
IMBEZANE RIVER RESERVE
B U S H B U C K T R A I L
Ratepayer David Hallé, a keen and active environmentalist and founder Chairman of Southbroom Conservancy, started hacking out “The Bushbuck Trail” on conservation lots 921 and 690. His dream has become a reality - a delightful meander now exists, from behind the Tennis Club, through dense coastal vegetation.
Ratepayer Ted Rudzinsky has continued the trail, from across Eyles Road, through his property (Erf 720), to Tavistock Road.
Magnificent indigenous flora exists in the area and the abundant bird life is sure to reward those who undertake the walk. The resident crowned eagle and large flock of crowned hornbill are particularly special. As for the fauna: blue duiker is often sighted; a shy family of bushbuck still remain; and grey duiker are being seen more often.
The addition of benches, permanent bridges, and signage have made the trail user-friendly. The eradication of alien invader plant species requires ongoing management.
Park at the tennis club on Captain Smith Road, or at Polafris Safari's in Tavistock Road, and grant yourself at least an hour with nature.
F R E D E R I K A N A T U R E P R E S E R V E
The Frederika Nature Preserve came into being in 1977 when 30 beachfront residential sites where placed on the market. Leo Driessen, a concerned environmentalist, realised the value of the biodiversity of the area and the negative impact that development of the primary dune would have on Southbroom.
He chose to purchase all of the properties on offer and donated them into the custody of SA Nature Conservation Centre (now Delta Environmental Centre).
He named the preserve for his wife, Frederika, who later increased its size by the donation of certain adjoining sites on the highest part of the dune.
In 1990, Delta's then Chairman, and friend of Leo Driessen, Mr NC Bloom, registered the preserve with the Department of Environment Affairs as a South African Natural Heritage Site of National Importance.
To quote the Natal Parks Board's Chief Professional Officer's report: "The stand of Coastal Forest is in good condition and has a high diversity of species present. The area shares a common boundary with the Government reserve and is therefore somewhat unique in having sea frontage. This community was once more extensive along the Natal South Coast but today exists only in a few isolated patches due to land being cleared for urban and agricultural development. Species such a blue duiker and bushbuck are present in the forest."
The Southbroom Conservancy is now involved with the management practices required by Natural Heritage status: continued alien plant removal with associated soil damage and erosion reclamation, and regular patrolling to prevent debarking of trees, snares and eliminate trespassing.
Frederika comprises 8 hectares of mature, virgin dune forest and borders the 16th, 17th and 2nd fairways of the Southbroom golf course. It is best viewed from the beach.
For the shortest walk to view the Frederika, gain access to the beach at the Woodlands Road cutting and continue south to Rivulet Road.
I M B E Z A N E R I V E R R E S E R V E
Previously, Southbroom had no public access to its river.
Now, thanks to the dedicated efforts of ratepayer Libby Cochrane and helper Doug Danca on Conservation Lot 927, a lovely trail meanders off Imbezane Drive, through the indigenous forest, down to the flat rocks on the river bank.
The walk is delightful and it is great to see fisherman enjoying their catch from the healthy river or to just simply sit on the rocks and soak up the beauty of it all.
Allow half hour or take your picnic basket and stay a while.
The Imbezane trail has recently been extended to follow the river eastwards through the riverine forest and exit in the lower car park at the back of Riptide restaurant. On the few occasions that it is not passable, unless you don't mind getting your feet wet, i.e. if the lagoon mouth is closed and the river level is very high, there is a section where one has to paddle. On this extention you will pass through a tangle of Hibiscus tilleaceous (Lagoon hibiscus) and Mucuna gigantea (Burny Bean / Jade sting pod). The Mucuna is not normally associated with our section of the Indian Ocean coastline. There are only a few other recorded sites - Mpenjati Reserve, Umdloti Lagoon and Kosi Bay.
The seeds have been carried down on the current from further north – Mozambique upwards. If the seeds find a suitable site, like the Mbezane Lagoon, and the conditions are warm and protected enough, they may germinate and establish a healthy plant. None of the plants south of Mozambique have been recorded as producing viable seed. It is a relative of the Jade vines which you may have seen in years gone by at the Waffle house, and the very difficult to grow Red jade vine.
T H E O U T L O O K
Take a cold box, munchies, and your binoculars and head for The Outlook on the Southbroom headland. Any time of day will do.
Situated on Lewin Road, The Outlook offers spectacular rock formations, cliffs to sea, and a gentle meander through indigenous vegetation. There are several places to enjoy the experience, whether you set up on a bench, rock, or simply sit on the grassy lawn.
The view to sea is uninterrupted and dolphin and whale often come by, close to shore. For the 'Greatest shoal on earth' sardine run, there is no better view to be had.
The antics of numerous Rock Dassie (Procavia capensis) in the boulders below are also most entertaining.