Ntendeka Wilderness – Small yet Outstandingly Beautiful
Spectacular sights await eager Zululand visitors at South Africa's smallest wilderness area, Ntendeka. Considered by many to possess the most outstanding beauty of all the wilderness areas, Ntendeka of Zululand is certainly diverse in both flora and fauna. One thing is for certain, those who explore the Ntendeka Wilderness will want to return for an unforgettable natural adventure.
Within Ntendeka Wilderness’ 5 250 hectares you will discover a landscape marked by thick forests, wide grasslands, lush valleys, striking cliff faces and awe-inspiring waterfalls. All this varied terrain has brought about differences in vegetation, precipitation and temperature in what is a rather small zone. Situated in the Ngome State Forest, Ntendeka enjoys greater solitude, an environment where you can truly become one with nature.
In 1876 woodcutters realized that the forest had great potential. For 20 years it was exploited and many of the great giants of the forest, such as yellowwood trees, were felled. This however ended when the Anglo-Boer War (or South African War) began. Saw pits can still be seen in the forest demonstrating the large size of the trees that were removed. Fortunately in 1905 it was declared a protected area. Since then its mixed coastal and inland forest has flourished. Over 180 tree and shrub species are said to grow in the Ntendeka Wilderness zone. Amongst these are rare species such as bastard stinkwood, terblanz beech, Natal hard pear and green witch hazel. Whilst ambling through the forest you are likely to discover orchids, clivias and Ngome lillies as well as tree fuchias, silver oak, forest waterwood and much more. The open grasslands of Ntendeka Wilderness are carpeted with flowers such as Erica’s, watsonias and candelabras during the spring. Standing along the watercourses running through the grasslands are lovely umbrella tree ferns. On the east Ntendeka Cliff you can take in the magical sight of the waterfall leading to clear cool pools and surrounded by verdant foliage. With such lush and diverse plant life Ntendeka Wilderness area boasts some 200 bird species. Avid bird watchers can look out form blue swallows, white storks, martial eagles, bald ibis, house martins, crowned eagles, secretary birds, trumpeter hornbills and many others. Animal live is also abundant here. Keep your eyes peeled for baboons, Vervet monkeys, Samango monkeys, duikers, rock hyrax, bushpigs, bushbuck, caracal, porcupines, snakes, frogs and butterflies.