Port Shepstone, South Africa Tourist Attractions
Port Shepstone, situated at the mouth of the Mzimkulu River, is the chief town and commercial and administrative center of the Hibiscus Coast, the most southerly stretch of coast in KwaZulu/Natal. The first settlers came here because of the marble in the area, and after building a harbor founded the town in 1882. Until 1901, when the railroad from Durban reached Port Shepstone, all the agricultural products of the area had to be sent by ship to Durban.Port Shepstone's tourist attractions are a very beautiful golf course, fishing and water sports in the sheltered estuary of the river and magnificent beaches within easy reach of the town, which is well supplied with hotels.
Oribi Gorge Nature Reserve
One of the most attractive sights in the Port Shepstone area is the Oribi Gorge Nature Reserve (area 1,837 ha/4,537ac), 21km/13mi west of the town on the Harding road. The gorge is 24km/15mi long and 5km/3mi wide, and at some points has been carved out of the local sandstone by the Umzimkulwana River to a depth of 400m/1,300ft. The river is lined by dense forest. In the reserve live leopards, striped woodbucks, baboons, vervet and samango monkeys and blue and gray duikers. The oribi from which the gorge takes its name is rarely if ever seen by the casual visitor. This is also a great place for bird-watchers, with 258 recorded species.There is accommodation for visitors in the reserve in the form of holiday cottages and huts, and in Fairacres there is the Oribi Gorge Hotel, which has a marvelous view of the gorge. The nature reserve can be explored on 30km/19mi of tarred road and 35km/22mi of waymarked hiking trails.
The Banana Express, a narrow-gauge steam train, runs through banana and sugarcane plantations to Izotsha and on to Paddock, returning after a 2-hour pause; the whole excursion takes 6 hours.