The Dlinza Forest
Did you know?
The Dlinza Forest was traditionally used as a burial ground for slain Zulu warriors.
The Dlinza Forest is famous for its tree-top aerial boardwalk, incredible birdlife and vast array of insects.
Lying just outside the town of Eshowe, Dlinza is a magnificent indigenous forest and top KwaZulu-Natal tourist attraction.
The 250-hectare forest, established in 1947, is crisscrossed with walking trails, but the most rewarding way to explore this natural attraction is via its 10-metre high aerial boardwalk.
The Dlinza Forest aerial boardwalk is especially popular among bird watchers, thanks to the presence of and rare species such as the spotted ground thrush and eastern bronze-naped pigeon.
Keep eyes open and ears attuned for the unmistakeable calls of the trumpeter hornbill, purple-crested turaco and narina trogon.
Butterflies also abound in Dlinza, especially during autumn when more than 70 recorded species are most often seen. If you're a keen lepidopterist, you'll be happy to learn that the mocker swallowtail, mother of pearl and gaudy are found here.
Although it's home to a number of rare plants, birds and insects, the forest's most endangered creature is the Dlinza Forest pinwheel - an unusual snailwith bristles radiating out from the edge of its shell - found nowhere else on Earth.
This forest in KwaZulu-Natal has wonderful picnic facilities and a number of hiking trails, but can also be explored by car via Royal Drive, which passes through the middle of the forest. Choose from the iMpunzi or uNkonka trails, which offer travellers hikes of 1.3km and 1.8km respectively, or spend time in a peaceful clearing called Bishop's Seat. If you're planning a hike, the early morning is the best time to do this, as it's cool and the forest's birds and frogs create an unforgettable cacophony of sound.
As you head along a forest trail, discover fascinating facts and learn about the medicinal value of local plants via informative plaques dotted throughout the forest.
The Dlinza Forest is rare in that it is situated within an urban area, which makes accommodation easy to find. Children will enjoy playing in the forest and clambering along the wooded walkway while looking out for vervet monkeys and a pair of crown eagles that nest here.
Travel tips & Planning info
Who to contact
Eshowe Tourism Association
Phone: +27 (0) 35 474 1141
Phone: +27 (0) 35 474 4029