The Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa (WESSA) has announced that the uMngeni Valley in the KwaZulu-Natal's Midlands has finally been proclaimed a Nature Reserve. Situated just 1km from Howick, the 900 hectare WESSA uMngeni Valley Nature Reserve starts at the base of the majestic Howick Falls and follows the course of the uMngeni River.
Due to the various altitudinal gradients of the area varies, there are a wide variety of habitat types. These include Midlands Mistbelt Grassland, KZN Hinterland Thornveld, Southern KZN Moist Grassland, forest patches, riverine thicket, sub-tropical thicket and thornveld savannah. uMngeni Valley forms part of the core area of the Greater uMngeni Biosphere Reserve initiative, incorporating the uMngeni and Karkloof River Catchments, from Midmar Dam to Nagle Dam. It also contributes to the hydrological functioning, ecosystem and biodiversity value of the uMngeni River Catchment, which is a critically important river system in KwaZulu-Natal.
The WESSA uMngeni Valley Nature Reserve features panoramic views, diverse walking trails and mountain biking routes, guided walks (including stargazing and full moon walks), adventure activities and a variety of animal and birdlife making it a paradise for nature lovers.