Wildlife and Zip Line thrills at Lake Eland Game Reserve

by | May 12, 2021

Photo credit: Sasha Wyatt-Minter

Just 40kms inland from Umthunzi is Lake Eland Game Reserve – a fun-filled day trip for the whole family.

Whether your idea of adventure is game spotting, fishing, hiking, 4×4 driving, or an adrenaline rush as you reach speeds of 160km per hour on Africa’s longest zip line tour, this private game reserve is one of the South Coast’s most-loved tourism gems.

Photo credit: Sasha Wyatt-Minter

 

 

And if you just want to enjoy a day spent outdoors in nature, relaxing over a leisurely lunch as you enjoy the magnificent view of the lake, then Lake Eland’s legendary restaurant is worth a visit. There are indoor and outdoor dining options, a full bar, and locally produced macadamia nuts feature in various dishes on the menu. (I recommend the bacon, butternut, feta and macadamia nut salad but locals make the trip for the giant gourmet burgers too!)

Photo credit: Sasha Wyatt-Minter

Guaranteed wildlife viewing – whether you book a guided game drive or take a slow drive in your own vehicle

You won’t need a 4X4 to cover the 30kms of game-viewing roads: you’re guaranteed to catch sight of eland, zebra and wildebeest, and if the giraffes are in the mood to make an appearance, you’ll catch a peek of long necks peering over the trees.

Photo credit: Sasha Wyatt-Minter

Photo credit: Sasha Wyatt-Minter

Alternatively, book a guided game drive for R250 per person, and experience two and a half hours in the company of a knowledgeable guide.

There are three picnic areas with braai facilities if you want to stop and enjoy a packed lunch in the shade of the trees near a stream or on the banks of the lakes.

Photo credit: Sasha Wyatt-Minter

 

Stop and visit the chapel on the hill

Photo credit: Sasha Wyatt-Minter

Photo credit: Sasha Wyatt-Minter

These restored ruins that were once an old, rustic, stone dairy are now a beautiful wood and stone chapel, situated on a hill overlooking the game reserve – a stunning backdrop for wedding photos.

 

Adrenaline junkies can get their fix – at speeds of up to 160 kms per hour

Photo credit: Sasha Wyatt-Minter

Photo credit: Sasha Wyatt-Minter

The more adventurous visit Lake Eland to experience the Longest Zip Line Tour in Africa, the Zip eXtreme and the 80m suspension bridge

Photo credit: Sasha Wyatt-Minter

 

Three slides make up the Zip eXtreme (the first slide is a 1km straight-down ride reaching speeds of up to 160 kms per hour and then there are two more slides to the collection point).

The 4.5km Zip Line tour soars across the magnificent Oribi Gorge via 14 slides and the price includes entrance into Lake Eland Game Reserve, guided zip line tour, and the 4X4 return trip to the Zip Line office. (There’s a 20% discount on weekdays – excluding public holidays and peak season times.)

Photo credit: Sasha Wyatt-Minter

Photo credit: Sasha Wyatt-Minter

Conquer your fear of heights on the suspension bridge

Photo credit: Lake Eland

If you’re terrified of heights, the best way to conquer your fear is to face it, and the 80m suspension bridge is a walk to conquer –  you might even relax enough to enjoy the magnificent views of the Oribi Gorge. If you’re not convinced, Lake Eland’s website promises that each cable supporting the suspension bridge can hold 70 tons!

Photo credit: Sasha Wyatt-Minter

There’s so much more to do at Lake Eland: the 5km scooter tour is great fun for anyone over five years old, you can challenge your own vehicle on the 4X4 track, take your quad bike on the reserve’s trail, mountain bike, fish and hike, or explore the area on an hour-long horseback ride.

And leaving the best for last… there’s a Spa too! Just another reason to add Lake Eland to your list of must-do’s on your next holiday at the KZN South Coast.

Photo credit: Sasha Wyatt-Minter

Lake Eland Reserve gate times: 7am – 5pm Monday to Sunday

Day visitor entrance fee: R65 per person (Children under 8 years: R40 and children under 2 years: Free)

Restaurant hours: 7.30am – 4.00pm

For more information on rates and time for activities, visit http://www.lakeeland.co.za

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

Sasha Wyatt-Minter

Sasha is a freelance journalist and has a passion for writing, reading, good food and wine. She’s obsessed with the IDEA of healthy eating (as well as chocolate – dark of course) and is always experimenting with alternative health therapies and trying to get the family to eat less sugar. Her best reward at the end of a busy week: a good book or time to sit on the beach and stare at the sea: whichever option is available.

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