About 15kms past Dlinza Forest on the Ntumenl road Is the turn-off to the Ntumeni Nature Reserve, which is often overlooked by visitors to Dlinza. Sadly, because where Dlinza can be sombre – Zulu legends always connect It with burials and meditation Ntumeni is enchanting and historically It has a happy association with the dashing younger brother of King Cetshwayo, Prince Dabulamanzi, who had his Royal homestead near the forest.
The 750-hectare Reserve is the forest of one’s childhood fantasies. It has a Particularly high and impressive canopy provided by trees such as the Giant umzimbeet, the African Wild Plum and Flatcrowns. It is filled with fern-covered gorges and waterfalls and the understorey is open and uncrowded making it easy to spot the gems of the forest which are its cycads and colonies of clivia. It was here that the celebrated yellow clivia (Clivia minlata var. citrina) was discovered in the 1880s and grown by the Resident Commissioner Slr Melmoth Osborn in his garden in Eshowe.
There are no facilities other than a clearing In the forest with two picnic tables and two trails which start at the picnic site.
The uPiti Trail is a circular route and takes about two hours to walk.
The uKhozi Trail takes about four hours and covers some strenuous terrain through a gorge. The halfway point is at a spectacular waterfall on the Ngoje stream. Rare Longtailed Wagtails are often observed along the stream. Birding can be very rewarding and several species - such as the Yellow streaked green bulbul, brown scrub robin, Gorgeous Bush shrike, Bald Ibis and the African finfoot - are found in this forest but not in the nearby Dlinza Forest. As with Dlinza, both the Blue Duiker and the bushbuck occur In the forest. The grasslands In the reserve are home to a herd of zebras.