Outdoors Magazine

Umbumbulu Valley

By Spanafrican

What I love about KZN is that there is no shortage of great riding topography. Besides having some of the best single track literally out my back door, which keeps us all entertained year round, sometimes we do venture a little further afield. A short 45min drive took us to Virginia Farm in the Umbumbulu valley. 45km of sumptuous single track adorn this sugarcane farm and conservancy. Cycling in sugarcane can be dead boring but thankfully the Stainbank farmers are environmentally inclined and have left large pockets of subtropical forest crammed with palms and aloes in many of the ravines while grassland slopes intersperse the cane fields. A clover-leaf of trails criss-cross this beautiful farm overlooking the Beaumont-Eston valley.

Umbumbulu valley

Sweeping views over the Umbumbulu conservancy. Vaughan and Karen followed a fabulous track which snuggly followed the edge of the gorge.( Unfortunately I forgot my camera, but my cellphone didnt do too badly).

Umbumbulu valley

Climbing through sugar can brought us to the edge of the Umbumbulu ravine, we skirted along the edge dropping down into dense sub-tropical ravines.

Umbumbulu valley

The Beaumont-Eston conservancy is one of the oldest in the Province

Umbumbulu valley

Karen, Vaughan and Ben ponder sugar: Sugarcane covers a massive percentage of KZNs land surface and is responsible for the destruction of most of our indigenous coastal forest. Green deserts! How many sugars do you want in your cup of coffee. Makes you think doesn't it?

Umbumbulu valley

Virginia farm does however boast some stunning samples of indigenous grassland and forest.

Umbumbulu valley

Through wetlands like this one teaming with diversity, we enjoyed an immaculate trail maintained by the farmer simply because of a keen interest to share his gem of KZN.


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