A gate entry fee of R20 per person (children under 12 – R10) is payable on entry at either of the main picnic sites.
“A consolidated and legally protected Nature Reserve, providing sustainable and tangible benefits to visitors, neighbours and the Metropolitan area through the provision of appropriate access to the cultural and natural resources, such as environmental education, ecotourism, partnerships and sustainable resource utilisation. A Nature Reserve that practices sound conservation principles and contributes to the biodiversity targets of KZN”
Feel free to report any unusual sightings and direct any information or suggestions for improvements to the Reserve Manager.
Extracts from Reserve Regulations
- Removal and damaging or injuring of any plant or animal can only be done with a permit
- Light fires in designated areas only
- Camping is not allowed
- No littering of any kind
- No motorcycles
- No mountain biking
- Entry during daylight hours only
- No loud music
- No pets allowed
For your own benefit and safety:
- Never hike alone.
- Stay on the trails.
- Carry an adequate supply of water, particularly if you are hiking in the lower gorges in the heat of the day.
- Venture into the lower gorges in larger groups.
- Don’t swim in the rivers. Bilharzia may be present.
- Abide by opening and closing times. Persons whose vehicles are found in parking areas after dark are assumed lost and a search party is then organised. This is no fun, especially if the lost party is not really lost. If you are lost, do not try and find your way out in the dark. This may lead to serious injury. Stay where you are and wait for rescuers or daylight.
The KKNR was proclaimed in 1950. Land donations up until 1999 have brought the area under protection to 584 hectares.
Bushbuck, Blue and Red Duiker were released into the reserve in the years 1970 and 1971, the last named having become extinct in the vicinity of Durban by this time. Baboons were introduced in 1973, but were extirpated in 1980 after complaints from local residents.
Shards and other early Iron Age artifacts have been found in habitable rock shelters
The KKNR’ s breathtaking scenery is the result of deep incisions of the Molweni and Nqutu Rivers – tributaries of the Umgeni – into the Kloof plateau. This plateau comprises erosion-resistant Natal Group sandstone, which forms the reserve’s orange-red, iron oxide stained cliffs.
River Sediments – The sediments which form the Natal Group sandstone were transported by river systems which flowed from an active mountain belt to the north, about 490 million years ago. At this time the earth lacked plant cover and the oceans were dominated by faunas such as trilobites (extinct arthropods), brachiopods (now mostly extinct clam-like creatures), echinoderms (ancestors of starfish and sea urchins) and corals.
Basement granites – Beneath the Natal Group sandstone are even older granite gneisses. These were formed in the roots of ancient mountains about a thousand million years ago at temperatures above 600 degrees centigrade, 10 to 20 kilometres beneath the earth’s surface. These mountain peaks, similar to those of the Alps or Himalayas of today, were gradually eroded until they were brought to the surface. Further erosion formed a flat surface onto which the Natal Group sandstone was deposited.
These granites are seen as huge dome-shaped boulders along the Molweni River bed and on hillsides above the river. They are coarse-grained crystalline rocks comprising the minerals, feldspar (which is milky pinkish-white), quartz (which looks glassy) and a few dark specs of a brown mica called biotite.
Dolerite intrusions – Between 300 and 180 million years ago a thick sequence of sediments (known as the Karoo Supergroup) was deposited on the Natal Group sandstone. This was followed by a massive upwelling of heat, known as a hot spot, from deep within the earth that melted rocks beneath the Gondwana supercontinent.
Molten rock (magma) forced its way through fissures in the earth’s crust and erupted as basalt lava flows on the surface. These fissures are known as dykes (if vertical) and sills (if horizontal).
Magma which crystallised more slowly in the dykes and sills is coarser grained than basalt and is known as dolerite. This is a blackish crystalline rock consisting of feldspar and pyroxene.
The numerous narrow and deep crevices that extend into the sides of the KKNR’s cliffs, often a few metres wide and up to 50 metres deep are dolerite dykes which have weathered and eroded from the more resistant sandstone.
Rifting – This hot spot heralded the break up of the Gondwana supercontinent. The first Indian Ocean opened as a rift between Antarctica and KwaZulu-Natal. Extensive faulting and fracturing occurred. One of the faults is visible in the Natal Group sandstone cliffs on the southern side of the Molweni valley. The new drainage system into the rift zone produced the young Drakensberg escarpment, which over 150 million years retreated to its present position. At the same time erosion removed the basalt lava and Karoo Supergroup sediments above the KKNR. The Indian Ocean widened and Antarctica drifted to its present position