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The best places in Durban for a family walk

Fast, slow, uphill, on the sand, whatever your preference and pace enjoy the Durban sunshine and get walking with your family. 

iStock walking beach
iStock

Perhaps you have young children and you can’t ever imagine getting back to the hiking trails you loved before the kids came along. Then again, you might have older children who seem reluctant to leave behind their games consoles or phones to join you for even the shortest of strolls.

Children, young and old, will enjoy walking as long as it tickles their imagination. Here are a few great spots to go for that next family walk.

Take a hike in Umhlanga

A great idea for a family day trip is to head to the Umhlanga Lagoon Nature Reserve and to stroll through the coastal dune forest and across the Ohlange River towards the Umhlanga Lagoon. The guided walk is half an hour long so it shouldn’t be too strenuous for little hikers. The Reserve is brimming with over 208 bird species as well as plenty of small mammals. 

Visit the Virginia Nature Reserve

The Virginia Nature Reserve is 38ha reserve in the heart of Durban North. Once inside the gates, your kids will forget they are in the city and the adventures take over. On a great day, you’ll see blue duikers, mongoose and some rare species in this popular bird-watching site.

Picnic at the Durban Botanical Gardens

The Durban Botanical Gardens are Africa’s oldest surviving botanical gardens and house one of the world’s top collections of living fossil plants: pre-dinosaur cycads extend back 250 million years. Spend a few hours with the family walking through the gardens, or make some sandwiches and have a picnic. 

Pack your costume for a Ballito North to Salt Rock beach walk

If you want a superb coastal walk start at Ballito North and head to Salt Rock (or vice versa). Charlie’s Pool, an Olympic-size tidal pool in Thompsons Bay about halfway along, is a great place to stop. The 5km route takes a little more than an hour at a comfortable pace but the fascinating rock platforms, beautiful beaches and great tidal pools can easily detain you for a day.

See the waterfall at Paradise Valley Nature Reserve

It’s hard to believe that there’s a gem of a reserve tucked right near the massive flyovers of the Paradise Valley interchange on the N3 to Pietermaritzburg. The 2km, circular Waterfall Trail crosses wooden bridges and takes you past the historical waterworks (a national monument) as it follows the Umbilo River down to a superb waterfall, a particularly fun and easy walk for kids.

Take in the social scenes with a walk down Durban’s Golden Mile

Stretching from Durban’s Addington Beach to Blue Lagoon in the north, Durban’s Golden Mile underwent a long-term renovation for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. With new paving laid and exciting new establishments lining the beachfront, families have been flocking to it each weekend ever since. Stop for a meal at one of the local food spots while enjoying the incredible ocean view and then work it off with a long walk along the promenade. Along your walk, you and the kids might be keen on a kickflip or performing the perfect ‘pop shove-it’ at the beachfront skate park. Of course, end off your walk with a swim in the ocean!

#FindYourPace and enter the Discovery East Coast Radio Big Walk

You can join in KwaZulu-Natal’s biggest outdoor participative event this May. The Discovery East Coast Radio Big Walk takes place on Sunday 20 May and has a race pace and distance for everyone.

There are three walking routes to choose from; 5km, 10km and 20km. There is also an exciting and all-new 9km fun run as part of this firm family favourite event. Participants in all events will make their way along the promenade, from uShaka Marine World to Moses Mabhida People’s Park.  

Visit www.durbanbigwalk.co.za to enter now.

Happy walking and remember to drink lots of water, and wear comfortable shoes and clothing. 

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