Oribi: Where Talk and Walk Meet in S A

Oribi Gorge South Africa is one hour’s drive inland from the Indian Ocean, in the province of Kwazulu-Natal 120 kilometres south of Durban. The road from my home town Port Shepstone rises steeply up an escarpment, before levelling out and snaking through lush sugarcane farms that seem to stretch forever across the gently undulating countryside.

Oribi Gorge South Africa: View from Baboon's Castle Kwazulu Natal
View from Baboon’s Castle, Oribi Gorge South Africa: Photo by Rachel White / CC BY-SA 3.0

General Overview of Oribi Gorge South Africa

The occasional visitor comes upon the 400 meter deep, 5 kilometre wide canyon almost by surprise, as the tarred track descends steeply to a floor carved out by a perennial river. Along the 30 kilometre length are spectacular ravines and crags the local youth conquer regularly although I recommend visitors hiring a guide.

Oribi Gorge South Africa: Deep in the Gorge
Deep in Oribi Gorge: Photo on Flickr by John Gore / CC BY 2.0

Deep in the Gorge

The canyon was once the home of large families of elephants, although settlers hunted these to extinction. Today, the rich green subtropical vegetation is home to smaller mammals including the shy oribi buck from which it takes its name. Large monitor ‘leguaan’ lizards as long as two meters nest in mud banks bedside the river. The bushes are alive with myriads of birds, while overhead, fish eagles wheel gracefully across the sky. We are in God’s heaven here. Were those the ghosts of elephants I heard trumpeting through the valley.

oribi gorge south africa Beware of the Edge
Beware of the Edge: Photo on Flickr by John Gore / CC BY 2.0

The Adrenalin Rush Begins!

There are five adrenalin-ripping adventures for thrill seekers here. Daredevils leap off a waterfall to drop 165 meters down the world’s highest swing.  Those moderately more cautious can zip-line across the scene, do white river rafting in season, or abseil down the waterfall followed by a 65-metre free-fall. The Swing Bridge is more genteel, although you can look down between the steps and yes, it is a swinger! Discover country hotels nearby here.

Oribi Gorge South Africa: Oribi Swing Bridge
Oribi Swing Bridge: Photo by Chris Eason / CC BY 2.0

About Richard Farrell

Richard FarrellI tripped over a shrinking bank balance and fell into the writing gig unintentionally. This was after I escaped the corporate world and searched in vain for ways to become rich on the internet by doing nothing. Despite the fact that writing is no recipe for wealth, I rather enjoy it. I will deny I am obsessed with it when I have the time.My base is Umtentweni in South Africa on the Kwazulu-Natal South Coast (30.7167° S, 30.4667° E). I work from home where I ponder on the future of the planet, and what lies beyond in the great hereafter. Sometimes I step out of my computer into the silent riverine forests, and empty golden beaches for which the area is renowned.

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One Response

  1. Avatar for Richard Farrell

    storyteller

    OMG I just fell in love with the almighty Oribi Gorge, I have never heard of it until just now, thank you so much for the article guys, it must have been an epic adventure, I will definitely consider a trip to the Oribi Gorge. The article was awesome, it reminded me the time I visited Robbin Island in Cape Town through Cape Town travel guys, I had an amazing time. South Africa is so beautiful, it has so much to offer. Thanks to the Iconic Africa trip advisers as well for some amazing trip advice.

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