Umtendwe is situated within the Quko Private Nature Reserve, which itself lies within a large conservancy. The 3 km road from the entrance to Umtendwe passes through this reserve, and zebras, warthogs and a variety of antelope are usually seen here. 

Sea and Sand

This is a truly unspoilt part of our coastline. There are two good swimming beaches and one natural swimming pool near the cottages. The lagoon area is usually, but not always, well sanded and level for beach activities. The depth and tidal nature of the small lagoon varies according to the season and seas, but is usually ideal for children to swim and play around.


Surfers will find two good spots at Umtendwe - a small right hand break in the river mouth, suitable in small wave conditions, and a longer point break at Fish Bay which can hold 2 metre swells. Although both spots become unrideable in large swells and strong winds, they are nevertheless quite consistent and of good quality, enjoyed by surfboard, body board and ski riders.


The Umtendwe area has many spectacular fishing spots, which include high rocks, boulders, beaches and gullies, suitable for all kinds of sea fishing. There are many shell collecting spots, including Treasure Beach, renowned for Carnelian beads produced many hundreds of years ago, as well as fragments of Ming Dynasty pottery and exotic cowries, all left after the wreck of a Portugese ship, the Sao Esperito, around 1602. These, and beadwork and basket crafts can be bought from the local women who spend many hours searching for treasure to sustain their incomes.


Pools and gullies for snorkeling abound on both sides of the Umtendwe lagoon, in particular the area around Dolly's pool and the gullies to the south of Fish Bay.

Coastal and Forest

Walking and Hiking
For those who love walking, the coastal paths on either side of Umtendwe provide magnificent scenery and easy walking. To the East lie Black Rock and the magnificent Double Mouth River and Nature Reserve and the cliffs of Morgan Bay; to the west a gentle meander leads to Fish Bay, the Abalone Farm and Haga Haga.
Black Rock provides a stunning setting for whale watching. Dolphins, whales, and seabirds can be seen close to the shore around the rock, especially during the annual sardine run, when the sea off Black Rock becomes a place of frenetic action as sea creatures and birds gorge off the sardines.
Organized day hikes and day walking holidays are available on request. These are led by an experienced guide and allow hikers to explore the beautiful coast and hinterland, as well as shipwreck and archeological sites.
These need to be arranged in advance. For further information about hiking routes and costs, please contact Algy on 072 225 7113.


Fauna and Flora
Umtendwe also boasts a lush forest along the river, with various otter pools surrounded by palms, Strelitzia and yellowwoods, which are just a short walk northwards. The gravel roads are suitable for cycling and walking, although quad bikes and other biking is not permitted in the nature reserve.
A wide variety of game endemic to this area, such as the bushbuck, blue and grey duiker, the Cape clawless otter, porcupine, vervet monkeys, caracal, gennet, hare etc inhabit the reserve.
Zebra, impala, blesbuck and warthog have been introduced in the private game reserve open to Umtendwe.


Bird Watching and Nature Photography
Umtendwe is a perfect area for birdwatching, being home to a number of field, forest and marine species. Four species of kingfishers can be found within a short distance from the cottages.
Over the years, Umtendwe has been visited by a number of renowned nature photographers who have praised the enormous variety of photographic opportunities available in the area.


Action Sports - Trail Running and Cycling
The coastal paths make for easy running, with numerous trail events held along this stretch of coastline annually.
The gravel roads around Umtendwe and the Haga Haga area are also part of regular cycle trails and are excellent for serious or casual cycling.
Quad biking and off road biking is not permitted in the nature reserve or surrounding conservancy for environmental reasons.