Oribi Gorge

One of KwaZulu-Natal's most spectacular natural settings, the scenic Oribi Gorge Nature Reserve lies some 40 km inland from Pumula. Ideal for a day-excursion, Oribi offers many delightful walks and self-guided trails to scenic spots in the reserve.

The scenery along the gorge formed by the Umzimkulwana River is a photographer's and nature lover's paradise. There are numerous idyllic picnic spots on the banks of the river.

Wild 5 Adventures is situated near the Oribi Gorge Hotel, it offers a range of extreme (and milder) adventures in a setting of phenomenal beauty. These include a 110m abseil, foefie-slide, 85m suspension bridge, white water rafting on the Umzimkhulu river, paintball, teambuilding and guided trails.

If you are a thrill seeker looking for the adrenaline-rush of a lifetime, the Wild Gorge Swing in Oribi Gorge will offer you guaranteed over-the-edge excitement! Rated as the world’s highest gorge swing, this activity means stepping (or diving) off the edge of the Lehr’s waterfall and plummeting into the 55 storey deep gorge. The free-fall is awesome and will have you accelerating up to the astounding speed of 120km/hours in 2.5 seconds.

Lake Eland Game Reserve

Lake Eland Game Reserve is a 5000 acre game reserve overlooking the Oribi Gorge. You can enjoy game viewing and spot zebra, giraffe, eland, wilderbeast, bushbusck. There are lots of picnic and braais areas where you can stop by. Lake Eland also offers the Zip Line Tour which  includes 14 slides over 4.7km that give you breathtaking view over the gorge. One of the main highlight of Lake Eland Game Reserve is to walk across the 80m suspension bridge, you’ll be inspired by the magnificence and grandeur of the Oribi gorge.


Whether you are a professional surfer or a beginner, there are lots of excellent surf spots on our beautiful South Coast.

Pumula Surf School and Surf Camp is situated 2kms away from Pumula Retreat and offers a wide range of surf classes for all levels as well as Stand Up Paddle Board lessons.

Scuba Diving

Aliwal Shoal is situated 40km north of Pumula and 5km out to sea from Umkomaas and offers various unforgettable diving experiences. Aliwal Shoal is rated as one of the top dive sites of the world according to Jacques Cousteau. The reef is inhabited by many kinds of hard and soft corals and a variety of tropical and subtropical fish species. Dive with turtle, ragged tooth sharks, manta rays, dolphins and many other beautiful creatures from the underworld for an unforgettable experience. Aliwal Shoal was named after the near-sinking of the 3 Masted vessel "Aliwal". There are two wrecks near the reef that are popular recreational dive sites. Dive courses are also available at a very affordable price.

Protea Banks is situated 25km south of Pumula and 7.5km out to sea from Shelly Beach. The reef lies at a depth of between 27 and 40 meters. It is about 6km long and 800 wide. Essentially a fossilised sandbank which comes up from 60m, the reef is known for the huge concentration and variety of shark species. Most common are hammerhead, Zambezi (bull), ragged tooth, tiger and dusky sharks.

Whales and dolphins watching

From May to December, humpback and smaller number of southern right whales migrate along our coastline from their feeding grounds in the nutrient-rich waters of Antarctic to their breeding grounds off the coast of Mozambique making their return journey between September and December. Over the years, their activity has been growing and during season you’ll be able to spot them from the house. Boat tours can be organized from Shelley beach if you want to have a closer look at these majestic giants of the sea. 

Common and Bottle nose dolphins are often spotted on the coast especially playing in the surf.

Deep sea-fishing

The South Coast provides excellent fishing opportunities; game species include yellow fin tuna, dorado, barracuda… The reefs are inhabited by rockcod, bream, englishman, slinger, stumpnose, scotsman, musselcracker, red steenbras, pink salmon, geelbek (salmon) and the majority of the other red fish species. The protea bream is a lovely fish to eat and is only found on Protea Reef.


Horse Riding

The South Coast offers a range of activities and trails for horse riding. There are riding trails that take you onto unspoilt beaches, lush coastal forests with panoramic sea views, or through the scenic cliffs and game, eg. kudu, impala hartebees etc. at Oribi Gorge Game Reserve.



Thanda is a community-based organisation that is located 40 min from Pumula Retreat in a rural community. Thanda provides innovative solutions for sustainable development. They aim to create safer, stronger communities by providing educational and skills-building opportunities to individuals. Their mission is to empower people to create positive change – change in individuals, change in their communities and eventually changes that impact the world. Today, Thanda offers four core programmes: 1) Early Childhood Development; 2) After-school Programming; 3) Organic Farming; and 4) Creative Learning Training.

Contact info@thanda.org to set up a fun day of volunteering and giving back or simply visit their colourful community centre.