About Red Desert Nature Conservation Area

Port Edward’s unusual claim to fame is the Red Desert, reputed to be the smallest desert in the world. At just 200 m in width, it stands in stark contrast to the surrounding lush, tropical vegetation.

Extra-terrestrial landings, excessive overgrazing and many other intriguing tales are attributed to its origins. The surrounding grasslands, forests and wetlands are home to a number of rare endemic plants. Archeological artifacts have also been unearthed.

Hit the trail on foot or mountain bike and check out the magnificent view over the Umtamvuna Estuaryfrom the cliff top. Clearwater Trails offer walking or mountain biking trips along the Umtamvuna Gorge starting at the viewing deck upriver, ending at the Umtamvuna Bridge.

Photo credit: Dave Watson

Directions to Red Desert Nature Conservation Area

Take the N2 South to Port Edward, turn right at traffic lights and follow Izingolweni Rd. Turn left into Old Pont Rd, the entrance is 50 m on the right – first gate.
Debbie Sharp
Things to do in Port Edward

Accommodation near Red Desert Nature Conservation Area


2 Reviews
Sleeps 10 in 5 rooms

Boomhuis is a comfortable log home situated right on Drake's Beach in Leisure Bay. The house consists of three separate units, all...
from R1750
per night for 2 guests

Leisure Bay Self-catering

21 Reviews
Sleeps 6 in 3 rooms

Leisure Bay Self-catering is a lovely wooden house that offers guests a comfortable stay in Leisure Bay. With the closest beach a mere 1 km...
from R500
per night for 2 guests

The Merry Crab

9 Reviews
Sleeps 82 in 21 rooms

The Merry Crab is a delightful self-catering beach resort carved out of the Admiralty reserve which fringes the Indian Ocean.It is favo
from R725
per night for 2 guests

4 San Miguel - Glenmore Beach...

4 Reviews
Sleeps 4 in 2 rooms

This is a lovely self-catering unit situated in a secure complex, only a short drive to the beach...
from R850
per night for 2 guests

Wild Coast Holidays - Ansuric...

3 Reviews
Sleeps 10 in 5 rooms

Ansurico House is situated in a quite suburb of Glenmore in Port Edward, only 400 meters to the...
from R1500
per night for 2 guests

63 San Miguel

3 Reviews
Sleeps 6 in 3 rooms

63 San Miguel is a part of privately owned complex of self-catering units, situated in a secure estate with 24-hour security control, in...
from R650
per night for 2 guests

Red Desert Nature Conservation Area Map

Red Desert Nature Conservation Area is 3km from the centre of Port Edward , the nearest airport 177.2km (Mthatha Airport).
*Distances are shown as the crow flies and not necessarily the actual travelling

Other things to do near Port Edward

4 Reviews
Located in a conservation area, San Lameer Golf Course provides a great game of golf amidst natural...
Leisure Beach is situated between Palm Beach and Trafalgar Beach in KwaZulu-Natal. You can enjoy...
Try your luck at the beautifully situated Wild Coast Sun Casino. On offer is Blackjack, Roulette,...