In my school days the inhabitants of the Bluff in Durban were labelled “rough and tough”. I currently live in Boksburg which would be the Johannesburg equivalent, the joke’s on me now. I have not visited the Bluff for about 20 years. While we were in Durban I saw a pic of the Bluff’s Brighton Beach on the ‘I Love Durban‘ Facebook page which made me curious to go there.
When I lived in Durban I often visited the numerous Nature reserves close to home and there were some which remained unexplored. I had a feeling there may be a nature reserve in the Bluff and a quick google search confirmed this. The nature reserve was proclaimed in 1961 and is Durban’s oldest bird sanctuary. We packed a picnic lunch and set off. The Bluff really is a mixed bag, some areas are beautiful with grand homes overlooking the sea then a few roads later there is the Engen oil refinery which is far from glam. Other areas are notably poor with houses suffering various degrees of neglect. I wouldn’t go so far as to call the Nature Reserve a diamond in the rough of the Bluff, but then maybe I’m not being fair, perhaps it’s rather an emerald or sapphire. There is a walk around the vlei and the bird hide overlooking the water is very tranquil. I chatted with a man who has lived in Merebank all his life and had never heard about the nature reserve, he was enjoying a packed lunch in the bird hide and was delighted with the discovery. The children had most fun looking down into the water which was teeming with fish, some of which were quite big.
We then spent the afternoon at Brighton Beach. It may not be frequented by the upper echelons of Durban society but it’s a lovely beach. The tidal pool was just as I remembered it. Cliff really loved the beach (his mind free from tarnished perceptions) and wants to visit again next time we are in Durban.