The Mpushini Valley
– A jewel worth conserving
The Mpushini Valley is situated on either side of the Ashburton
interchange on the N3 national road between Durban and Pietermaritzburg.
For many years the landowners in the Mpushini Valley have been actively involved in conserving their precious natural environment. In order to formalise this the Lower Mpushini Valley Conservancy and the Upper Mpushini Conservancy were formed and registered with Ezimvelo KZN Wildlife.
To get to the Lower Mpushini Valley take the off-ramp on the interchange and turn right into Pope Ellis Drive. Continue on this road and you will pass the Ashburton Training Centre on your left. Continue down the hill untill you pass the Pietermaritzburg Quarry. You are then in the valley.
To get to the Upper Mpushini Conservancy turn left into Pope Ellis Drive at the Ashburton interchange on the N3 highway. Proceed through the town of Ashburton and you will then be in the Conservancy area.
The Lower Mpushini Valley consists of fairly steep hillsides sloping down into the many drainage ravines that flow into the Mpushini and Msunduzi Rivers. The
terrain is fairly rugged and the vegetation ranges from fairly dense
valley bushveld in the valleys, through thicket bushveld on the upper
slopes and savanna grasslands higher up. In some areas the vegetation consists almost exclusively of acacia thorn trees. These
are the pioneer species which provide shelter for the secondary and
tertiary tree species which eventually replace them as they die off
after they have served their fairly short lifespan. Typical lifespan of acacia species vary from 15 to 30 years.
The Upper Mpushini Conservancy consists mainly of game farms, nature estates and nature reserves. The terrain isn't as rugged as the Lower Mpushini.
There is a tremendous biodiversity of plant, animal, bird and invertebrate species in the whole of the Mpushini and Mkhondeni river catchments, and this is what this site is all about!