The small hamlet of Lions River lies situated between Lidgetton and Howick in
the center of the KwaZulu Natal Midlands. The small settlement got its name from
the last lion which was shot in the area in 1856. The village is about an hour's
drive from Durban, and the area is well known for its dairy farming. The village
itself offers little more than a trading store, but what the area lacks in
activities and attractions, it makes up for with some of the most magnificent
and picturesque scenery in South Africa.
The Lions River Conservation District covers an area of more than 2,000 sq km
and includes areas of tall grasslands biome which are home to the protected blue
swallow and Karkloof blue butterfly. It also includes Beacon Hill, which has
been declared a site of conservation significance, as well as areas where
visitors can see cranes, the endangered oribi, the elusive cape parrots and the
protected black stinkwood.
The Trading Post in Lions River is worth paying a visit. The building was once a
water-driven turbine sawmill, and has been transformed into a charming antiques
and collectibles store. The Trading Post houses an interesting collection of
furniture, tools, mirrors, clocks, fireplaces, lamps, glassware, ceramics,
oregon copper and chandeliers. The neighbouring town of Howick is only ten
minutes away and offers visitors a variety of restaurants, pubs, shops, and the
mighty Howick Falls. Lions River is also ideally situated along the Midlands
Meander tourism route, which is sure to provide visitors to the area with much
to talk about.
From Lions River visitors can obtain awesome views of the Dargle Valley and
conservancy, The Dargle Valley and conservancy area is an area of awe inspiring
natural beauty, with its pristine waterfalls and river gorges, grassland,
indigenous forest, wild flowers and wetlands. The valley serves an excellent
venue for birdwatching as it is home to an impressive variety of species.