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View from near Baboon's Castle, Oribi gorge
|Location||KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa|
Oribi Gorge is a canyon in southern KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, just west of Port Shepstone, which itself is 120 km south of Durban. Oribi Gorge, cut by the Mzimkulwana river, is the eastern gorge of two gorges that cut through the Oribi Flats (flat sugarcane farmlands) of KwaZulu-Natal. The western gorge was formed by the Mzimkulu river. The gorge is approximately 400 m (1,300 ft) deep, and almots 5 km wide at its widest.
Erosion by these rivers have carved out nearly 30 km (19 mi) of spectacular kloofs and crags, covered with subtropical vegetation. In the gorge, the dense forest on the sandstone slopes is home to various small mammals, while the large leguaans excavate their burrows along the riverbanks.
At the base of the cliffs of both gorges the basement rocks are part of the Kaapvaal Craton, which are over 1000 million years old. The cliffs themselves are formed from sandstone deposited about 365 million years ago. Downstream from the gorges, a large surface mine producing cement from a limestone deposit. The road through Oribi Gorge was built by Italian prisoners of war.
Oribi Gorge derives its name from the oribi, a small antelope that lives in the gorges.
Oribi Gorge Nature Reserve
Oribi Gorge Nature Reserve is a park located along the bottom of the Oribi Gorge at the confluence of the Mzimkulu River and Mximkulwana River, being approximately 27 km long, and 1 km wide at its widest point. It was proclaimed a protected state forest in 1950.
- "Oribi Gorge Provincial Nature Reserve". protectedplanet.net.
- Glen, H. F. (1996). "A description of the vegetation of Oribi Gorge Nature Reserve, Natal, part I". Trees in South Africa (Johannesburg, South Africa: Tree Society of Southern Africa) 46: 18–27.
- Bayless, Mark K. (2002). "Monitor lizards: a pan‐African check‐list of their zoogeography (Sauria: Varanidae: Polydaedalus)". Journal of Biogeography 29 (12): 1643–1701. doi:10.1046/j.1365-2699.2002.00779.x.
- Thomas, R. J. (1988). "The petrology of the Oribi Gorge Suite; Kibaran charnockitic granitoids from southern Natal". South African Journal of Geology 91 (2): 275–291.
- Bourquin, O., and Mathias, I. (1994). "The vertebrates of Oribi Gorge Nature Reserve: 1". The Lammergeyer 33: 35–44.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Oribi Gorge.|
- Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife (previously known as Natal Parks Board)
- Oribi Gorge Information Page
- 360 degree Virtual Tour of Oribi Gorge
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