The tiny coastal village of Trafalgar is situated about 150 km south of Durban, on the South Coast of Kwa-Zulu Natal.
Trafalgar's beach is protected by shark nets, and provide decent waves for surfers. When the weather is clear, and the ocean calm the rocky reef formation just offshore, provides an excellent place for snorkelling, where one will find fossilised remains of shellfish, various fish species, plant material and petrified wood. These 90 million year old fossil beds are located only a short distance from the shoreline, so at Spring tide it is possible for visitors to walk out and examine these ancient remains in greater detail.
The Trafalgar Marine Reserve is a tiny area extending for only 6 km along the coast and 500 metres offshore. The area incorporates the 190 ha Mpenjati Nature Reserve whose mission is to "preserve, in perpetuity, the natural environment of forest types, dune vegetation and grasslands (including wet grassland) for the benefit of the animals, birds and other creatures occurring there."
The two together form a small unit preserving the sandy seabed, seaweed covered rock reefs, intertidal rocks, sandy beach, coastal fore-dunes, dune forest, estuary, salt marsh, freshwater wetland containing the palmiet sedge and ilala palm grassland. No other protected area in KwaZulu-Natal has such a diversity of habitats in such a small area. This reserve will likely be incorporated into the proposed Pondoland Marine Protected Area, which would extend from southern KwaZulu-Natal into the northern part of the Eastern Cape.