Vernon Crookes Nature Reserve

The Vernon Crookes Nature Reserve lies just half an hour beyond Umzinto

KwaZulu Natal Game and Nature ReservesThe Vernon Crookes Nature Reserve

The Vernon Crookes is a delightful and convenient reserve for travellers holidaying on the South Coast of KwaZulu Natal.

The Vernon Crookes Nature Reserve is an exquisite retreat in the heart of KwaZulu-Natal, which spans almost 2 200 hectares and showcases some awe-inspiring scenery. This part of the south coast is popular amongst holiday-makers from all over the world who want to sample the splendour of South Africa; untouched beauty that defines the landscapes.

The vegetation is a beautiful combination of grasslands, coastal forests, rivers, wetlands and mountains. This diversity makes Vernon Crookes a botanical delight for those with a penchant for the flora of the outdoors and the magnificent vistas that this creates.

Many animals live within the natural bounty of Vernon Crookes. There are some 56 mammal species alone. These include Eland, zebra, bushbuck, blue wildebeest, impala, black-backed jackal, and rock rabbits. There are over 300 recorded bird species. These include martial eagles, narina trogon, pygmy kingfishers, ground hornbills, secretary birds, grey crowned cranes, and plenty more. Specifically, the reserve has been acclaimed by avian enthusiasts for its abundance in grassland bird species. In addition, the giant earthworm (the largest earthworm in the world) can be found here, always making for a memorable and impressive sight.

In spring, the many insects emerge. These include a plethora of butterflies and beetles, which help to pollinate the many gorgeous plants, and provide very exciting finds for young and old alike.

An excellent way to experience the natural loveliness of the Vernon Crookes Nature Reserve is on one of the nature trails, of which there is a network of some 15 kilometres throughout the reserve. The well-maintained trails range from one kilometre to four kilometres long. Portions of these can be walked, and different parts offer something for people of different fitness levels and time constraints. Each trail has been laid out with the specific purpose of showing the walkers the maximum number of habitats, making them each rewarding and unique. A picnic and braai site with ablutions make for the ideal rest camps after a morning spent on foot in the gorgeous surrounds.

When embarking on the various trails, remember to apply sunscreen onto all exposed areas of the skin. Wear long trousers and wide-brimmed hats to provide protection from the sun and any grasses or thorns that may scratch.

Those with a passion for 4 x 4 adventures are invited to explore Vernon Crookes on some of the gravel roads that traverse the reserve. This allows the drivers to get the most out of the terrain, while still enjoying the beauty of the province.

The Vernon Crookes Nature Reserve lies just nine kilometres north of Umzinto. It is also close to the coast, which remains a favourite for many of the KwaZulu-Natal visitors. A small entrance fee of applies.

Popular Activities near Vernon Crookes Nature Reserve

Cragsview Wildcare Centre

Where? Port Edward
Crag’s View Wild Care Centre in Port Edward, KwaZulu-Natal, is the only formal rehabilitation centre for wildlife in the South Coast area. It homes, treats and rehabilitates birds and animals that have been orphaned or that have suffered debilitating...

More info and contact details: Cragsview Wildcare Centre

Did you know?

Visitors can choose trails which can vary from one hours to six hours. The trails traverse a wide variety of habitats in the reserve, from open grassland, parkland and forest.

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