About Vernon Crookes Nature Reserve

The Vernon Crookes is a delightful and convenient reserve for travellers holidaying on the South Coast of KwaZulu Natal, only ten minutes inland from Scottburgh on the glorious South Coast.

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.

The Vernon Crookes Nature Reserve is a 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 zebra, bushbuck, blue wildebeest, blue duiker, black-backed jackal, and rock rabbits. There are over 300 recorded bird species. These include crowned eagles, narina trogon, pygmy kingfishers, secretary birds, grey crowned cranes, and plenty more.

Specifically, the reserve has been acclaimed by avian enthusiasts for its abundance in grassland bird species. A bird hide overlooks the dam. 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 hiking trails range from one kilometre to four kilometres long.

All 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.

Need to Know

WhereVernon Crookes Nature Reserve, Umzinto, Scottburgh, South Coast, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa

WhenDaily from 06h00 to 18h00.

Telephone+27 (0)39 974-2222

OvernightStay in South Coast Accommodation, KwaZulu Natal


Please note, business details can change. While we endeavour to ensure all information provided by the service provider is correct at the time of publication, we do not assume any liability caused by errors or changes, such as price, cost, time, and location. Please check with the provider that the activity/business is still offered as described, before making any travel plans.


If this is your reserve, you can let us know if anything on this page is outdated or contains inaccuracies, by email. We regret, we do not have any other information, please contact the provider if you have questions.

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