Situated on the KwaZulu-Natal south coast, Vernon Crookes Nature Reserve is a beautiful landscape of coastal scarp forest and coastal grasslands. Get great pictures on your next visit with these tips from African Conservation Photodestinations.

At Vernon Crookes Nature Reserve you can mountain bike through grasslands, explore forests and marvel at wetlands. This reserve is home to over 300 bird species, including such specials as the African broadbill, narina trogon and orange ground thrush. Insects, especially butterflies, make this location one of the best for macro photography.

Best time to photograph

Dawn over the grasslands provides a spectacular golden glow and many of the grassland birds can be found displaying and calling from prominent positions at this time. Insects become more active as the day warms up, while the forest patches are most active at dawn and dusk.

Type of photography: birds, game, insects and scenery

Photo tip 1

Birds are generally shy on this reserve, so it is best to try and photograph them during the first hour of dawn when they are displaying.

Yellow-Throated Longclaw. Vernon Crookes Nature Reserve. Southern KwaZulu Natal. South Africa

Yellow-throated longclaw

Photo tip 2

The forest/grassland provides excellent opportunities for insect photography and particularly for a wide range of butterfly species.

Vernon Crookes Nature Reserve. Southern KwaZulu Natal. South Africa

Photo tip 3

During spring the grasslands are covered in a wide diversity of small flowers, which once again provide fantastic macro opportunities.

Dierama latifollium. Vernon Crookes Nature Reserve. Southern KwaZulu Natal. South Africa

Dierama latifollium

For more information on photographing Vernon Crookes Nature Reserve or to view photo information for other conservation areas, go to African Conservation Photodestinations.