Mkambati Nature Reserve Hot
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Mkambati river by wildlife and conservation photographer peter chadwick.
Mkambati coastline by wildlife and conservation photographer peter chadwick.
Red Hartebeest at Mkambati by wildlife and conservation photographer peter chadwick.
start of mkambati wilderness area by wildlife and conservation photographer peter chadwick.
burchells zebra at mkambati by wildlife and conservation photographer peter chadwick.
mkambati waterfall by wildlife and conservation photographer peter chadwick.

The Mkambati Nature Reserve covers 8000 hectares of coastal grasslands and deep forested gorges.

The forested ravines of the Msikaba and Mtentu rivers flank the grasslands, where Eland, Blesbuck, Red Hartebeest and Burchells Zebra are commonly seen against the blue backdrop of the ocean. Birdlife is prolific with 290 species having been recorded with Crowned Eagles and Cape Vultures regularly being sighted along the high gorges and flocks of Crowned Cranes being viewed on the grasslands.

The reserve is relatively undeveloped with the best way to explore it being on foot. There are 10kms of coastline that traverse rugged rocky beaches and large waterfalls that flow directly into the sea. Breathtaking views of the Msikaba gorge may be obtained by walking through the grasslands above the river. At one viewpoint, a large natural amphitheater towers over dense forest.


Best Time to Photograph
Dawn and dusk is best for photography along the coastline, while mid-morning allows sunlight to enter into the deep gorge of the Msikaba. Late afternoon is best for trying to photograph the variety of grazing antelope against the backdrop of the ocean
Type of Photography
  • Bird Photography
  • Coastal Photography
  • Landscape Photography
  • Insect Photography
Best Time of Year
Throughout the year
Photographic Tips
Photography is best undertaken on foot at Mkambati Nature Reserve and a light backpack with plenty of drinking water, a wind-breaker jacket, sunscreen and hat is useful for easy access to the most photogenic points on the reserve. The coastline within the wilderness area provides numerous photographic opportunities and a hike up the Msikaba River to the amphitheater is a must.
Recommended Gear


Site Highlights
Msikbaba Gorge, Horseshoe Falls


Season and Weather
The area has a relatively high rainfall within the summer season and temperatures are warm and pleasant. The winters are mild.
Other Activities
  • Bird Watching
  • Mountain Biking
  • Coastal Walks
  • Walking trails


Closest Town
Getting There
Mkhambati Nature Reserve can be reached via Port St Johns and Flagstaff. Shortly after Flagstaff, the road becomes gravel which can be extremely rough and potholed, particularly after the rains. Always allow for extra traveling time to accommodate for the slow driving speed over the gravel section of the road.
Mkambati Nature Reserve


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Peter Chadwick
Author: Peter ChadwickWebsite: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
As a dedicated conservationist, Peter Chadwick has 30 years strategic and operational conservation experience in terrestrial and marine protected area management. He has worked within all of the major biomes in southern Africa as well as having provided expert conservation advice at a global level. His conservation and wildlife photography is a natural extension to his conservation work where he has numerous opportunities to capture photographs that showcase the beauty and complexity of the outdoors. Peter’s photography is internationally recognized, with this work appearing globally in a wide range of print and electronic media.