Silaka Nature Reserve Hot
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watsonia flowers by wildlife and conservation photographer peter chadwick.
Silaka forest by wildlife and conservation photographer peter chadwick.

Covered with deep valley forest and six kilometers of rugged yet striking coastline, Silaka Nature Reserve teams with butterflies, birdlife and the diminutive Blue Duiker and shy Bushbuck

Silaka Nature Reserve is located on the outskirts of Port St Johns on the Wild Coast. The small marshy estuary at the reserves center is home to the Cape Clawless Otter, Long-Tailed Wagtail and flocks of Thick-Billed Weaver that build their oval nests in the reedbeds. A number of meandering hiking trails wander through the forest and allow opportunities to view the floral diversity that includes a number of orchid species amongst the towering trees. The coastline is rough with small patches of sandy beach between the rocky outcrops.


Best Time to Photograph
Landscape and coastal photography is best undertaken at either dawn or dusk, while the birds and insects become most active from about an hour after sunrise through to midday.
Type of Photography
  • Coastal Photography
  • Landscape Photography
  • Bird Photography
  • Insect Photography
Best Time of Year
Throughout the year
Photographic Tips
Cape Clawless Otter are most active at dawn and dusk and by quietly waiting near the estuary mouth, you may be fortunate enough to view these shy animals. Wandering through the camp provides good opportunities for bird photography where the birds are more relaxed to human presence. Insects become active from mid-morning and sun themselves at the forest eco-tone.
Recommended Gear
Silaka Nature Reserve provides a wide range of photographic opportunities that maximize the full range of lenses right from wide-angled through to large telephoto lenses. Stable tripods and cable releases for landscape photography is suggested.


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
  • Walking trails
  • Bird Watching


Closest Town
Getting There
Silaka Nature Reserve is located on the outskirts of Port St Johns and is easily located by following the road through the town towards the beach and lookout. Follow the signs to the reserve up a steep hill and to the
Silaka 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.