About the Bill Barnes Crane and Oribi Nature Reserve



The Bill Barnes Crane and Oribi Nature Reserve lies between the N3 motorway and Nottingham Road. The P147 district road is its eastern boundary, and from the road, one looks across the Reserve and the whole sweep of the central Ukuhlamba-Drakensberg, including Giants Castle. It is a unique gift to the midlands community, as a model for environmentally sustainable farming practices, but it is also an unused treasure for people with a real interest in and concern for the environment. Our aim is to make the reserve more accessible to nature lovers, whilst ensuring its status as a sanctuary for some of our most threatened species.

In 2001, The KZN Crane Foundation moved to our present facility at the Usher Conservation Centre in Nottingham Road and in later collaborated with three, conservation-minded adjacent landowners in the establishment of the Bill Barnes Crane and Oribi Nature Reserve.


The aim of the founders was to create a model for environmentally responsible farming, in line with the Ezemvelo sponsored KZN Biodiversity Stewardship Programme, and indeed the reserve, which formally protects 450 ha of Drakensberg Moist Foothill Grassland, was one of the first areas proclaimed under this programme. The reserve, which is home to breeding pairs of both Wattled and Grey Crowned Cranes and increasingly threatened Oribi, was made possible by the support and generous donation of land by the late Mr Peter Brown (father of Mr Chris Brown), Mr Jon Bates (owner of Fordoun Hotel and Spa) and Mr James Berning

How to find the Bill Barnes Crane and Oribi Nature Reserve