Chelmsford - Area View
Chelmsford - View
Chelmsford - Campsite
Chelmsford - Sandford Campsite
Chelmsford - Area

About Chelmsford


  • Chelmsford Nature Reserve surrounds the Ntshingwayo Dam. It is one of KwaZulu Natal’s state dams managed by Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife that are set aside to provide outdoor recreation. The dam itself is situated on the iNgagane river, and the reserve covers a total areas of 6 800 ha. It was established in 1975, and is the third largest dam in KwaZulu- Natal. Chelmsford features the largest populations of the rare oribi in South Africa.

What To Do On Arrival

  • On arrival all visitors to Chelmsford Nature Reserve must report to the reception centre before checking in.
  • Guests who arrive after office hours will be requested to pay a deposit, and report to the office before 10:30 the following morning to sign in.

How To Get There

  • The entrance gate at Chelmsford Nature Reserve is 26 km from Newcastle.
  • Turnoff the National Road N11, 20 km south of Newcastle, onto District Road 210, towards Normandien.
  • The gate is on your left 6 km along this road.


  • In the interests of good management and for the added comfort and pleasure of visitors to Chelmsford, the following rules apply:
  • No noise is allowed in the camping and chalet areas. Limited noise at the picnic areas, no noise after 19:00.
  • It is an offence to vandalize any property. Anyone who practices such will be prosecuted. Please keep to the roads at all times. The speed limit is 40 km/h on all roads, unless slower speeds are indicated.
  • Certain sections of the reserve may be closed to the public for management reasons and entry to these parts therefore are forbidden. Please respect these signs. Credit cards are accepted.
  • Assist us in preventing runaway fires by avoiding all naked flames and other materials which could result in uncontrolled fires. Please deposit all rubbish in the bins provided.
  • It is an offence to kill, injure, capture or disturb any animal or bird, or cut, damage, uproot, destroy or remove any wood, flower or plant. No pets are allowed into the reserve. Visitors are not permitted to introduce or release any animal into the reserve. Permits to the campsites are required by all visitors. All boats must be registered with Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife. Life jackets must be carried and preferably worn at all times when on the water.
  • A copy of the boating rules is available at the reception office. Powerboat skippers are required to be in possession of a valid skipper’s licence. Please respect other visitors to the area. No quad bikes/motorbikes allowed.
  • If any problems arise that require the attention of an Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife officer/field ranger occur, please contact the reception office or entry gate guard. Entrance gates to the reserve open and close at the following times: 06:00 - 19:00. Medical assistance, police and all other amenities are available at Newcastle, about 26 km away.

Chelmsford Gallery