Nature Reserves near De Kelders
*Distances are shown as the crow flies and are not necessarily the actual travelling
Hermanus (21.2 km from De Kelders)
Situated in the Kleinrivier Mountains on the northern side of Hermanus, Fernkloof Nature Reserve incorporates mountain fynbos as well as a pocket of evergreen forest. A 60 kilometre network of trails provides the opportunity for people to go out and enjoy some exercise and fresh air. These trails offer stunning panoramic views of Walker Bay, the Hemel en Aarde Valley and Maanskynbaai.The reserve is a haven of biodiversity with 1474 species of plants recorded. Parts of the coastal area including the Cliff Path Nature Area, the Mossel River valley and the area from De Mond to Kettle Point, including the mouth of the Vogelgat River and part of the Klein River lagoon have recently been incorporated. This means that the coastal area with its unique fynbos, the mountain fynbos as well as the sensitive lagoon area is now linked.Keep your eyes open to spot grey rhebok, Cape grysbok, klipspringer, baboon, mongoose and dassie. Birds that you are most likely to see are Cape sugar birds, sunbirds, rock thrush and rock jumpers. Raptors include the jackal buzzard and black eagle. You can also spot seed and insect-eating species such as Rameron pigeons, canaries, flycatchers and white-eyes in the patches of forest alongside streams.Need to know? Fernkloof Nature Reserve is open from 7am to 7pm.
Bettys Bay (52 km from De Kelders)
The incredibly scenic Harold Porter Botanical Garden is situated between the coast and the mountainside. The garden is renowned for its waterfalls, amber pools, deep gorges and abundant birdlife.
Deep in the heart of the fynbos region, it is one of the best places to explore coastal fynbos. And its vast – there are 10 hectares of cultivated fynbos as well as 190 hectares of natural fynbos!
Keen hikers should lace up their boots and hit the Leopard Kloof Trail. The 3 km round trip leads through fern forests and up to a waterfall. You’ll need to get a permit and pay a key deposit.
Need to know? Opens at 08:00, closes at 16:30 on weekdays and at 17:00 on weekends and public holidays. The parking area closes at 18:00 in winter and 19:00 in summer. Keen gardeners can purchase plants from the indigenous plant nursery.
Kleinmond (56.5 km from De Kelders)
The Kogelberg Nature Reserve has an amazing network of hiking trails along the coast and in the mountains. The trails pass through pristine fynbos and provide breathtaking views of the sea and mountains.
Somerset West (77.2 km from De Kelders)
Initially a wild flower garden, the 407-hectare Helderberg Nature Reserve was proclaimed a reserve in 1960 to preserve an important enclave of Mesic Mountain Fynbos.Along with the incredible plant diversity, the reserve has a rich fauna. Visitors can experience bontebok grazing at any time of the day and some 169 species of birds have been recorded. Look out for three types of tortoise – the mountain tortoise, the angulate tortoise and the padloper.There are several lovely walking trails, of which only the Brown Route is non-circular. Facilities in the reserve include an information centre, plant herbarium, gift shop, indigenous nursery, resource centre, walking paths and benches, Oak Café restaurant, picnic area, facilities for the disabled and ablutions.
Jonkershoek Nature Reserve (80.5 km from De Kelders)
Beautiful well-maintained and managed nature reserve approx 15km from Stellenbosch. A favourite for Stellenbosch residents and well worth the visit. Offers an amazing array of trails suitable for mountain bikers, trail runners and hikers.
The trails will suit the novice to the most experienced athlete. Stunning waterfalls and rivers are easily accessible and make an ideal picnic excursion for the family. Cash required to pay for entry permit at the gate.