22 Stunning Nature Reserves in the Western Cape - 2018
22 Stunning Nature Reserves in the Western Cape - 2018
Title Image
22 Stunning Nature Reserves in the Western Cape - 2018
Cape Town is known for its natural attractions. Here we review everything you need to know about the top nature reserves: Info, prices, location, activities etc
Title Image

22 Stunning Nature Reserves in the Western Cape - 2018

Cape Town is known for its natural attractions. Here we review everything you need to know about the top nature reserves: Info, prices, location, activities etc
Title Image
22 Stunning Nature Reserves in the Western Cape - 2018
Cape Town is known for its natural attractions. Here we review everything you need to know about the top nature reserves: Info, prices, location, activities etc

The Western Cape in South Africa boasts an amazing diversity of landscapes, fauna, and flora. To protect and showcase this natural beauty, a number of nature reserves have been established. Read our handy nature reserves guide and see for yourself!

If you're after a more active experience, we've got you covered. These reserves offer a plethora of activities to keep you entertained, and cater to all sorts of preferences - from the most voracious thrill-seekers to the tamest of nature-walkers.

Quick JumpWithin 50 km of Cape TownDie Oog Bird SanctuaryTable MountainCape of Good HopeSilvermine Bracken De Hoop Boulders BeachFalse Bay Ecology Park HelderbergBetween 50 and 150 km from Cape TownJonkershoekWest CoastKogelbergFurther than 150 km from Cape TownWalker BayCape ColumbineCederberg Wilderness AreaBontebok National ParkCape Agulhas National ParkTankwa National ParkThe Garden Route National ParkWilderness National ParkKnysna National Lake AreaTsitsikamma

Below, we have listed only the best reserves the Western Cape has to offer.

(Please note: All figures are as of 12 April 2017)

Don't forget to check what's happening in Cape Town Today

Within 50 km of Cape Town

The best part about living or visiting nature reserves in or around Cape Town is how close the attractions are to the Mother City. A few even fall within city boundaries, making for the perfect opportunities to visit these even if your time in the Cape is limited.

You can also purchase a Wild Card for a fixed annual fee and get free entrance to national parks and added discounts and perks.

Die Oog Bird Sanctuary

Nestled within the suburb of Bergvliet, Die Oog is the perfect after-school destination for the little ones. Featuring a deck which overlooks the wetland stretching across to Constantia, the reserve is a tiny piece of greenery just a stone-throw away from the city.

Die Oog: tranquility right on your doorstep@beachbum_blondie

It is abundant with birdlife, housing species such as wild weaver birds, which have built nests in one of the oldest trees on the property. This watering hole also sees migratory ducks and geese, which often settle there to raise their young.

  • Things to do:
    • Feeding the ducks and geese
    • Bird-watching
    • Try to spot the tracks of the nocturnal water-mongoose
    • Geocaching
  • Restaurants nearby:
  • Accommodation nearby:

If amphibians are your thing, you’ll like that this reserve is home to the famous, endangered leopard toad; you can hear the croaking all day long. The water almost always teems with life, filled to the brim with tiny freshwater turtles and their aquatic friends! There is no entrance fee, however, there is a donation box, which funds are used to maintain the reserve.

  • When: Daily from 6am - 6pm
  • Contact: +27 (0)21 712 3510
  • Where: 16 Midwood Ave, Bergvliet
  • More Info: Website

Table Mountain

The Table Mountain National Park, or TMNP for short, is Cape Town’s pride and joy. The park is a World Heritage Site, one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature, and it offers something for everyone.

Table Mountain: jewel in Cape Town's Crown@gavman18

There are fauna, flora, beautiful beaches, outdoor activities, and epic views. Whether you are a tourist or a local, there really is no reason not to visit TMNP.

  • Things to do:
    • The Table Mountain Aerial Cableway gets you to the top in about 5 minutes, and offers spectacular panoramic views of the city.
    • Hiking. There are various routes, guided, and/or audio tours up the mountain, some of which include:
      • Platteklip
      • Skeleton Gorge and Smuts Track
      • Kasteelspoort
      • Hoerikwaggo trail
      • India Venster
    • Read our 11 Enchanting Hiking Trails around Cape Town article for more info.
    • Rock Climbing
    • Cape Climb: Website
    • Climb ZA: Website
    • Abseiling
    • Mountain-biking
    • Picnic
    • Sunset at the top
  • Restaurants nearby:
  • Accommodation nearby:
    • Overseers Cottage - Website
    • Wash House - Website
    • Visit the SANParks Website to find out more and check availability.

The park is situated within the Mother City and runs from Table Mountain right down to Cape Point. When visiting Table Mountain make sure to go all the way to the summit - those 360° views will leave you gasping for breath, and not because you’ve just trekked to the top.

You can either hike up, or take the Table Mountain Aerial Cableway if you are short of time or feeling lazy. The cable-car is free to residents on their birthday; just bring along your ID.

  • Cost:
    • Cable-Car:
      • From R135 - R255, Adults
      • From R65 - R125, Kids
      • From R53 - R100, SA Senior Citizens
      • From R70 - R130, Students
      • Free - On Your Birthday (SA Citizens Only)
  • Where: Camps Bay along the coastline to Cape Point.
  • When: Check the times here.
  • Contact:
    • +27 (0)21 424 0015
    • info@tablemountain.net
  • More Info: Website.

Cape of Good Hope

While the Cape of Good Hope lies further out than Table Mountain and its surrounds, it is still part of the Table Mountain National Park.

On point as usual: Cape Point@sudafricaperte

People often incorrectly credit this reserve as the southernmost tip of Africa, when really this claim to fame belongs to the Cape Agulhas (See later in this article).

Even so, a visit to the Cape of Good Hope is well worth the (approx.) sixty minute drive from Cape Town city centre. Once you’ve entered this Natural World Heritage Site, you forget how close you are to the city, as it has a game park-like feel with free, roaming game.

  • Things to do:
    • Various walking, biking, and hiking trails
    • Explore old ship wrecks!
    • Flying Dutchman cable-car to the Cape Point Lighthouse
    • Visit the Bartolomeu Dias and Vasco da Gama monuments
    • Beaches, swimming, surfing, and tidal pools
    • Take in the views from some of the highest cliffs in the country
    • Explore the legend of Antonie’s Gat
    • Birdwatching (1200 species)
    • Whale watching
    • Game viewing
    • Fishing and angling
      • To catch fish or bait you will need a permit, click here to apply for one today.
  • Restaurants nearby:
  • Accommodation nearby:

You can also spot the park's resplendent and varied flora from your car. The area is associated with baboons, so keep your belongings close and properly secure.

A visit to the Cape Point Lighthouse will complete your experience at this reserve. You can either walk up to the lighthouse, or take the cable-ride, aptly named the Flying Dutchman, to the top. Once there, you will be treated to spectacular views.

  • Cost:
    • Cape of Good Hope
      • R135 - Adults
      • R70 - Kids (Ages 2-11)
    • Flying Dutchman Funicular
      • From R50 - R65, Adults
      • From R20 - R25, Kids, (Ages 6-16)
  • Where: Cape Point Road, Cape Peninsula
  • Contact:
    • +27 (0)21 780 9010/11
    • info@capepoint.co.za
  • When:
    • Cape of Good Hope Park
      • October - March: 6am - 6pm
      • April - September: 7am - 5pm
    • Flying Dutchman Funicular
      • October - March: 9am - 5:30pm
      • April - September: 9am - 5pm

Silvermine

Situated at the top of Ou Kaapse Weg, Silvermine Nature Reserve covers the plateau of the mountain. Rich in fynbos and an array of wildlife, it is frequented by visitors all year round. A short dirt track off the main road leads you to the gates of the reserve, and from there you can choose your adventure.

Soak in the setting at Silvermine@barbscole

The dam is revered by locals, and provides relief from the hot sun. Visitors often jump from the boardwalk straight into the fresh, black lake. The water is a home for a variety of aquatic creatures, so don’t be alarmed when the fish rub up against you.

  • Things to do:
    • Dogs welcome (provided you have a My Activity Permit or a Wild Card)
    • Hiking and running trails
    • Explore nearby caves and waterfalls
    • Bird watching
    • Mountain-bike (provided you carry a My Activity Permit)
    • Swim in the dam
    • Braai and picnic (Weather permitting as high winds can result in a no open fire zone)
  • Restaurants nearby:
  • Accommodation nearby:

The boardwalk wraps around the entire dam leading up to it from the parking lot, making this site wheelchair-friendly, and a beautiful spot for a picnic.

  • Cost:
    • R40 - Adults
    • R20 - Kids
    • Free if you possess a Wild Card or a My Green Card. Details here.
  • Where: Oh Kaap se Weg Rd.
  • Contact:
    • +27 (0)21 780 9002
    • tablem@sanparks.org
  • When:
    • Winter: 8am - 5pm (April - September)
    • Summer: 7am - 6pm (October - March)

Bracken

You might find it hard to believe that this thirty-six hectare nature reserve, home to a variety of fynbos species that are on the verge of becoming extinct, has fulfilled many different functions.

Bask in the beauty at Bracken

In the 1700s, it was used to signal the arrival of ships for trade. Later, it became a quarry, and then a landfill-site, before it was finally classified as a nature reserve. The vegetation is in the process of being restored.

  • Things to do:
    • Picnic
    • Birdwatching
    • Area rich in birdlife
    • Walking trails
    • Wheelchair-friendly
    • Animal-spotting
    • Running and jogging
    • Fynbos identifying
  • Restaurants nearby:
    • Da Vinci’s Pizza Restaurant and Pub - Website
    • Rio Grande Restaurant - Website
  • Accommodation nearby:

Only 32 km from the city centre, Bracken Nature Reserve also sustains a range of animal-life. Visitors can look out for a host of birds, such as the peregrine falcon, while enjoying walks and picnics.

Additionally you can view Cape grysbok, small spotted genet, and maybe even the endangered Cape rain frog. There is also a wheelchair-friendly path through the reserve.

  • Where 2 Reservoir St, Brackenfell South, Cape Town
  • When: Daily: 7:30am - 4pm
  • Contact:
    • +27 (0)21 444 0380
    • bracken.naturereserve@capetown.gov.za

De Hoop

Declared a World Heritage Site, De Hoop gives visitors the opportunity to immerse themselves in both aquatic and land-based nature. Perfect for family holidays, weddings, and honeymoons, this reserve offers an endless range of activities.

Delve into the delights of De Hoop@hmahabir

A three hour drive from Cape Town will get you to this reserve and, once there, you won’t know what to do first! Water lovers can snorkel, swim, and identify the plethora of marine species in the area.

  • Things to do:
    • Hiking, walking, cycling, and mountain-biking trails
    • Framed by beautiful fynbos
    • Dune walks
    • Stargazing and star identification
    • Bird (260 species) and whale watching
    • Elim Wine Route
    • Spa treatments
    • Boat trips, swimming, and snorkelling
    • Picnics
    • Game drives (86 mammals)
    • Horse-riding
    • Tennis
    • Conference facilities
  • Restaurants nearby:
  • Accommodation Nearby:

For those who have the Jaws theme-song playing on an eternal loop in their heads, there really is plenty to do on solid-ground. Go on game-drives, or explore the bird and whale-spotting trails in the area.

Hundreds of Southern right whales frolic in the waves at De Hoop from June to November every year.

  • Cost:
    • R40 per person Conservation Fee.
    • Wild Card members enter free.
  • Where: Overberg District Municipality, 6740
  • When:
    • Monday - Thursday, 7am - 6pm
    • Fridays, 7am - 7pm
  • Contact:
    • +27 (0)28 542 1114/5
    • +27 (0)79 528 3549

Boulders Beach

A small, protected beach nestled in the quiet suburb of Simons Town, Boulders is home to a colony of African penguins. Since only 26 000 of these penguins are left in the world, it is truly a privilege to see them outside of an enclosure.

Check out these penguin poses at Boulders@tali_kundel

If that weren’t enough, the powdery, white sand combines with the clear, cool Indian Ocean to produce an idyllic cove, bordered by majestic boulders. There is also a boardwalk where you can observe the penguins in their natural habitat.

  • Things to do:
    • Enjoy a day at the beach
    • Swim in the (not icy) Indian Ocean
    • Three boardwalks to view the penguins
    • Wheelchair friendly
    • Boulders to climb and jump off
    • Rock pools to explore
    • Boulders Visitors Centre
  • Restaurants nearby:
  • Accommodation nearby:
    • Residence William French Guest House - Website
    • Simons Town Quayside Hotel: Website

Boulders is easily accessible by car and train. Many locals choose this peaceful beach for a day out with the family - soaking in the sun and floating in the water. Pack a picnic, and make a day of it.

  • Cost:
    • R70 - Adults
    • R35 - Kids (2-11 years old)
    • Free for Wild Card holders
  • Where:
    • Kleintuin Rd, Cape Town, 7995
  • When: Open Daily
    • December - January: 7am - 9:30pm
    • February - April: 8am - 6:30pm
    • May - September: 8am - 5pm
    • October - November: 8am - 6:30pm
  • Contact: +27 (0)21 786 2329

False Bay Ecology Park

The False Bay Ecology Park consists of Rondevlei Nature Reserve, Zeekoevlei Nature Reserve, the Cape Flats Wastewater Treatment Works, and the Coast Park Landfill Site. All closely situated within the same confines (1200 hectares), it makes viewing them that much easier.

Fall in love with the fynbos at False Bay@adeblocq

A long, tar road winds through the park, off which you can turn at many points to various picnic areas. There is an abundance of wildlife, despite its proximity to residential areas. Expect to see hippo, flamingo, pelicans, and many more animals.

  • Things to do:
    • Aquarium
    • Guided walks
    • Biodiversity
    • Education centre
    • Birdwatching
    • Museum
    • Menagerie
    • Conference room
    • Boat trips; sailing and rowing events (There is a boat trip rental fee)
    • Fishing and angling (provided you have a permit)
    • Picnics
  • Restaurants nearby:
  • Accommodation nearby:
    • Blue Yonder Self Catering Luxury Apartments - Website
    • Blue on Blue Bed & Breakfast - Website
    • Whale Watchers Luxury Seaside Apartments - Website

There are various tours to educate and introduce people to the idea of sustainability. A working water treatment plant at the park displays one way in which a more reciprocal relationship between humans and nature is possible.

  • Where: Off Old Strandfontein Road
  • When: Times differ throughout the year: 7:30am - 6pm
  • Contact:
    • Rondevlei Nature Reserve: +27 (0)21 706 2404
    • Zeekoeivlei Yacht Club: +27 (0)21 705 3373
  • More Info: Website

Helderberg

Located across the southern region of Helderberg Mountain in Somerset West, this reserve stretches 398 acres, boasts 600 plant types, and is famous for its proteas. It is also home to leopards, Cape grysbok, steenbok, and more.

Hide in the haven of heavenly Helderberg@lexikondi

There’s lots to keep you occupied in this beautiful reserve. It is an established picnic spot, and hosts open-air music concerts during summer.

  • Things to do:
    • Walking and hiking trails
    • Picnic area
    • Outdoor summer concerts
    • Bird watching
    • Animal spotting
    • Explore fynbos, soil-types, and rock formations
    • Visitor Centre and gift shop
    • Indigenous plant nursery
    • Resource centre for school projects
    • Plant herbarium
    • Alien vegetation hacks
  • Restaurants nearby:
  • Accommodation nearby:

Learn about fauna and flora identification at the plant herbarium, indigenous plant nursery, and resource centre.

  • Cost:
    • R10 - Vehicles
    • R20 - Adults
    • R10 - Kids (3-18 years)
    • Free: Toddlers (up to 3 years)
    • R10 - Students (upon presentation of your student card)
    • R10 - Senior citizens (60+ years)
  • Where: Verster Avenue, Somerset West, 7135
  • When:
    • 1 December - 28 February: 7:30am - 8pm
    • 1 April - 31 October: 7:30am - 5:30pm
    • March and November: 7:30am - 7pm
  • Contact:
    • General enquiries:
      • +27 (0)21 444 9744
    • Visitor centre:
      • +27 (0)21 851 4060
      • +27 (0)71 359 4139
  • More Info: Website

Between 50 and 150 km from Cape Town

If there's time to head out a little further from the city, you’ll have access to more nature reserves that enhance the Western Cape.

Since it takes a bit longer to get to these destinations, we recommend a full day (at least) to enjoy all that these parks have to offer.

Jonkershoek

This reserve stretches 9800 hectares, and encompasses the majestic Jonkershoek Mountains. Within is a smaller reserve, Assegaaibosch. Visitors can explore both World Heritage Sites.

Take to the hills at Jonkershoek@robertspangey

Jonkershoek is perfect for nature-lovers and hikers. With more than 1100 plant types, and diverse animal and bird life, there is plenty to see.

  • Things to do:
    • Hiking
    • Swimming at the dam
    • Picnic area
    • Mountain biking and cycling
    • Birdwatching
    • Exploring the fauna and flora
    • Game viewing
  • Restaurants nearby:
  • Accommodation nearby:

You might spot klipspringer, common duiker, grysbok, or grey rhebuck. Just tread carefully - this reserve is home to some of Cape Town’s most dangerous snakes.

  • Cost:
    • Conservation Fee
      • Adults: R40
      • Kids: R20 (3-12 years)
    • Mountain-biking
      • R25 per person
    • Hiking
      • R30 per person
  • Where: Jonkershoek Road, Stellenbosch, 7600
  • When:
    • April - October (08:00 - 18:00)
    • November - March (08:00 - 19:00)
  • Contact:
    • Office:
      • +27 (0)21 866 1560
    • Emergency:
      • +27 (0)82 467 0405

West Coast

This spectacular nature reserve borders the crystal-clear waters of Langebaan Lagoon, and is near the Saldanha Bay Harbour

Wade in the wonderful water at the West Coast@jules_dasilva

The reserve lies 98 km from Cape Town, and boasts an impressive diversity of wildlife.

During spring, the multi-coloured flowers bursts into bloom across the reserve, as far as the eye can see. If you think the fun ends here, however, you’d be more wrong than pineapple on pizza.

  • Things to do:
    • Hiking, cycling, mountain biking, and walking trails
    • Kayaking, kiteboarding and other water sports
    • Bird watching
    • Picnic and braai facilities
    • Whale watching
    • View game and other small animals
    • Fynbos and plant-life
    • Eve's Footprint and Trail - Details
    • Flower season
  • Restaurants nearby:
  • Accommodation Nearby:

Expect activities ranging from kayaking to biking and hiking, to birdwatching or even swimming in the lagoon's azure waters, this reserve has everything you need and more! Don't miss it!

  • Cost: Vary depending on the time of year and visitors Nationality.
    • From R50 - R120, Adults
    • From R25 - R75, Kids
  • Where: West Coast Road; close to Langebaan
  • When:
    • 1 September - 31 March:
      • 7am - 7pm
    • 1 April - 31 August:
      • 7am - 6pm
  • Contact: +27 (0)12 428 9111

Kogelberg

Abundant in fynbos, this 100 000 hectare reserve is largely undisturbed. In line with the park’s conservation-mission, many eco-friendly activities can be enjoyed.

Meet the majestic mountains of Kogelberg@zana.peric

Spend hours marvelling at the unspoiled grandeur of Kogelberg’s wildlife, or splash around by kayaking, tubing or swimming. There are also excellent bird and whale watching spots.

  • Things to do:
    • Bird watching and whale watching
    • Walking, hiking, mountain biking & cycling trails
    • Canoeing, kayaking, tubing, swimming, and river-rafting
    • Spotting small game
  • Restaurants nearby:
  • Accommodation nearby:

A visit to Kogelberg, which has been awarded ECO Certification by Ecotourism, is a great way to honour and enjoy nature simultaneously.

  • Cost:
    • R40 - Adults
    • R20 - Kids
    • From R25 - Group activities
  • Where: Kogelberg just passed Gordons Bay
  • When: Daily, 7:30am - 4pm
  • Contact:
    • Office: +27 (0)28 271 5138
    • Emergency: +27 (0)28 271 5138
    • Accommodation and permit bookings: +27 (0)21 483 0190
    • kogelbrg@mweb.co.za

Further than 150 km from Cape Town

It takes more time and petrol to reach these reserves, but (trust us) it’s worth it. Since the journey is longer, we recommend you stay a few days.

So pack a bag (don’t forget the sunscreen), load the family into the car, and enjoy the scenic drive to the nature reserve of your choice outside Cape Town’s parameters.

Walker Bay

An Eden for the whale-spotter, Walker Bay is a coastal gem near Hermanus. Annually, copious southern right whales populate the bay to birth their calves. Likewise, this reserve offers some of the finest whale-watching views around.

Wander along the pristine coast of Walker Bay@travelboo

The area is also an important site in the history of humankind at the Cape. Explore Klipgat Cave, in which Homo-sapiens dwelt more than 65 000 years ago.

  • Things to do:
    • Explore Klipgat Cave
    • Whale and dolphin watching
    • Hiking
    • Birdwatching
    • Recreational fishing
    • Swimming
    • 4x4 fishing trail
    • Picnic spots
  • Restaurants nearby:
  • Accommodation nearby:

Walker Bay is an excellent way to enjoy the outdoors, while taking in the history of human life in the area.

  • Cost:
    • R40 - Adults
    • R20 - Kids
    • From R40 - Group activities
  • Where: 16 17th ave, Walker Bay, Hermanus, 7200
  • When: Daily: 7am - 7pm
  • Contact:
    • Enquiries:
      • +27 (0)28 314 0062
    • Accommodation and permit bookings:
      • +27 (0)21 483 0190

Cape Columbine

Cape Columbine rests approximately 5km from Paternoster. An area of exceptional beauty, it flourishes most during spring when it is blanketed in multi-coloured wild flowers, which are sure to set Instagrammers’ hearts a-racing.

Cruise along the cliffs of Cape Columbine@andyyross

Besides the offering of fun activities, Cape Columbine boasts the last manually operated lighthouse built in the country.

  • Things to do:
    • Hiking
    • Angling
    • Bird watching
    • Kayaking and diving
    • Two beach campsites
    • Horse riding
  • Restaurants nearby:
  • Accommodation nearby:

Another highlight is beach camping, where you can fall asleep to the hypnotic sounds of the waves.

  • Cost:
    • Admission into Reserve:
      • R13 - Adults
      • R9 - Kids
    • Lighthouse Tower:
      • R16 - Adults
      • R8 - Kids
  • Where: Tietiesbaai
  • When:
    • Reserve:
      • Daily: 7am - 7pm
    • Lighthouse Tower:
      • Monday to Friday: 10am - 3pm
  • Contact:
    • Lighthouse: +27 (0)22 752 2705
    • Resort: +27 (0)22 752 2718

Cederberg Wilderness Area

This World Heritage Site has a different quality to other reserves in and around Cape Town. While the Cederberg Wilderness is only a three hour drive from the Mother City, being there will make you second guess your location.

Get seduced by the Cederberg's special scenery @hennieodendal

Surrounded by the red and orange-stained cliffs of Cederberg Mountains, exquisite fynbos, and the vast, open reserve, visitors will be humbled by the sights.

  • Things to do:
    • Hiking, walking, and mountain biking trails
    • Rock climbing
    • Donkey cart rides
    • Swimming
    • Wild Game watching
    • Bird watching
    • Camping facilities
    • San and Khoi rock art
    • Rock formations
    • Seasonal flowers
    • Visit the Rooibos Tea Factory
  • Restaurants nearby:
    • Old Millhouse Restaurant - Website
    • Hebron - Website
    • Reinhold’s Restaurant
  • Accommodation nearby:

A great spot for rock climbing, identifying fynbos, like the laurel protea, and for spotting game, the Cederberg Wilderness is a great way to immerse yourself in the grand outdoors.

  • Cost:
    • R60 - Adults
    • R35 - Kids
    • Group activities from R60
  • Where: 30 km from Clanwilliam (closest town)
  • When: Daily: 07:30 - 19:00
  • Contact:
    • +27 (0)83 468 8030
    • (0)861 2273 628 873
    • chrtrails@gmail.com

Bontebok National Park

Breathe in the beauty of Bontebok@martinesaffy

If you’re looking for serenity, but want to engage in exciting activities, Bontebok is for you. Located along the Breede River, this national park is brimming with colourful fynbos.

Bontebok is the nature-lover’s perfect destination.

  • Things to do:
    • Walking, mountain biking, and hiking trails
    • Picnic and braai facilities at Die Stroom
    • Camping
    • Game viewing self-drives (bontebok and more)
    • Bird watching
    • Swimming in and canoeing and kayaking on the Breede River
    • Stanley’s Bustard
  • Restaurants nearby:
    • Koornlands Restaurant - Website
    • Paradise Organic
    • La Sosta Restaurant and Guest House - Website
  • Accommodation nearby:

A leading example in conservation, Bontebok boasts a variety of birds, plant-life and game. Before the reserve rescued bontebok from extinction, only 17 existed. Now there are 3000.

  • Cost: Prices vary depending on Nationality
    • From R37 - R100, Adults
    • From R18 - R50 - Kids
  • Where: Swellendam, 6740
  • When:
    • 1 October - 30 April: 07:00 - 19:00
    • 1 May - 30 September: 07:00 - 18:00
  • Contact:
    • +27 (0)28 514 2735

Cape Agulhas National Park

Cavort around the captivating Cape Agulhas @shotleft

The spot where the the Atlantic and Indian oceans converge, as well as the Southernmost tip of Africa, Cape Agulhas is a special place to visit.

Other museums include the Shipwreck and the Elim Heritage Centre. For spectacular views all over the park, Cape Agulhas is a must.

  • Things to do:
    • The actual southernmost point of Africa, and the meeting of the two oceans
    • Visit the Cape Agulhas Lighthouse
    • Go wine tasting along the country’s southernmost wine-producing region: the Elim Wine Route.
    • Bird watching
    • Whale watching
    • Diving and scuba diving
    • Fishing and angling
    • Braai and picnic
    • Hiking trails
      • Two Oceans Trail
      • Rasperpunt Trail
      • Spookdraai Trail
    • Museums
    • Fynbos varieties
  • Restaurants nearby:
    • Cape Agulhas Lighthouse
    • Zuidste Kaap Pub & Restaurant - Website
    • Black Oystercatcher - Website
    • SeaGulls Pub & Grill - Website
  • Accommodation nearby:

There’s also beautiful fynbos, the Elim Wine Route, and great hiking trails to explore.

Don’t forget to visit the Cape Agulhas Lighthouse, the second oldest one still functioning in the country, as well as the third to be constructed.

  • Cost: Prices vary depending on Nationality
    • From R37 - R148, Adults
    • From R18 - R74, Kids
  • Where: 214 Main Rd, Agulhas, Bredasdorp
  • When: Daily: 07:00-19:00
  • Contact:
    • +27 (0)28 435 6078
    • agulhasinfo@sanparks.org

Tankwa National Park

Traverse through the tranquility of Tankwa@lifewithmarshall

Established as a national park in 1986, Tankwa has grown from approximately 27 000 hectares to more than 146 000 hectares.

Go bird watching, spot game, take in the views, stargaze, explore the fynbos, and even build a snowman if there's snowfall. This impressive park is a treat to experience, so set off and enjoy the views of a lifetime!

  • Things to do:
    • Bird watching
    • 4x4 trails
    • Star gazing
    • Walks and trails
    • Cycling
    • Self-drive game spotting (zebra, gembok, red hartebeest, springbok, eland and more)
  • Restaurants and Accommodation Nearby:

This park is unique in that it integrates three separate ecosystems: grasslands, mountains, and desert. This setting makes for an incredible experience.

  • Cost: Prices vary depending on Nationality
    • From R37 - R136, Adults
    • From R18 - R68, Kids
  • Where: Borders Northern Cape, S 32° 14’ 27.9” E 20° 5’ 44.5”
  • When:
    • 1 October - 31 March: 5:30 - 19:00
    • 1 April - 30 September: 06:30 - 18:00
  • Contact:
    • +27 (0)27 341 1927

The Garden Route National Park

Encompassing the Wilderness, Knysna and Tsitsikamma National Parks, the Garden Route is a magnificent park that runs along the South Coast of the country.

Each of the three reserves are magnificent in their own right, so don’t ask us which is our favourite - it’s impossible to choose in an area as glorious as this one!

Wilderness National Park

awake in the whimsical world of the Wilderness@wanderlust_sk

The Wilderness contains a range of intersecting rivers, beaches, lakes, estuaries, forests, and mountains. A environmentally diverse area, the park is particularly lush in spring.

Enjoy water sports, mountain and fitness excursions, or take in the fauna and flora in this beautiful park.

  • Things to do:
    • Hiking and abseiling
    • Canoeing, boating, swimming, fishing
    • Mountain biking
    • Bird watching (bird hides)
    • Paragliding
    • Dolphin and whale spotting
    • Three forest zones
    • Star gazing
  • Restaurants nearby:
  • Accommodation nearby:

Located between George and Knysna, the Wilderness has that ‘middle of nowhere’ feeling, while lying close enough to civilisation that you can drive out to buy a KitKat if the craving gets too strong.

  • Cost: Prices vary depending on Nationality
    • From R37 - R120, Adults
    • From R18 - R60, Kids
  • Where: Dumbleton Rd, Hoekville, Wilderness
  • When: Daily: 07:00 - 18:00
  • Contact:
    • Reception 24 hours:
    • +27 (0)44 877 0046
    • Farleigh Forest:
    • +27 (0)44 356 9021
    • enquiries.wilderness@sanparks.org

Knysna National Lake Area

Navigate the nuances of Knysna@purdy37

Home to a tidal lagoon that eventually feeds into the Indian Ocean, the Knysna National Lake Area is enclosed by the Knysna heads - two stunning cliffs covered in flora.

These majestic scenes are perfect for picnics, walks and hikes, horse riding, or on-the-lagoon activities.

  • Things to do:
    • Lake cruises, kayaking, water sports, fishing, boating,
    • Golf
    • Walking, hiking, and biking trails
    • Outeniqua Hiking Trail
    • Bird watching
    • Markets, festivals, and sporting events in the larger Knysna area
    • Elephant sanctuaries
    • Horse riding
    • The Forest Legends Museum
    • Visit the Big Tree (AKA the King Edward VII Tree)
  • Restaurants nearby:
  • Accommodation nearby:

Visitors shouldn't miss the nearby elephant sanctuary. The town of Knysna itself is filled with fun places to go like markets, festivals, and golf courses.

  • Cost: Prices vary depending on Nationality
    • From R30 - R120, Adults
    • From R15 - R60, Kids
  • Where: 23 km on the N2 from Knysna into Uniondale Road (R339) to Diepwall
  • Contact:
    • Thesen Island:
      • +27 (0)44 302 5600
    • Harkerville Forest:
      • +27 (0)44 382 2095
    • Diepwalle Forest:
      • +27(0)44 532 7770

Tsitsikamma

There's nothing trivial about the Tsitsikamma@paigeclaassen

Since 1964 when it was established as a national park, Tsitsikamma has delighted visitors with its various hiking trails, diverse fynbos, and scenic views.

The park has two main camps in which you can stay: Storms River (The well-known Storm River Suspension Bridge traverses the river mouth) and Nature’s Valley. Both are exquisite.

  • Things to do:
    • Hiking, walking, and mountain biking trails
      • Dolphin Trail
      • Otter Trail
    • Forest excursions
    • Bird watching
    • Water activities, sailing, snorkelling, kayaking, diving, tubing
    • Climbing and abseiling
    • Segway Tours
    • Canopy Tour
    • Bloukrans Bungy jumping
    • Horse-drawn carriage trail
    • Fynboshoek Cheese Making Workshop
  • Restaurants and Accommodation nearby:

With a range of activities for both thrill-seekers and the less adventurous, Tsitsikamma is a wonderful getaway.

Enjoy sailing, tubing, snorkelling, kayaking, mountain biking, hiking, and even bungy jumping, if you feel like getting your blood pumping.

Otherwise, go bird watching, fynbos spotting, or head to the Fynboshoek Cheese Making Workshop for a delightful, dairy-filled experience.

  • Cost:
    • Tsitsikamma Section:
      • From R49 -R196, Adults
      • From R24 - R98, Kids
    • Nature’s Valley Section:
      • From R44 - R88, Adults
      • From R22 - R44, Kids
  • Where: Dumbleton Rd, Wilderness
  • Contact:
    • Storms River Mouth:
      • +27 (0)42 281 1607
    • Tsitsikamma Forest:
      • +27 (0)42 281 1557
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