The Mother-City is one of the world’s most remarkable places, the diversity within its surrounds are truly magnificent.
The ecological state of this breathtaking place is like a candy store to the nature enthusiast, with ecosystems that are unmatched and a level of biodiversity living in such harmony it testifies in its reflection the values and ideals of South Africa’s rainbow nation.
It is for this reason that nature conservation is high on the list of priorities for city officials, to preserve this beauty for both this generation and generations to come. So, the next time you feel like taking a drive through the cape, why not stop by one of our many nature reserves and go for a walk – be sure to pack some snacks, put on your trekking shoes and strap on your water bottle.
Here is a list of nature reserves within the Cape Town area for you to enjoy:
Witzands Aquifer Nature Reserve
Located on the corner of West Coast Road (R27) and Dassenberg Drive (R307), this reserve offers sand boarding and 4×4 drives as well as guided walks. It is also home to rare endemic birds like the black harrier and black oystercatcher.
Blaauwberg Nature Reserve
Located at the Eerste Steen Resort, Otto du Plessis Drive (M14), north of Bloubergstrand. There is a myriad of activities on offer, everything from bird-watching to wind surfing – this reserve is sure to quench the thirst of the local thrill seeker. However, come with your wallet as there are costs involved.
Table Bay Nature Reserve
Situated from the Milnerton coast all the way into the Tableview area, this reserve offers up a plethora of fun filled family activities such as boating, sailing and general picnic and braai facilities. Be sure to have some cash handy as there are entry fees.
Kenilworth Racecourse Conservation Area
This conservation area is owned by Gold Circle and managed in partnership with City of Cape Town. Sited on Rosmead Avenue in Kenilworth, it is easy to travel to as it on route for most types of public transport. A small entry fee is applicable, with loads of activities for you and your family to choose from.
False Bay Nature Reserve
This is a large nature reserve comprising of six parts, but we will be reviewing the two more popular areas within the reserve namely, the Rondevlei Section – situated on corner of Fisherman’s walk and Perth road in Grassy Park – and the Zeekoevlei Section – located on Zeekoevlei road in Pelican Park. Both these divisions offer up an abundance fun things to do, this is especially exciting for birdwatchers and fishermen as these facilities are available. Rondevlei section also has a museum as well as boat trips, over night camps and much more.
Zandvlei Estuary Nature Reserve
This intimate nature reserve can be found in the Steenberg area on Coniston Avenue, it is only open on weekdays during typical business hours and focuses on educating young learners through the Zandvlei Environmental Education Centre. Other activities are also available such as picnicking, windsurfing and bird hides.
Edith Stephens Nature Reserve
Located, just off Vanguard drive on Landsdowne Road Philippi – the quaint conservation area is home to one of our ecologically diverse wetlands. Open weekdays and upon special request on weekends, it offers visitors an opportunity to observe agricultural and medicinal gardening as well as working in the wetland nursery.
Durbanville Nature Reserve
You can find this conservation area on Racecourse Road, Durbanville – accessible to the public during weekdays and weekends outside of the winter months. It has wheel-chair friendly walkways and offers up activities such as guided walks, bird watching and small conference facilities. While you are in the area be sure to visit the Botterblom Nature Reserve on Botterblom Road as well the Uitkamp Wetland Nature Reserve on Mosselbank Road.
Tygerberg Nature Reserve
This reserve is rather large with two gated entrances on either side, the main gate being located on Totius Road in Welgemoed – it operates during business hours as well as weekends. For a small entry fee, visitors are endowed with beautiful panoramic views perfect for those nature appreciation Saturdays with the family.
Helderberg Nature Reserve
If you are in to paragliding, summer set concerts and café’s with killer views, you are in for treat at the Helderberg Nature Reserve on Vester Avenues in Somerset West. For just 20 bucks an adult and 10 for minors, visitors gain access to everything from scenic nature walkways to entry at the onsite museum situated within the Maskew Miller Herbarium. It is a definite must-see for any Cape Town enthusiast with a taste for nature.
Though this list does not include all the nature reserves in Cape Town, it is still a pretty comprehensive list. If you have visited all the above mentioned locations and crave more, please visit the city of Cape Town website for other conservation areas that may scratch your nature loving itch.
Guest Post Provided by: Fazlin Karriem
Tree hugger, nature lover and all round wildlife extraordinaire – If she is not outside basking in the glory that is creation, she is working hard writing content for Wilderness Safaris.