Nature reserves near Cape Town in late October

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rowingboat
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Nature reserves near Cape Town in late October

Unread post by rowingboat »

Hi,

We will be first-time visitors to Cape Town, 8 nights late October, and will visit the main attractions of course, but will have a day or two spare to explore further afield with a hire car. We are a young family of five staying in Fish Hoek. Does anyone have an opinion please about the relative merits of these nature reserves (most of which are free with our Wildcard) at the time of year we are visiting in late October, in terms of beauty and accessibility?

1) Silver Mine Nature Reserve, Ou Kaapse Weg Mountain Pass. We could visit this after Kristenbosch returning home to Fish Hoek.

2) Day trip N2 through Somerset West, over Sir Lowry's and Franschhoek Passes, visit Mont Rochelle Nature Reserve (hike the Uitkyk trail), through Franschoek and Stellenbosch stopping at Boschendal Manor & Winery (pony rides and water area for the kids to play). Maybe visit Vergelegen Wine Estate on the way (Somerset West) when it opens at 9am.

3) Jonkershoek Nature Reserve near Stellenbosch (Sosyskloof hike to a waterfall) but the 6km access road may be too harsh, needing a high axis vehicle.

4) Kogelberg Nature Reserve (Palmiet River trail) that we could combine with a visit to Hermanus to see the whales and penguins at Stony Point.

5) Helderberg Nature Reserve is only 1km from Vergelegen Wine Estate and 9km from Cheetah Outreach.

Any of these impacted by recent fires to save for a future visit, or likely to have flowers in bloom that are particularly beautiful?
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Lower Sabie BD3U: Oct 6-9
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Shingwedzi BD3: Oct 15
Olifants Nshawu GH: Oct 16-17
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Albert
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Re: Nature reserves near Cape Town in late October

Unread post by Albert »

I can comment on

Jonkershoek: no need for a high clearance vehicle to get to the Sosyskloof hike. The reserve is still recovering from fires a few years ago but the hike up to the Sosyskloof waterfall is worthwhile.

Helderberg Nature Reserve: Well worth a visit. Really nice short and longer hikes, a good restaurant good floral diversity in late spring.
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Hugh
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Re: Nature reserves near Cape Town in late October

Unread post by Hugh »

Silver mine is great pace for a picnic at the little dam your wild card will be needed and there are a few nice hikes from there . .I cant comment on the others as they are not Sanparks But I can say Cape Nature does accept the wild card . the other place you can visit is the west coast national park Even though the flower season is over there are still some great bid hides on the lagoon an also the Fresh water one at Abahamskraal. a nice place to eat or have a picnic at one of the sites .
its only an hour from Cape town
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Re: Nature reserves near Cape Town in late October

Unread post by rowingboat »

Our family visited Kogelberg and walked the Palmiet River trail late October last year. We had been on the ocean at De Kelders viewing magnificent whales/dolphins/penguins in the morning and had time for a picnic lunch on our drive back to CT. We had earlier visited the impressive Kirstenbosch Gardens but Kogelberg Nature Reserve took it to another level, absolutely stunning and the fynbos stole our breaths away. The scale, size, ruggedness and beauty of this flora set against the backdrop of magnificent mountains and Palmiet River was for me the highlight of our trip to CT. And guess what, we had the trail all to ourselves! SANPARKS had recently opened a much larger and impressive welcoming office at the entrance, and the helpful lady on the desk informed us a souvenir shop would be opening soon for visitors.
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Walking to the Palmiet River trail head, Oct 28 2017, for a picnic lunch
Walking to the Palmiet River trail head, Oct 28 2017, for a picnic lunch
The Palmiet River Kogelberg, October 28 2017
The Palmiet River Kogelberg, October 28 2017
Fynbos flowers, larger than dinner plates!
Fynbos flowers, larger than dinner plates!
Palmiet River Trail, Kogelberg nature reserve, Oct 28 2017
Palmiet River Trail, Kogelberg nature reserve, Oct 28 2017
SA2017
Berg-en-Dal FA6: Oct 3-5
Lower Sabie BD3U: Oct 6-9
Talamati GC6: Oct 10-12
Mopani FF6V: Oct 13-14
Shingwedzi BD3: Oct 15
Olifants Nshawu GH: Oct 16-17
Tamboti CTT4: Oct 18
Joburg: Oct 19-20
CapeTown: Oct 21-30
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Yoda
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Re: Nature reserves near Cape Town in late October

Unread post by Yoda »

The West Coast National Park is just over an hour from central CT, prob another 1/2 hour from FH.
Well worth visiting

Edit: I see the OP visited last October. So my suggestion is not relevant :redface:
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rowingboat
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Re: Nature reserves near Cape Town in late October

Unread post by rowingboat »

Yoda wrote:The West Coast National Park is just over an hour from central CT, prob another 1/2 hour from FH.
Well worth visiting

Edit: I see the OP visited last October. So my suggestion is not relevant :redface:


Hi Yoda, your suggestion will be relevant to other travellers, especially first-timers to CT reading this thread, which is why I've given my feedback after our visit. Kogelberg is stunning and very conveniently located, especially for people travelling to Hermanus/De Kelders to see the whales.

We also visited Silver Mine nature reserve in the late afternoon driving back to Fish Hoek from Kirstenbosch and walked around the dam/lake. What we especially noticed was the drop in temperature being so high up. This would be a great place to escape the heat during summer for a swim, and we liked how SANPARKS had created braai areas amongst the rock formations, which were numbered and presumably could be booked.
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Walking around the dam/lake at Silver Mine nature reserve, Oct 2017. Braai #22 is at the bottom right.
Walking around the dam/lake at Silver Mine nature reserve, Oct 2017. Braai #22 is at the bottom right.
One of the natural rock braais including a sandstone table at Silver Mine nature reserve, Oct 2017.
One of the natural rock braais including a sandstone table at Silver Mine nature reserve, Oct 2017.
SA2017
Berg-en-Dal FA6: Oct 3-5
Lower Sabie BD3U: Oct 6-9
Talamati GC6: Oct 10-12
Mopani FF6V: Oct 13-14
Shingwedzi BD3: Oct 15
Olifants Nshawu GH: Oct 16-17
Tamboti CTT4: Oct 18
Joburg: Oct 19-20
CapeTown: Oct 21-30
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