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Open Africa

Cape Nature Route



Below is a list of accommodation establishments along this route. Bookings and enquiries can be made directly with the establishment.

Boesmanskloof Accommodation - Onverwacht Flora and Eagle's Nest Accommodation
Onverwacht Flora Accommodation is situated high up in the Riviersonderend Mountains - halfway between the twin villages...

Lismore Farm and Cottages
Lismore Farm has been in the Barry family since 1844, before which it was used as a horse-breeding farm for the Dutch Ea...

Accommodation at De Hoek
The Okes family provides accommodation for hikers on the Genadendal Trail or visitors to this beautiful mountain area.

De Mond Nature Reserve
So unspoilt and undisturbed by humans is the De Mond estuary, that the diminutive and highly threatened Damara tern has...

Cederberg Wilderness Area and Matjiesrivier Nature Reserve
After World War II, the notion of escaping to the mountains began to take hold, amongst mountaineers, and then amongst a...

Honeywood Farm
Honeywood Farm is located alongside Grootvadersbos Nature Reserve in the foothills of the Langeberg Mountains. The farm...

A1 Boesmanskloof Hiking Trail - Die Galg Accommodation
This accommodation is located on the McGregor side of the Riviersonderend Mountains at the start/end of the Boesmanskloo...


Below is a list of arts and crafts outlets and projects on this route. Booking and enquiries can be made directly with the business.

Day Trippers
Daytrippers - The Bicycle People - have steadily grown since 1992, into one of the leading alternative and adventure tou...


Below is a list of environmental attractions on this route. Booking and enquiries can be made directly with the business.

Grootvadersbos and Boosmansbos Nature Reserve
Grootvadersbosch (near Heidelberg) is one of the province's lesser-known reserves, which, for those who know it and keep...

Jonkershoek and Assegaaibosch Nature Reserves
The Jonkershoek area, which includes the adjacent and smaller Assegaaibosch Nature Reserve, serves as a mountain catchme...

Walker Bay Nature Reserve
Walker Bay Nature Reserve lies on the south-western Cape coast, just east of Hermanus and covers about 4300ha. The reser...

Anysberg Nature Reserve
Anysberg comprises 63 000ha between Ladismith and Laingsburg and was proclaimed a reserve in 1988. Game species that pop...

Bird Island Nature Reserve
Bird Island is approximately three hectares in size but is one of the most interactive of nature reserves. Birds, seals...

Kogelberg Nature Reserve
Kogelberg is Cape Nature’s prettiest reserve; thanks largely to the fact that it occupies an area that has been le...

Limietberg Nature Reserve
To the north of the old Cape Colony were some scattered farmers and not a lot else… besides the mountain range th...

Vrolijkheid Nature Reserve
It appears that some time ago, much merriment was made in this part of the Little Karoo, for this is what ‘Vrolijk...

Gamkaberg Nature Reserve
"We are fortunate in Africa, as the land forever heightens our sense of exploration, its expanses and its wildness &ndas...

Swartberg Nature Reserve
Swartberg Nature Reserve forms the boundary between the Great Karoo plains and the rugged, undulating Klein Karoo. This...

Outeniqua Nature Reserve
Outeniqua is a reserve of mountain passes and hiking trails. It offers the visitor a tranquil break from the rigours of...

Hottentots Holland Nature Reserve
The Dutch colonists called the range of mountains they could see in the east the 'Mountains of Africa', as if, once conq...

Goukamma Nature Reserve
They say coastal societies get taken in by small distractions, as those of the deserts do by great thoughts. At Goukamma...

Driftsands Nature Reserve
The objective for Driftsands is simple – to transform a nature reserve in the centre of one of the poorest and mos...

Keurbooms Nature Reserve
This is a trail like no other - it is just you, your boat and the river. And at the end of the trail, to welcome you, is...

Kammanassie Nature Reserve
The Khoisan, who left their art in its caves, gave it their name: Kammanassie, ‘Mountain of Water’. Should w...

Groot Winterhoek Wilderness Area
The jagged range of the Groot Winterhoek draws itself up to 2 077m, blasted silver by the sun in summer and covered in d...

Robberg Nature Reserve and Marine Protected Area
Robberg is a peninsula where once roamed giant versions of the present-day plains animals, as well as Stone Age people a...

Marloth Nature Reserve
In the 1700's, a party of trekboers - those early burghers-turned-pastoralists who strayed from the Cape and fanned...

De Hoop Nature Reserve
De Hoop (named after the original horse stud in the area, Hope Farm) was proclaimed a nature reserve in 1957. It has bee...

Rocherpan Nature Reserve and Marine Protected Area
A farmer named Pierre Rocher arrived in this area in 1839. To improve summer grazing for his livestock, Rocher and his w...


Below is a list of services on this route. Enquiries can be made directly with the business.

Garden Services
The van Deventers saw the need for a garden service in Heidelberg and started their business in 2002. The company also d...

Jan Coetzee Contractors
Jan Coetzee Contractors provides essential maintenance services to the Goukamma Nature Reserve. These services include c...

JC Services
JC Services works on a contact basis for Robberg Nature Reserve, supplying services such as plot clearing, tree felling,...

Mrs Min Cleaning Services
Mrs Min Cleaning Services provide the Goukamma Nature Reserve with a variety of services such as the cleaning of the hol...

Ouplaas Bus Services
Ouplaas Bus Services provides transport for hikers finishing the Whale Trail - from De Hoop back to their vehicles that...

Ruitersbos Contractors
The Ruitersbos Contractors assist the Outeniqua Nature Reserve with the maintenance of hiking trails, the control of ali...

B&M Bushcamp Services
B&M Bushcamp Services provides a cleaning service for the Gamkaberg Nature Reserve Tierkloof Bushcamp.  The co...

Safe Security
Safe Security has appointed four guards who, on a rotational basis, deliver gate guards duties at two entrance gates to...

Bontebok Tours and Travel
Bontebok Tours and Travel was established in the beginning of 2002. The mission of the company is to provide a full rang...

ECO Filming Services
All filming activities in the Hottentots Holland Nature Reserve require an Environmental Control Officer (ECO) to be on...


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The Cape Nature Route focuses on each of the reserves that fall under CapeNature, with its main attention focused on how the communities surrounding these reserves benefit from the reserves and how they play a role in assisting the reserve to fulfil its aims and objectives. This route really illustrates that there can be benefits beyond the boundaries of protected areas; that conservation can mean something to the people living alongside the conservation area, and that the protected areas can benefit from the people who live in their vicinity.

Cape Nature previously the Western Cape Nature Conservation Board:

Cape Nature's origins lie in the establishment of the Cape Department of Nature Conservation in 1952. After almost eight years of negotiations a statutory board was established on April 1, 2000. Traditionally the nature conservation department relied entirely on the provincial government for its funding. The forming of an independent statutory board heralded a new period in which this organisation could take its rightful place, as a world-class conservation organisation, within mutually beneficial partnerships.

Cape Nature is a public institution with the statutory responsibility for biodiversity conservation in the Western Cape Province. The Board has a global responsibility towards the conservation of biodiversity and natural systems and ecological processes in the Cape Floral Kingdom. It also strives to involve all citizens in environmental conservation and to stimulate the economy through the sound and sustainable use of natural resources.

Cape Nature is committed to fulfilling its conservation mandate, while simultaneously becoming a driver of rural economic development.  Their vision is to establish a biodiversity economy in the Western Cape Province, and to turn biodiversity conservation into a key component of the local economy.They foresee a virtuous cycle - by empowering people, engaging communities in conservation actions, and providing access to social and economic opportunities, they strive to ensure the long term conservation of the biodiversity of the Cape Floral Kingdom, while improving the quality of life of the people of the Western Cape.

CapeNature underwent strategic restructuring in 2002, with the aim of forming an organisation capable of fulfilling its mandate in a cost-effective and efficient manner. The end product was the establishment of 10 new business units to manage the conservation regions of the Western Cape, which is complemented by seven organisation-wide programmes, that focus on biodiversity conservation, partnerships, community development and youth. 

This restructuring process led to many functions at reserves being taken on by contractors - allowing the reserve staff to focus more on conservation initiatives.  Linked to each reserve, therefore, are businesses that supply services to the reserve on a contractual basis.  Many of these businesses are owned and managed by previous employees - people who have now started businesses because of the skills they acquired at the reserves.  The reserves in turn, support these local service providers and help them to develop their businesses. Any other products and services needed by the reserve are also bought locally wherever possible - thereby ensuring that income generated by the reserves is also spread into the local community. 

Working for Water:

The Working for Water programme sustainably controls invading alien species to optimise the potential use of natural resources, through the process of economic empowerment and transformation. In doing this, the programme leaves a legacy of social equity and legislative, institutional and technical capacity.

Working for Water was launched in 1995 in an effort to tackle the problem of invading alien plants and unemployment. It is a multi-departmental initiative led by the South African Departments of Water Affairs and Forestry, Environmental Affairs and Tourism and Agriculture. With 300 projects throughout the country, the programme aims to enhance water security, improve ecological integrity, restore the productive potential of land and promote sustainable use of natural resources, and invest in the most marginalised sectors of South African society. 

Cape Nature played a seminal role in initiating this national water conservation programme, and is still the largest implementing agent in the country.

So next time you visit a conservation area, take a minute to look around and see more than just the beautiful nature. Experience more than the wonderful fresh air and peace, notice how people and nature are living in harmony. Take some time to consider the struggle to balance benefits between people and nature. Ponder the meaning of “Benefits beyond boundaries” and take a while to investigate the particular area we are visiting. Seeing a little of what goes on behind the scenes to bring you your nature experience will make the experience that much more worthwhile.

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Open Africa Routes

A route is a cluster of travel attractions, accommodation, tour operators, local artisans, guides and restaurants. It brings people together from all levels of community to promote travel to their area. You select what interests you on a route and create your own itinerary.

South Africa - Western Cape

South Africa - Western Cape

Western Cape, South Africa: This route highlights the'benefits beyond boundaries' of all reserves under Cape Nature Conservation.

Key Contacts

Trevor Luthango

Telephone: Click here
Website: Click here

Telephone: Click here


mountains conservation wildlife western-cape birding working-for-water 4x4 escape


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