— West Coast —
Lambert’s Bay Bird Island Nature Reserve
Bird Island lies about 100m off the shore of Lambert’s Bay on the Cape’s West Coast. It offers visitors a rare opportunity to see the blue-eyed Cape gannet up close. Bird Island is one of only six sites world-wide where Cape gannets breed, and it is the only breeding site easily accessible to the public.
Cederberg Wilderness Area
The Cederberg lies 250km north of Cape Town, stretching from the Middelberg Pass in Citrusdal to north of the Pakhuis Pass at Clanwilliam. The Cederberg Mountains, burnt orange by iron oxide, dominate the landscape. Jagged sandstone rock formations, like the Maltese Cross and the Wolfberg Arch, and ancient San and Khoi rock art, make this area truly spectacular. The area is rich in wildlife, and visitors with a keen eye may spot porcupines, honey badger, the Cape clawless otter and aardvark.
Groot Winterhoek Wilderness Area
The Groot Winterhoek Wilderness is known for its rugged, wild landscape, with exceptional rock formations carved by the elements. This mountainous area lies about 120km north of Cape Town, near Porterville. This area is rich in history, with ancient rock paintings by the San and Khoi people, and as Groot Winterhoek’s name suggests, winters are cold and wet. Winter nights are very cold, with temperatures below freezing. Summers are moderate, but hikers should always be prepared for sudden cold and mist. Cape Nature offers a range of accommodations, from the comfortable to the rustic.
Rocherpan Nature Reserve
Rocherpan is a coastal nature reserve teeming with birds and colourful wildflowers. The reserve, which lies 25km north of Velddrif on the Cape West Coast, consists largely of a seasonal vlei that is usually dry between March and June. Rocherpan was established as a nature reserve (930 hectares in size) in 1966, and the adjacent section of the Atlantic Ocean was declared a marine reserve in 1988 (150 hectares in size).