The Western Cape Province is unique in many ways, not least due to its vast diversity of flora and fauna that can be found across the numerous nature reserves in Cape Town and its surrounds. Home to the smallest yet diverse of the world’s floral kingdoms, the province boasts a total of 19 unique vegetation types. Aside from the glorious fynbos found all over the peninsular that comprise the Cape Floristic Kingdom, you will find indigenous trees, forests, wetlands, woodlands, wildflowers and many other natural wonders as you explore the city’s nature reserves.
August is a great month to get some fresh air, enjoy the lovely sunny days that crop up between the cooler days, and witness the scenic extravanganza of wildflowers as they come into bloom across the countryside.
Where to Get Back to Nature in Cape Town and Surrounds
Wondering where to go to get your fix of nature and scenery? Here are some of our favourite reserves in Cape Town and surrounds.
- Cape Point Nature Reserve – technically called Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve, most know the area simply as Cape Point. This is where you will find a host of fynbos covered landscapes, rugged beaches and coastlines, a few interesting landmarks such as the old lighthouse, plenty of dassies (rock rabbits) and a diversity of bird species. There is an entrance fee for cars, but it is well worth the price. The reserve is close to Simons Town, just after Millers Point beach.
- Cederberg Wilderness Area – about 200km from Cape Town, the gorgeous Western Cape gem that is Cederberg can be found. This area is one of the best places to see the wildflowers this month through to September, with wide open spaces, fruit farms, huge ancient trees and the scent of nature adding to the appeal. There are also hiking trails and even Khoi-San paintings to be found within the area. The reserve is about two and a half hours away from the Cape Town City Centre.
- Silvermine Nature Reserve – this reserve comprises forests, mountains, streams and a huge reservoir, along with picnic sites, hiking trails, parking areas and even adventure sports such as abseiling. Taking a rather challenging hike up the mountain as you reach the jump point, then making your way down as you look out onto the peninsula and scenery below is quite out of this world, and an experience I can personally endorse!
Other Cape Great Nature Reserves
Along with these amazing nature reserves, the list below will give you some other options to explore the great outdoors:
- Boulders Beach Nature Reserve (Simons Town)
- Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens (Constantia)
- De Hoop Nature Reserve (Garden Route)
- West Coast National Park (West Coast Route)
- Wilderness National Park (Garden Route)
- Rondebosch Common (Rondebosch)
- Blaauwberg Conservation Area (Blouberg)
- Glencairn Wetland (Glencairn)
- Helderberg Nature Reserve
- De Hel Nature Area (Constantia)
- Durbanville Nature Reserve (Durbanville)
Don’t forget that Table Mountain is also part of the Table Mountain National Park, which spans across from Cape Point all the way to Lion’s Head. Whether you are exploring the lower trails or heading up in the Cable Car, August is a great month to enjoy the spectacular beauty of Cape Town’s nature reserves.