Eastern Cape Game and Nature ReservesThe Van Stadens Wild Flower Reserve
The beautiful Van Stadens Wild Flower Reserve lies just off the N2, roughly 35 kilometres west of Port Elizabeth. It might be smallish (600 hectares) but locals vote it one of the best spots to see flowering proteas in season, as well as other indigenous fynbos.
You can snatch a great view of Van Stadens bridge (concrete arch bridge over the Van Stadens River on the N2) from one of the look out points.
The Van Stadens Wild Flower Reserve stretches between Van Stadens Mountain and the coast, a terrain that presents indigenous coastal forest, a large plateau, the Van Stadens River that runs through the gorge, river bank vegetation and a variety of flora other than proteas, like succulents, ericas and leucadendrons.
In the Van Stadens reserve is an incredible variety of plant species, bird and animal life that has gently made the reserve its home since 1951, unsurprising given that the main aim of the reserve is to protect and propagate unique indigenous flora of the area.
Birding is the other reason locals head out here – up to 170 different bird species have been spotted - and the rocky gorge in particular provides great sightings of local raptors like the forest buzzard, jack buzzard and African crowned eagle.
There is an indigenous plant nursery, picnic spots on the plateau connected by various paths and tracks, and two hiking trails – a 4km River Walk and the slightly longer 6km Forest Walk. Mountain bikers are also welcome.
Attractions in or near Van Stadens Wild Flower Reserve
Van Stadens Reserve Hikes
This 500 hectare flower reserve is described as a 'floral wonderland' for its mix of natural vegetation and cultivated areas, in which the reserve propagates indigenous plants and flowers. Port Elizabeth describes itself as a 5 Biome...
More info and photographs: Van Stadens Wildflower Reserve Hikes
Van Stadens Beach
Van Stadens Beach has plenty to offer, and is favoured by families with children, holiday-makers and locals alike. There is a large lagoon, which is ideal for safe swimming, particularly for younger ones. Fishing and paddling are also popular pastimes...
More info and photographs: Van Stadens Beach