Beaverlac Nature Reserve, Western Cape
This little talked about gem lies just 25 kilometres outside of Porterville, roughly 2 hours from Cape Town, in the Olifants River Mountains in the Cederberg.
Over 5 000 hectares of wilderness gives one the opportunity to completely unwind amidst beautiful specimens of fynbos, naturally occurring waterfalls and enchanting pools that appear as if by magic and prove perfect stopping points on the various mountain bike trails (biking enthusiasts rate the trails as well worth it, particularly if you head off into the mountains to some of the more carefully hidden mountain pools) and hikes in the reserve. Beaverlac has been touted as a haven for nature lovers and highly rated amongst botanists. Aside from the waterfalls there are also some incredible rock formations and bird life that includes sightings of the black eagle.
Evenings are filled with the sounds of frogs there are two rivers, the Olifants and the Ratel (honey badger) that run through the reserve nocturnal birds and the rustling of other night animals, and to ensure peace, no radios or music are allowed in the reserve.
Beaverlac lies virtually behind Porterville, up in the mountains and has a lovely campsite in the shade of pine trees for those wanting to overnight. One of the best walks available in the reserve, which is actually situated on Grootfontein farm - a natural heritage site in its own right -, is the Leopard Trail. It isnt long for starters (those wanting to attempt more strenuous tasks will be keen to try the Dwars River Trail or Olifants Trail) but it does take one through a sequence of pools along the Ratel River and allows one to easily make a day of it.
If you are interested in visiting Beaverlac Nature Reserve you may also enjoy this article available on our blog at Back to basics at Beaverlac.