Hottentots Holland Nature Reserve, Western Cape
Hottentots Holland Nature Reserve lies in the Hottentots Holland mountains, some 90 km south east of Cape Town. The 42,000 ha Reserve stretches from Elgin in the south to beyond Villiersdorp in the north, and from the Stellenbosch mountains in the west, eastwards to the Groenland mountains. The entrance to the reserve is at Nuweberg, situated high in Viljoen's Pass, between Grabouw and Villiersdorp. The terrain is rugged and very mountainous, with altitudes ranging from 500 m to 1 590 m. The annual rainfall may be as high as 3 300 mm on the Dwarsberg plateau, and the winds are frequent and strong. Summers are generally mild and dry. Weather conditions in the mountains can be unpredictable and dangerous!
The Hottentots Holland Nature reserve is important for the conservation of mountain fynbos with approximately 1 300 species occurring here, including several rare and endemic plants. Small populations of grey rhebuck, klipspringer, common duiker and grysbok occur, and leopard frequent these mountains but are seldom seen. Approximately 110 bird species have been recorded on the reserve, amongst them several species of raptor.
The Hottentots Holland section of the Boland Hiking Trail traverses the reserve. This trail has two overnight sites (each with two huts), and various routes of one to three days, covering distances of between 5 km and 50 km. Routes can be planned with a 1:50 000 map of the Hottentots Holland section of the Boland Trail. The reserve office serves as the starting point for the trails, and has toilet and change facilities. The overnight huts are provided with bunks, mattresses and water. Fires and braais are strictly forbidden except at demarcated sites, because of the high risk of veld fires. For reservations - Telephone +27 (0)21 483-2949/51.