Western Cape Game and Nature ReservesThe Paarl Mountain Nature Reserve
The town of Paarl is named for its rather unusual granite rocks (one in particular) that date back more than 500 million years. Paarl Mountain is formed by three round outcrops - the second largest granite outcrop in the world.
The 'pearl' (paarl in Afrikaans) lies ajacent to the Taal Monument and forms part of Paarl Mountain Nature Reserve that includes the surrounding fynbos of the area and wonderful examples of wild olives, wagon treed and rock candle woods. This is one of few reserves administered by a local municipality.
The reserve is easy to get to and its network of paths make a walk up the mountain very much a part of the average Paarl resident's everyday life. The circular Klipkers nature trail takes roughly two hours to complete, comes with a guidebook to help you on your way, and was laid out by local schools.
It begins at the Taal Monument. Or climb Betagne Rock (for incredible views) and visit Millwater Wild Flower Garden where you can spot no less than 15 different protea species and a series of birds, particularly sugar birds and sunbirds. If you don't want to use shank's pony, drive Jan Phillips Mountain Road. It isn't tarred but is in good condition.
Up at the top, roads are deliberately kept rough so that walkers in the nature reserve can walk in peace and drivers are deterred. The forested valleys on the southern and eastern sides of the Paarl mountain are wonderful for birding.
And the Paarl Mountain Nature Reserve is a fabulous backdrop for a family cycle trail that starts at the entrance. The trail has a range of options that vary from 4km to 20km along circular loops, and the gradients, despite the mountain, are fairly gentle.
Popular Activities in and near Paarl Mountain Nature Reserve
Balloon over the Vineyards
The Drankenstein Mountains stand tall to salute you, the Hottentots Holland Mountain Range pays respect at your feet and Table Mountain's distant silhouette winks in the sunlight to remind you that you share Cape skies. Adrift vineyards and countryside...
More info and contact details: Balloon over the Vineyards
Krom River Hiking Trail
One of several hiking trail options in the Limietberg Nature Reserve, hiking up the Krom River is one of the most popular and scenic. You can park your car in the parking area near the Worcester exit of the Huguenot tunnel before walking...
More info and contact details: Krom River Hiking Trail
Paarl Wine Estates
A very important tourist attraction to Paarl is its wine route. This route combines world-class wines with breath-taking scenery to create an idyllic destination for just about anybody. The sweltering, dry summers and chilly winters give...
More info and contact details: Paarl Wine Estates