Salmonsdam Nature Reserve, Western Cape
Just 20 kilometres east of the pretty village of Stanford and close to Hermanus, in the hills of the Perdeberg Mountains, the Salmonsdam Nature Reserve is well known as both a hikers and birders delight, not least because of the particularly attractive mountain landscape, and the incredible mountain fynbos that dominates the reserve.
That one of the three enjoyable hikes at Salmonsdam is called the Waterfall Trail, gives one an indication of the predominance of cascading falls in the nature reserve. The route takes one through an area thick with fynbos and dotted with an incredible selection of indigenous trees like the Cape beech and spoonwood, to a waterfall. It is one of the easier hikes in the Salmonsdam Nature Reserve. None of the hikes is too strenuous however, and the Mountain Trail, the longest in the reserve, is a circular 4 kilometre hike that incorporates incredible views over Walker Bay, Caledon and Bredasdorp.
Over 120 bird species have been sighted at Salmonsdam Nature Reserve, including sunbirds, kingfishers, the Cape rockjumper and the black eagle. Various antelope make the reserve their home, and if quiet, it is not unusual to stumble across grey duiker, klipspringer, bontebok, baboons and other small mammals.
Contrary to expectation however, the nature reserve does not get its name from a prevalence of salmon in the reserve. It was, instead, named after a Captain Robert Salmon whose ship, the HMS Birkenhead, sank off Danger Point in 1852 with a loss of 454 lives. The beautiful nearby village of Stanford is a weekend and holiday haven for those seeking peace and tranquillity in a double dose (see getaway options at Stanford accommodation), and well worth taking in as part of your trip to visit Salmonsdam.
Salmonsdam Nature Reserve