Swartberg Nature Reserve

/ Swartberg Nature Reserve in the Western Cape, South Africa
Western Cape Game Reserves

Swartberg Nature Reserve, Western Cape

The Swartberg Nature Reserve is a narrow 121 000 hectare finger of land that divides the Groot and Klein Karoo, lying between Prince Albert and Oudtshoorn.

Flanked to the north by the Gamkapoort Nature Reserve, and west by the Towerkop Nature Reserve (neither of which is open to the public) the three reserves function as one large mountainous conservation area of 180 000 hectares.

The Swartberg Pass cuts the reserve almost in two whilst further east, Meiringspoort wends its way through the Swartberg Nature Reserve before it reaches De Rust.

The Swartberg Nature Reserve is a World Heritage Site (one of eight regions that collectively protect the Cape Floral Region, renowned for its biodiversity).

It boasts a sense of vastness, a peaceful atmosphere that appeals to hikers, or to those simply after a tranquil picnic at the picnic and braai spots in the reserve. The Gamkapoort Dam, in the north western corner of the reserve, provides ample opportunity for fishing, canoeing and sailing.

The reserve is most famous for the trail of the same name, the three-day hiking route that takes hikers into the heart of unspoilt mountain fynbos via caves filled with San rock art with overnight huts at Ou Tol and Bothashoek and views of the Cape fold mountains.

Gamkaskloof, also known as Die Hel, lies isolated within the reserve in the wedge of the Gamkaskloof valley south of the dam. A Cultural Historical Site in its own right, Die Hel's community remained undiscovered for years, with little communication with the outside world. The valley now has nine restored historical cottages, as well as camp sites, available in which to stay and one reaches it only via the Swartberg Pass.

Swartberg Nature Reserve

Game Lodges near / in Swartberg Nature Reserve

Buffelsdrift Game Lodge

Buffelsdrift is a sprawling game farm half-an hour’s drive from the Swartberg Nature Reserve, in the foothills of the Swartberg Mountains. Pristine bushveld, lush vegetation and a 5 ha dam provides a haven for 20 game species ...

Swartberg Private Wildlife Estate

At the foot of the majestic Swartberg Mountain Range, in the heart of the Little Karoo, lies the exclusive Swartberg Private Wildlife Estate. Guests can share in this special environment at the Swartberg Private Game Lodge ...

Swartberg Nature Reserve

Accommodation nearby

For accommodation outside of the reserve, see these towns which border the reserve:
• Barrydale accommodation • Beaufort West accommodation • Calitzdorp accommodation
• De Rust accommodation • Laingsburg accommodation • Klaarstroom accommodation
• Ladismith accommodation • Oudtshoorn accommodation • Prince Albert accommodation

Or see all available options in the region, visit Karoo accommodation.

View Game Reserves in this Region

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Swartberg Nature Reserve in the Western Cape, South Africa
Western Cape / Cape TownWestern Cape