Walker Bay Nature Reserve, Western Cape
Extending along a stretch of coast between the town of De Kelders and the Hermanus Lagoon, the Walker Bay Nature Reserve lies just 3 kilometres from Gansbaai, east of Hermanus on the Danger Point Peninsula.
One can get into the reserve at Stanford, via Mierkom, De Kelders (Die Plaat) and Uilkraalsmond but appeals are made to visitors to avoid disturbing coastal birds or destroying any sensitive dune vegetation - lowland coastal fynbos and strandveld are home to blombos, sour fig, waxberry and bietou, although the dune fields have been held stable predominantly by rooikrans and Port Jackson, alien invaders. Walker Bay Nature Reserve has a coastline that appears to stretch for miles and miles and includes an incredible portion of beach known as Die Plaat. It is a beautiful stretch of beach, dominated by drift sand and ideal for swimming, fishing and picnics. Some visitors favour only the beach and choose to spend their day here, but the sea can be rough and dangerous.
A hiking trail along the coastline of the reserve is well worth the effort for the pretty beaches and protected coves it uncovers. It is one of a number of day hikes along the coast of the Walker Bay Nature Reserve, through incredibly beautiful landscapes and fynbos clad surrounding hills.
Klipgat trail meanders along the coast from Gansbaai harbour to the start of Walker Bay Nature Reserve, and the Klipgat cave, found in the reserve, is worth the climb down many steps into the cove with a subsequent climb into the cave itself- one needs to be pretty fit in order to access the cave. It is a discovery place of some of the oldest remains of modern day man and regarded as one of the most important assets in the Western Cape.