About Paarl Mountain Nature Reserve

Under an hour from Cape Town you will find the town of Paarl which 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.

Did you know? 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.

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.

Need to Know

WherePaarl Mountain Nature Reserve, Paarl, Cape Winelands, Western Cape, South Africa

WhenDaylight hours.

Telephone+27 (0)82 744-5900

OvernightStay in Paarl Accommodation, Western Cape

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