Bracken Nature Reserve

No 2 Reservoir Road
Cape Town

Bracken Nature Reserve

Public Forest/Natural AreaEnvironmental EducationWildlife HabitatNative Forests/PlantsLandfillWheelchair AccessibleBird and Wildlife Watching


Bracken Nature Reserve
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This 36 hectare reserve consists mainly of the critically endangered Swartland granite renosterveld and Cape Flats sand fynbos vegetation types, which in general are poorly conserved.

In the 1700s the hill overlooking Brackenfell was known as Kanonkop due to the cannon that was stationed there. It was used to signal the farmers of ships arriving in the harbour to which they could sell their produce. A granite quarry was located on the hill between 1950 and the early 1970s after which it was closed down and turned into a landfill site. Bracken Nature Reserve was later earmarked as a core botanical site.

In 2013 a ‘6 pounder’ cannon was donated to Bracken by Tygerberg Nature Reserve. Visitors are encouraged to visit the site and learn more of its history.

Perdekop is a small satellite nature reserve situated along Kruin Street and is not normally open to the public, except on special occasions. This area needs special protection and is a delight to visit. Feel free to contact management for authorised access.

To date more than 10 endemic and threatened plant species have been confirmed at Bracken Nature Reserve. Some of these include Lachenalia aloides, Lampranthus glaucus (endangered) and Orbea variegata. In spring, the reserve is usually covered with a beautiful blanket of Dimorphotheca pluvialis, commonly referred to as ‘Cape daisies’, as well as other spring flowers, such as the rooi gousblom (Gazania krebsiana), Felicia filifolia and the groot disseldoring (Berkheya armata). To date more than 300 plant species have been recorded.

The nature reserve also supports a great diversity of wildlife. Regularly sighted are the red-capped lark, black-shouldered kite, peregrine falcon, southern double-collared sunbird and many more.

Other mammal species found in the reserve include the small grey mongoose and a myriad of rodents. Large mammals consist of a small population of Cape grysbok (Raphicerus melanotis), small spotted genet (Genetta genetta) and polecat (Ictonyx stiatus) that has recently been added to the list. Reptile species include the Cape dwarf chameleon, parrot-beaked tortoise (endemic to the Western Cape), Cape golden skink, Cape cobra and mole snake.

The reserve also supports a variety of insect and amphibian species such as the vulnerable Cape sand frog and the critically endangered Cape rain frog.

ADDRESS: 2 Reservoir Road, Brackenfell (GPS -33.878326 S, 18.708431 E)

OPENING HOURS: 07:30-16:00 (daily)



ACTIVITIES AND FACILITIES: Picnic areas, walking trails, birdwatching, wheelchair-friendly trail. Please note: This reserve has a “no-bin policy” and all visitors must take their rubbish home with them - please don't litter.

ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION: Brackenfell Environmental Education Centre (booking essential)

FRIENDS GROUPS: The Friends of Bracken and CREW (Custodians of Rare and Endangered Wild Flowers) arrange walks, birdwatching, plant surveys and alien clearing.
(The Perdekop Section is also part of this nature reserve)

Tel 021 444 0380; Fax 021 982 7135


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