Harmony Flats Nature Reserve

Harmony Flats Nature Reserve

Public Forest/Natural AreaEnvironmental EducationNative Forests/PlantsEco-Tour/Nature WalkSpring Blossoms


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Harmony Flats Nature Reserve is situated between Gordon’s Bay and Strand. It is only 9 hectares in size, yet it supports over 220 plant species of which more than 30 are endangered. The vegetation type it conserves is the critically endangered Lourensford alluvium fynbos. There is less than 7% of this vegetation type left in the world and Harmony Flats Nature Reserve is one of the last places where it is conserved.

The nature reserve was first proclaimed in 1986 and its purpose was to provide a home for the critically endangered geometric tortoise. Unfortunately, due to urban development of the surrounding area, illegal poaching, too frequent fires and the lack of proper management, the reserve became severely degraded and the tortoises are no longer found here.

In more recent years the management of this critical remnant has become more intense and the City of Cape Town now has permanent biodiversity management staff tending to the needs of the area. Restoration of previously degraded veld is a priority and it is hoped that in time the tortoises will again be able to frequent the area.

Spring is a very special time at Harmony Flats Nature Reserve. The plants come to life with a vivid kaleidoscope of colour and beauty. A variety of interesting and special plants can be found at this reserve including the critically endangered Ixia versicolor of which Harmony Flats is thought to have the last viable population of this species. The delicate spider orchid (Bartholina burmanniana) and sweet-smelling Disa tenella, known by locals as the “Lekkerruik orchid” are also interesting finds.

A number of interesting bird species are also found at Harmony Flats Nature Reserve. These include the orange-throated long claw, cloud cisticola and zitting cisticola. As the reserve is a seasonal wetland, it is not uncommon to have visiting wader species stop and rest on the reserve during the winter.

There are few animal species on the reserve, however these too are interesting. The spiny agama was thought to be extinct in the city for more than 40 years, until it was sighted again at Harmony Flats in 2010. The Cape cobra and mole snake make up the predatory component of the reserve and feed on the striped field mouse, pygmy mouse and Cape mole rat which are also present on the reserve.

ADDRESS: 11th Avenue, Strand (GPS -34.13727 S, 18.86044 E)

OPENING HOURS: Daily, 07:30 to 16:00

None, except for interpretive walks at R10 per person
*Fees subject to change


ACTIVITIES AND FACILITIES: Plant monitoring, spring flowers, walking trail

ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION: The Harmony Flats Working Group, supported and trained by CREW and Cape Flats Nature, organises lessons and plant monitoring


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