Helderberg Nature Reserve

Verster Avenue
Somerset West

Helderberg Nature Reserve

Public Forest/Natural AreaPark/Recreation AreaEnvironmental EducationWildlife HabitatEco-Tour/Nature WalkBird and Wildlife Watching

Overview

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Helderberg Nature Reserve was proclaimed in 1960. It covers an area of 402 ha and extends up the Helderberg Mountain to a height of 1 137 m. Kogelberg sandstone fynbos is the predominant vegetation type, with almost 600 plant species, including sugar bushes (Protea sp.), pincushions
(Leucospermum sp.) and cone bushes (Leucadendronsp.).

On the northern side, in the deep, more fertile granite soil, there are also patches of Boland granite fynbos, including the waboom (Protea nitida), forming a fairly dense, closed shrubland. In wetter areas, one finds restios and a variety of ericas, as well as other shrubs and watsonias.

A small group of tame bontebok (Damaliscus pygarus pygarus) often grazes on the grass in the shady picnic area. The bontebok, along with some of the shade trees, have been introduced to the reserve. Naturally occurring grey duiker (Sylvicapra grimmia), Cape grysbok (Raphicerus melanotis), steenbok (Raphicerus campestris), small grey mongoose (Galerella pulverulenta), angulate (Chersina angulata) or padloper tortoises (Homopus sp.) and even an occasional snake can be seen. More than 170 bird species have been recorded.

ADDRESS: Verster Avenue, Somerset West (GPS -34.048000 S, 18.874000 E)

OPENING HOURS: Dec-Feb 07:30-20:00, Mar 07:30-19:00, Apr-Oct 07:30-17:30, Nov 07:30-19:00 (7 days a week)

ENTRANCE FEES* (July 2014-June 2015):
- Vehicles R10, Buses R320 (<25 seater - includes passenger tariff)
- Adults (18+) R20, Children (aged 3-17), students and senior citizens R10 (proof required), Children under 3 free entry
- Learner/student groups: R5,50 per learner (pre-booked; discounts may apply)
- 'Friend' of this reserve: free entry (proof of Friends group membership required)
- Season Ticket (annual): Adults (18+) R120, Family R185 (parents & any 4 children up to 17 years), Senior citizens R62 (60+ years). The season ticket provides unlimited entry into the following nature reserves for 365 days from date of issue: Helderberg (excl. vehicle fee), Tygerberg, Table Bay (Rietvlei: excl. vehicle fee), False Bay (Rondevlei) and Blaauwberg (excl. vehicle fee) Nature Reserves. The ticket includes access outside official opening hours only where permitted
- Access key/card (must also have a Season Ticket): R100
- Hiring of marquee tent per day: R4 200
*Fees subject to change annually.

PUBLIC TRANSPORT: Taxi

ACTIVITIES AND FACILITIES: Picnic area, bird watching, hiking trails, summer sunset concerts, information centre, gift shop, The Oak Café, museum displays in the Maskew Miller Herbarium (10:00-16:00). 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: Mike Woods Environmental Education Centre (bookings: Tel 021 444 9749)

FRIENDS GROUP: The Friends of the Helderberg Nature Reserve are active, and support the reserve manager by running programmes for environmental education, fundraising, maintenance, upgrades and promotions. They also run the museum and shop. www.HelderbergNatureReserve.co.za

Tel 021 444 9744; Fax 021 444 9750

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