Wolfgat Nature Reserve

Baden Powell Drive
Mitchell's Plain

Wolfgat Nature Reserve

Public Forest/Natural AreaEnvironmental EducationNative Forests/PlantsCoastal HabitatAquatic HabitatSwimmingBird and Wildlife Watching


Wolfgat Nature Reserve
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This 248 hectare reserve is located in the communities of Mitchells Plain and Khayelitsha, between the Mnandi and Monwabisi Recreation Resorts. It boasts plenty of space for outdoor recreation and nature-based education.

The reserve is named after the brown hyena or strandwolf (Hyaena brunnea), which occurred in Cape Town around the 1840s. A brown hyena fossil den site dating back to about 45 000 years ago was found in the Wolfgat cliffs in 1962.

Wolfgat was originally recognised as a nature reserve due to its unique natural vegetation, dunes and limestone. It consists of Cape Flats dune strandveld vegetation and protects spectacular coastal limestone cliffs along Baden Powell Drive.

The area is rich with clues about how Cape Town’s earliest residents lived, and serves as a ‘green lung’ for the communities that surround it.

Wolfgat Nature Reserve’s indigenous vegetation consists of the endangered Cape Flats strandveld. The strandveld is a mixture of thicket (broad-leaf shrubs) and asteraceous fynbos communities. These communities represent different stages in the post-fire succession, with thicket elements establishing only in older vegetation. Structurally, strandveld is tall, evergreen, hard-leaved shrubland with abundant grasses, annual herbs and succulents in the gaps.

The reserve conserves more than 150 different plant species. Evergreen shrubs, annual and perennial daisies, vygies and arum lilies are common. Prominent shrub species include Rhus species, sea guarri (Euclea racemose), blombos (Metalasia muricate), slanghout (Olea exasperate), bietou (Chrysanthemoides monilifera) and bruinsalie (Salvia africana-lutea).

The nature reserve also supports a great diversity of wildlife, of which approximately 100 bird species have been recorded. A colony of kelp gulls (Larus dominicaunus vetula) nest on the limestone cliffs, and African black oystercatchers (Haematopus moquini) scurry along the rocky and sandy sea shores. Common birds found are speckled mousebird (Colius stristus), black-shouldered kite (Elanus caeruleaus), rock kestrel (Falco rupicolus), Karoo prinia (Prinia maculosa) and Cape spurfowl (Pternistis capensis).

A total of 15 mammal species have been observed or are likely to occur in the area. Most regularly recorded animals are small grey mongoose (Galerella pulverulenta) and striped field mouse (Rhabdomys pumilio). Greysbok (Raphicerus melanotis) are also found here.

ADDRESS: Baden Powell Drive, Mitchells Plain (GPS -34.060008 S, 18.593046 E)

OPENING HOURS: 07:30-16:00 (weekdays), closed on weekends



ACTIVITIES: Picnicking, fishing in designated areas (permit required), watching coastal birds, swimming, paragliding

ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION: An education officer assists schools with field trips for groups of 30-40 learners. Larger groups could take part in special programmes, like coastal hikes and clean-up campaigns.

Tel 021 392 5134/5; Fax 021 392 8878


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Wolfgat Nature Reserve

Wolfgat Nature Reserve

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