Hi-Tec SA

Fernkloof Nature Reserve

Visit the Hi-Tec factory shop for great deals:
Mon - Fri | 09:00 - 17:30
Sat | 09:00 - 17:00; Sun | 09:00 - 14:00
 
+27(0)21 555 0707
Shop F1&F2 | Access Park | Chichester Rd
www.hi-tec.com
HiTec_SA
Hi-Tec SA

Fernkloof Nature Reserve

Hiking in fairyland with Hi-Tec

A living classroom: there is no other place on earth where so many different species can be seen growing in such close proximity. Situated in Hermanus, a 90 minute drive from Cape Town, this reserve is just one of the many things to do in the beautiful Overberg town.

Today, it’s high summer, and while other mountainous walks have started to grow sparse with flora, this walk is all technicolour: forests of proteas, Ericas, watsonias—a dazzling display of fynbos finery. And, come springtime, it’s a virtual fairyland.

It’s said that 1474 species have been uncovered in Fernkloof, and there’s a helpful visitors centre at the start of the various paths that has information on the plants (you also sign in here; for your safety).

But let’s put aside the floral wealth for a moment: this unique region also interlinks an evergreen forest, coastal shrub, and a mountain dam. The scenery can change within an instant; there are worlds within worlds here.

If you’re not up to climbing there’s a beautiful garden at the entrance, it’s wheelchair friendly and the perfect spot for a picnic by a pond. There’s also a nursery, as well as a herbarium, so you can take some of Fernkloof home with you. And remember, take only photographs and leave only footprints.

What to bring

  • Money, for the nursery.
  • Hat and sunblock. This walk gets very, very hot. But on the plus side, once you round the mountain the fresh ocean breeze helps to cool things down.
  • Hiking shoes, I wore V-Lite Altitude Ultra Luxe WPi Hi-Tecs, they have fast become my favourite hiking shoes—firm, but soft all at once.
  • Swimming costume.  Take a dip in the dam; just keep an eye out for baboons.
  • Binoculars, the birdlife is rich tooover 130 bird species have been recorded.
  • Camera, you will most certainly want to capture the splendour.
  • Pensioners, for the garden as well as for the more gentle walks.
  • Children from walking age up
  • Dogs are only allowed on paths marked dog-friendly.

Routes
Moderate to difficult

There are various paths you can take, all clearly marked with signage, and all branching off from one another.

Here’s what to keep in mind:

Green Route: this 90 minute walk offers beautiful views of Hermanus at the Lemoenkop lookout point.
Blue Route: a dog-friendly path that will take approximately 60 minutes.
Red Route: traipse through the evergreen forest to the waterfall, it can be more of a water-trickle in high summer though, a 90 minute walk.
Orange Route:  head to the Galpin Hut, here you can spend the night and resume your flower frolicking the next day. It’s the longest of all the routes and will take 120 minutes.

Duration: There is roughly 60 kilometres of trails to tackle in this area.

What to look out for

Fauna: Keep an eye out for baboon, klipspringer, mongoose and dassie which are all daytime feeders. Others such as porcupine, genet, hare and grysbok are nocturnal and their presence is only revealed by evidence such as spoor, droppings or effect on vegetation.

Trivia: The herbarium has been given international status and houses 1600 montane and coastal species—that’s  more than in the entire United Kingdom.

Donate: If you would like to contribute to the preservation of this 50-year-old national reserve, donations can be made here:

Hermanus Botanical Society
First National Bank Hermanus
Branch code: 200412
Account number: 524 7203 4711

Text and photographs by Malu Lambert

*Sponsored by Hi-Tec


Have a look at our Facebook album of the route and follow us on Twitter to find out where (and what) we’ll be hiking next. Plus, subscribe to our weekly newsletter for a seven day weather forecast

Cape Town Events Calendar
April 2021
SUN MON TUE WED THU FRI SAT
1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30

Kiff Kombis Tours Kiff Kombi local special: fall in love ...

Travel, eat, drink with friends in a vibey kombi, driver included (20% off price)

Wolfkop Camping Villages and Nature ReserveWolfkop holiday specials: glamp for up ...

Plus 9 activities also at half-price: bodyboard the Olifants, hike, see rock paintings ...

Whale Rock LodgeWhales, wine and a special reader’s ...

Get 10% off your Hermanus holiday plus a complimentary bottle of wine

Gallery 19 high streetFirst Fridays, the social event in ...

Talk to gallerists, art lovers and drink wine from this famous region

Nelson Makamo See world-famous SA artist Nelson ...

Opening night (with Makamo) fully booked. Walk-about in planning

Chard Grill Weekly burger specials plus 2 happy ...

R99 for two burgers and R30 for all wine, beer and gin

Hermanus Guest HouseBook a luxe Hermanus stay on this ...

Colourful, central + opposite a gorgeous (safe) tidal pool

Burgundy RestaurantYour guide to eating at Burgundy ...

Beer-battered hake + chips, seafood pasta and a local delicacy

CoupleWhat to watch at The Galileo open-air ...

Classic movies on Wednesdays to Sundays. Plus picnic screening at Kirstenbosch

Light ArtSpier Light Art Exhibition: it’s ...

Pre-book your space on Dineplan, and consider staying over

Windsor HotelIncredible room specials at Windsor ...

Now and during whale season. Plus one kid under 12 stays free

WSDC BoatSpectacular rates on shark cage diving ...

For R700 less. Plus ask for current readers’ specials

Ficks cocktail 2Ficks: the best sundowner pinchos bar ...

Pair wine, cocktails and mocktails with pinchos and a spectacular sea view

Riebeek Kasteel EventGallery Riebeek Kasteel shows off the ...

This country village also offers good food, excellent wine + lots of history

Rupert Museum Add Rupert Museum to your Stellenbosch ...

Legendary Sam Nhlengethwa has an exhibition and playing personal vinyl collection

Glen carlouFine art, excellent wine, delicious ...

Take the day and visit this top wine farm to view local art and eat exceptional food

Maker's LandingMaker’s Landing, the Waterfront’s ...

Sticky koesisters, authentic Cape Malay curry and gorgeous harbour views

Distillers & Union Make your unique brand of gin

And there’s more: vodka, rum, fiery ginger beer plus the chance to tour this working ...

T-Roc PartnerPre-order the T-Roc from Barons Cape ...

The T-Roc is here. Test drive now and pre-order to spec!

Pierneef food and wine pairing 2Food and Wine Pairing at La Motte

Discover a match made in the divine tasting room of this Franschhoek Estate

GiveawaysTravel Tips