Stellenbosch Hiking & Nature ReservesStellenbosch
For outdoor lovers and nature enthusiasts there are plenty of opportunities for walking, hiking and bird watching in and around Stellenbosch. With the spectacular Jonkershoek Mountains as their backdrop, and encompassing beautiful flora and fauna, the extensive Jonkershoek and the smaller Assegaaibosch Nature Reserves are both open to visitors.
The natural vegetation of the Jonkershoek area is mostly mountain fynbos with more than 1100 plant species known to occur in the area. The Jonkershoek mountains, with their high peaks and deep kloofs, form part of the larger Boland mountain range with the Eerste, Berg, Lourens and Riviersonderend rivers all having their sources high in these mountains.
Jonkershoek Nature Reserve is some 9800 hectares, while Assegaaibosch, at 204 ha, is much smaller and is suitable for shorter walks and picnics. Visitors may choose to explore one or both reserves on a single occasion, as they are in easy reach of each other. The reserves are approximately 9 km from Stellenbosch, and can be reached by travelling along the Jonkershoek valley road.
In Jonkershoek there are three trails, namely the Panorama Trail (17km/ 6-8 hours); Tweede Waterval Trail (6,4km/ 2 hours) and the Swartboskloof Trail (18,4km/6-8 hours).
Within the Assegaaibosch reserve, two circular routes of 3km or 5km (taking approximately 2-hours each) start in the picnic area and wind their way past steams and waterfalls.
Entrance for day visitors to Assegaaibosch is on a first come basis, with a maximum of 60 visitors per day. For further details and bookings, please visit www.capenature.org.za.