Boosmansbos Wilderness Area, next to the Grootvadersbosch Nature Reserve in the Langeberg Mountains, boasts dramatic mountainous terrain, wild indigenous forests, lush mountain fynbos and almost exclusive access for visitors wanting to explore the wilderness. Boosmansbos was proclaimed a wilderness area in 1978 to protect the area’s indigenous forest, including yellowwood, stinkwood, white and red alder, beech and candlewood. It is also a world heritage site, as it falls within the Cape Floral Kingdom and is home to several rare erica species, such as erica blenna, erica langebergensis and erica barrydalensis.
This is an exclusive hiking destination and advance bookings are essential, as only 12 hikers a day are allowed on the 64km of marked trails traversing the conservancy’s 14 200 hectares. Hikers pass through fragrant mountain fynbos, beautiful proteas and ericas before descending into the kloofs and the shade of the forest canopy. Look out for a variety of buck, mongoose and genet. Shy leopards seldom make an appearance. This is a birder’s paradise with nearly 200 species regularly spotted, including eagles and the double-collared sunbird.
From Cape Town: Take the N2 from Cape Town towards George. Just past Swellendam and Buffelsjag River, take the left-hand turn-off for Suurbraak/Barrydale. Turn left and continue through the town of Suurbraak and past the turn-off for Barrydale via Tradouwpass. The tar road becomes a dirt road. Continue till a T-junction, turn left and keep left at the next fork in the road. Follow the signs for the Grootvadersbosch Nature Reserve. The road ends at the entrance gates to the reserve; enquire at the office for directions to Boosmansbos.