Helderberg Nature Reserve is a 398-hectare (980-acre) nature reserve in Somerset West close to Cape Town, South Africa.
This nature reserve is located on the southern slopes of the Helderberg mountains. Its 398 ha consist mostly of “Kogelberg Sandstone Fynbos” (an incredibly species-rich vegetation type) with smaller patches of “Boland Granite Fynbos” and “Southern Afrotemperate Forest”. Altogether about 600 species of plant have been recorded here, including a wide range of Proteas. Particularly prominent plants include the Pincushion Proteas, Cone bushes, Sugar Bushes, Heaths (Erica sp.) and the Waboom tree.
Animals that can be found here include a group of tame Leopard, Caracal, Grey Duiker, Cape Grysbok, Steenbok, Mongoose, Angulate and Padloper tortoises and over 170 species of bird.
The reserve hosts outdoor music concerts in the summer, and has a café, picnic area, gift shop, Environmental Education Centre and museum displays.
Walking Trails on the Helderberg Reserve:
The Pink route goes to the top of West peak which is outside the Reserve. The Green route is also outside the Reserve. All the other trails are within the Reserve.
The Brown route is the only non-circular route.
Please treat the mountain with respect and take suitable precautions when hiking:
Wear suitable footwear. Boots are highly recommended for the longer trails
Take sufficient water to drink
Take warm clothing – the weather changes quickly at higher altitudes
Wear a hat and use sunblock
Take snacks but please no littering. Bring back your rubbish!
NO fires under any circumstances
In case of an unforeseen accident, it is recommended that you do not walk on your own
Take your cellphone with you and be sure to have the emergency number with you: 021 937 0300
Approximate distances of each route:
–Sugarbird Walk (Yellow): 2.2km
–Caracal Trail (Black): 4.4km
–Protea Trail (Blue): 6.2km
–Leopard Loop (Red): 8.2km
–Woodie’s Walk (Green): 5 hours
–Watsonia Trail (Brown): 4km
–West Peak (Pink): 7 hours
To reach the summit takes about 7-8 hours to complete from the car park and back and the summit height is 1003m above sea level. The final ascent to the summit can be a grueling climb for non-experienced walkers, and will require the use of hands to climb the boulders.