Hottentots Holland Reserve

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10km from Grabouw

-34.0454, 19.0333


+27 28 841 4301/2


This 42,000 ha reserve lies in the Hottentots Holland mountains, some 90 km south east of Cape Town. The reserve stretches from Elgin in the south to beyond Villiersdorp in the north, and from the Stellenbosch mountains in the west, eastwards to the Groenland mountains.

The entrance to the reserve is at Nuweberg, high in Viljoen's Pass between Grabouw and Villiersdorp. The terrain is rugged and very mountainous, with altitudes ranging from 500m to 1590m.

The annual rainfall may be as high as 3300mm on the Dwarsberg plateau and the winds are frequent and strong. Summers are generally mild and dry. Hikers should be cautious as weather conditions in the mountains can be unpredictable and dangerous. The reserve is important for the conservation of mountain fynbos, with approximately 1300 species occurring here, including several rare and endemic plants. 

Small populations of grey rhebok, klipspringer, common duiker and grysbok occur. Leopards also frequent these mountains but are seldom seen. 

Approximately 110 bird species have been recorded on the reserve, amongst them several species of raptor.

About 21,000 ha of private and state property abutting the reserve is co-managed as the Theewaterskloof Conservancy by CapeNature and various landowners. The Franschhoek Pass (R45) runs through this area.