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Anysberg Nature Reserve, Karoo, Western Cape

Anysberg Nature Reserve, Karoo

The 62 500ha Anysberg Nature Reserve is all about huge open space, rugged Karoo mountains and kloofs, big night skies, the world succulent Garden of Eden, horse, bike and hiking trails, and most of all, isolation, peace and tranquillity.

Anysberg Nature Reserve, Karoo, SucculentsThis semi-arid area, between Ladismith and Laingsburg, gets very hot in summer, and is ideal for succulents. The best time to visit is late July to early August when the Mesembryanthemums (vygies, ‘little figs’ in Afrikaans) are bursting into flower. There are also impressive stands of proteas which occur at higher altitudes.

Numerous archaeological sites are dotted over the reserve. Bushman paintings depicting scenes from the past and ruins dating from the late 1700s are reminders of the early hunters, farmers and herders who inhabited the area.

Anysberg Nature Reserve, Karoo, GameGame species that once populated this area before the arrival of the colonists have been re-introduced. Mammals include Cape mountain zebra, gemsbok, red hartebeest and numerous other small, shy species. Leopard roam the mountains, and other notable carnivores include black-backed jackal and caracal. Bird-watchers will find this an interesting locality, with approximately 180 recorded bird species.  Reptiles are represented by five species of tortoise, boomslang, Cape cobra, puff adder and various other snakes and lizards.

Anysberg offers the visitor a choice of several recreational activities. Hikers are most welcome to explore the reserve, although at present no formal trails exist. A two-day guided horse trail with a comfortable overnight stop is an ideal way to see the remote areas of the reserve. Mountain bikers may use the jeep tracks and single tracks, which traverse the reserve.  A rewarding ride follows the horse trail to the overnight hut (26 km return), or there is the 28 km return route to Prinspoort, through an impressive gorge. Mountain bikes can be rented from the office.

Visitors can also go Kayaking on the dam and Kayaks can be rented at the office. Winter and summer temperatures are extreme, so pack water, sun block and a warm shell.

Karoo Heartland Night SkiesAnysberg is one of the darkest places on Earth, far away from the lights of civilisation. It is this very reason that prompted CapeNature to launch star gazing at the reserve. We have created various activities to assist our visitors get the best out of a night beneath the stars.

Set off for an overnight stay at Tapfontein on foot, bike, or horse. However you travel, you will come across planet markers placed proportionately to reflect the distances between the planets. Recline in the boma at Tapfontein and gaze at the stars with the help of a guide and a telescope. Next to the office above the painting of Pegasus is a raised platform. This is an ideal spot for the evening’s guided star gazing with a telescope. Bring your binoculars, or just your eyes for a tour around the night sky.

Anysberg Nature Reserve, Karoo, Accommodation

Five small cottages are available for hire, accommodating 21 people in total. There is no electricity (Solar Lighting), but the cottages are fully equipped with cutlery, crockery, towels and bedding and the units are provided with candles, gas fridges and cooking facilities. Visitors should bring their towels.  Campers and caravanners may camp on the lawn near the office complex at Vrede. Ablution and braai facilities are provided for the cottages and campers. Firewood may be purchased on the reserve.

Anysberg Nature Reserve Map

Click to see map details

Important facts: It is advisable to fill up with petrol before driving out to the reserve. The nearest shops are in Laingsburg and Ladysmith. The reserve gates are not locked.

It’s 260km from Cape Town on the N1 to Laingsburg. From Laingsburg, take the R323 tarred road for approximately 45km, where you turn off left onto a gravel road. The total drive should be about four hours. The reserve can also be reached on gravel roads from Touws River and Montagu, and via the R323 from Ladismith.

Reservations – a minimum of two night stay is required. National callers: (021) 483 0190: International callers: 0027 861 227 362 8873: Website.

More info on the town of Montagu More info on the Klein Karoo area

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