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Vrolikheid Nature Reserve, Robertson

Vrolikheid Nature Reserve, RobertsonThe Vrolikheid Nature Reserve lies in the Breede River valley, about 15km south of Robertson on the McGregor road. The landscape is rugged and striking with its geology of sandstone and underlying shale formations. It is beautiful for hiking, but very hot in the middle of summer.

Klipspringer, grysbok, grey rhebuck and springbok are common at Vrolijkheid. Caracal (rooikat) also occur but are rarely seen. There are 175 bird species including the jackal buzzard, African and pale chanting goshawk and the spectacular black and African fish eagles. The dams on the reserve also attract a variety of waterbirds. If you are lucky, you may see the rare Robertson dwarf chameleon.

The Heron Trail is an easy 3km walk that takes about an hour to complete. The route follows fairly flat terrain to two dams, each with an attractive bird hide. The latest addition to the trail is a new board walk and birdhide at the upper dam that is wheelchair friendly. The birdhides can also be reached by driving to the parking area on the Steenboksvlakte / Stormsvlei road.

The Rooikat Trail is a circular 19km trail that winds through the Elandsberg mountains, offering scenic views of the Robertson landscape, the Langeberg and Riviersonderend mountains. The route is fairly strenuous and takes 7 to 8 hours to complete. No water is available on the route so hikers must carry their own (2 litres or more per person). The path is rough underfoot and sturdy hiking boots are recommended.

Vrolijkheid also has an 8km mountain bike trail that meanders through a section of the reserve and takes about an hour to complete. Please stay on the marked route.

Hikers can collect self-issued permits at the reserve entrance. Accommodation is in nearby Robertson or McGregor. Cape Nature: Tel: + 27 (0)23 625-1621 or Website.

More info on the town of Robertson More info on the Breede Valley area

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