Walks & Hikes

Photograph by Joe Smereczansky

Explore helderberg on foot

Guided hikes and gentle interpretative day and night walks are held frequently throughout the year.  Hikes meet outside the Oak Cafe and no booking is required.  Day and night walks are limited to 25 persons, therefore bookings are essential via email.

Calendar

See our Facebook Events page for more details

DAY WALKs

Walks start next season in September, details to follow……..

Date Walk Time Meet
24 Nov Disa Gorge Indigenous Trees 08:00 Visitor Centre
27 Nov Birds 07:00 Visitor Centre
08 Dec Medicinal Plants 08:00 Visitor Centre
29 Dec Fynbos & Butterflies 08:00 Visitor Centre

 

Night Walks

Walks start next season in September, details to follow……..

Date Walk Time Meet
09 Nov Full Moon / Sunset Supper 18:00 Visitor Centre
23 Nov New Moon 20:00 Entrance to Reserve
07 Dec Frog Adventure 20:00 Visitor Centre
14 Dec Full Moon 20:00 Entrance to Reserve

 

Hikes

Date Trail Grade Start Time
05 Oct Woodies Walk 2B 07:30 +-5 Hours
09 Nov West Peak 3C 07:30 +-7 Hours
07 Dec Leopard Loop 2B 07:30 +-3 Hours

See trail & grading info lower down on this page

TRAIL info

  • The Pink (West Peak and The Dome) goes to the top of the Helderberg Mountain which is outside the Reserve and for experienced hikers only.
  • The Green (Woodies Walk) is also outside the Reserve.
  • The Brown (Watsonia) is the only non-circular route.
  • The Orange (Baboon Traverse) is a new section of trail linking Watsonia, West Peak and The Dome via Porcupine Buttress.
Trail Colour Grade Est duration Distance
Baboon Traverse Orange 1A 10 minutes 400m
Sugarbird Walk Yellow 1A 45 minutes 2.9km
Watsonia Brown 2A 3 hours + break 4km
Caracal Black 1B 1 hour + break 4.4km
Protea Blue 2A 2 hours + break 6.2km
Leopard Loop Red 2B 3 hours + break 8.2km
Woodies Walk Green 2B 5 hours + break 5 hours
West Peak Pink 3C 7 hours + break 7 hours
The Dome  Pink 3C 8 hours + break 8 hours

Grading

1 Easy Easy walking on an established path with a relatively smooth surface.
2 Moderate Walking on a path, frequently rocky, with occasional use of hands required (easy scrambling).
3 Strenuous Walking on or off a path. Frequent use of hands (scrambling) to pull oneself upward. Or steep downhill sections with loose stones. Or hikes where good balance or strong ankles are required.
A No exposure to heights
B Some exposure to heights
C Moderate exposure to heights

Important information

Booking a walk

It is essential to book attendance on walks at a nominal booking fee, payable in advance. The charge for ALL walks are as follows:

Members: 

  • Adults R30
  • Scholars R15

Non members:

  • Adults R50
  • Scholars R25

For more information and bookings send an email to the Friends: info@helderbergnaturereserve.co.za.  Booking for a Walk closes at 12 noon on the Friday before.  Please note that bookings are made via email and EFT.  Once we have received your proof of payment and sent you our confirmation email, your booking will be guaranteed.  Please provide your confirmation email to security on the day to avoid paying entrance fees.  

Should a Walk have to be cancelled for any reason (e.g. inclement weather), you may be advised via an SMS or phone call.  Please send us an email if you would like to exchange your booking for another walk.

Walks / Leaders

The day and the night walks will usually be led by Andreas Groenewald, while bird walks will usually be led by Jill Mortimer (a member of the Somerset West Bird Club).

Day walks are held on the last Sunday of the month, commencing from the Visitor Centre in The Reserve at 08:00 and last approximately 3 hours accept the bird walk held on the last Wednesday of the month starting at 07:00.

Walks are not strenuous as they will be in the lower garden of the Reserve. You are nevertheless advised to wear comfortable walking shoes and bring water to drink.

Night Walks

These will be held on the Saturday closest to the new or full moon. Walks will be in the lower area of The Reserve and are not strenuous. Comfortable walking shoes are advised and, most important, participants are asked to bring a hand torch with them.

Sunset Supper Walks

Held on Saturday evenings.
Meet at the Visitor Centre in the Reserve, times vary depending on the season.  The walk lasts approximately 4 hours. There will be a gradual climb to the bench on the Caracal Trail, a moderate fitness level is required. Once there, participants will watch the sunset while enjoying a supper (bring your own picnic and hand torch) while taking a closer look at the night sky.

Due to popularity of these Night Walks, it is recommended that you book early.

Guided Hikes

These walks are guided by two experienced hikers. All walks start from the kiosk near the restaurant in the Reserve. No booking, as such, is required. However, to assist with arrangements, please let the Visitor Centre know via email if you are planning to join the walk.

Appropriate hiking gear is essential, particularly in winter. Guides may refuse to allow persons to join the hike if clothing or footwear are not suitable. It is essential to carry 1-2 litres of water.

Please note: Non-members will need to pay entry fees at the reserve entrance.  In the event of bad weather, the walks will be deferred to the following week, starting at the same time as scheduled.

A legacy of life

The rich natural environment of the Helderberg Nature Reserve is home to a wide variety of plant and animal life.