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, no extra cost and no booking is required.

Day and night walks are limited to 25 persons, Cost for Members: Adults R50, scholars R25.  Cost for Non-members: Adults R80, scholars R40.  Bookings are essential via email. 

Calendar

See our Facebook Events page for more details

DAY WALKS

Date Walk Time Meet

Sunday 19 September

Fynbos Walk

8.00am

Visitor Centre

Thursday 23 September

Bird Walk

6.30am

Main Gate

Thursday 14 October

Bird Walk

6.30am

Main Gate

Sunday 24 October

Indigenous Trees Walk

8.00am

Visitor Centre

Thursday 18 November

Bird Walk

6.30am

Main Gate

Sunday 28 November

Medicinal Plants Walk

8.00am

Visitor Centre

Night Walks

Date Walk Time Meet

Saturday 11 September

Night Walk

7.00pm

Main Gate

Saturday 18 September

Night Walk

7.00pm

Main Gate

Saturday 02 October

Night Walk

7.00pm

Main Gate

Saturday 23 October

Night Walk

7.00pm

Main Gate

Saturday 30 October

Firefly Walk

7.00pm

Main Gate

Saturday 06 November

Night & Firefly Walk

7.00pm

Main Gate

Saturday 20 November

Night Walk

7.00pm

Main Gate

 

Hikes

Date Trail Grade Start Time

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

t 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 R50
  • Scholars R25

Non members:

  • Adults R80
  • Scholars R40

Bookings open from 15th August and are essential.

For more information and bookings send an email to the Friends: info@helderbergnaturereserve.co.za. 

Weekend walk bookings can only be secured if proof of payments are received by the latest at 12:00 on Fridays.   Thursday walk bookings need to be received by the latest at 12:00 the day before (Wednesday).

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.

Walks are cancelled if less than 5 people are booked. Should a walk have to be cancelled for any reason (e.g. inclement weather), you will be advised.  We do not do refunds so 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 last about 3 hours and are limited to 10 persons for Bird Walks and 24 persons for the Fynbos/Trees/Plants/Night walks

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

The moon’s phases will vary during these walks, so choose the walk that is closest to what you wish to see. Bring a torch on all night walks.
Night walks will start at 7:00 unless informed otherwise. Meet at the entrance gate to the Reserve.  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, warm top, water and snack 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. 

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.

For more information contact:  Don Reid 072 270 7972

A legacy of life

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