South Africa has some of the most stunning wilderness areas on the planet with Cape area’s Koeberg Nature Reserve being one of the most scenic sites of them all. This nature reserve lies on the dramatic coastline just outside of the cosmopolitan city of Cape Town and it’s a fabulous destination if you would like to take a break from the city and explore the region’s natural beauty.
There are two major nature trails in the nature reserve. These are the Dikop Trail and the Grysbok Trail. The Dikop Trail, which is about 14 miles in length, gets its name from a nocturnal bird. If you want to hike the whole trail it’s a good idea to start out pretty early in the day.
(photo by fihliwe)
You will see quite a lot of interesting flora on this walk and you will also get some magnificent views of the coast. There’s a bird hide along the way where you can stop and check out the assortment of water birds that gather on the lake below.
There is a shorter version of this trail which is about six miles long. But the trail in general is a bit more strenuous when compared to the Grysbok trail. You will have to climb up some pretty steep sand dunes, but if you’re in reasonable shape you probably won’t find it to be too difficult. If you take the short version of the trail you won’t get the ocean views from the high cliffs that you see on the long version.
The Grysbok trail is a bit of an easier hike as it travels through a salt pan and along a crest of dunes. This area can get a bit boggy if it’s been raining. It’ll take you through some curves and twists and eventually to the beach. Some of this area is restricted as it’s used as a breeding ground for several types of birds such as the Black Oystercatcher, which is an endangered species.
If you’re lucky you might get to see some whales when you reach the coast. The trail will then head back and wind through some bushes and a wetland area. There are more species of birds here, especially during the breeding season, including weavers and red bishops.
You will see all types of amazing African animals in the Koeberg Nature Reserve. These include bontebok, zebras, eland, springbok, and impala, which are all original indigenous animals to this specific area.
You will be able to get some fantastic photos of these animals as long as you stay on the marked pathways. Just be aware that these particular animals aren’t shy or afraid around people. You’ll be able to see the majority of the game animals when hiking along the Dikop trail.
Both of the trails in the reserve are ideal for bird watchers as there are all types of species all over the area. If you keep your eyes peeled in the low bushes as well as in the sky you’ll have no problem spotting a variety of them. Keep on the lookout in the sky for some raptors.
When hiking either of these trails it’s a good idea to take along some water and food inside of a backpack. It can get pretty out in the reserve so make sure you don’t forget sun block and a hat. You will regret it if you don’t take along your camera and a pair of binoculars. There are a few pests along the way, especially in the bushes, such as ticks. If you go there prepared you should experience a once-in-a-lifetime adventure at the Koeberg Nature Reserve.