Exploring Tygerberg Nature Reserve

Winter has a way of turning you into a hermit. Weekends can just turn into cosy foods, toasty fires and soup. Even on days that are chilly but not really that cold, that sunny spot in the reading corner is always good looking. After a while, I find myself thinking “hmm, maybe we should go outside?” And so on a sunny Sunday morning, we took some time out to discover Tygerberg Nature Reserve in the northern suburbs of Cape Town. 

Hiking Trails at the Tygerberg Nature Reserve

Tygerberg Nature Reserve is a 388 hectare protected area with various small mammals, birds and reptiles. It is a pretty spot of vegetation and trails with great views of the city surrounding it.  There are a variety of short trails to follow with varying degrees of difficulty and distance. We decided on the tortoise trail (1280m)  which was a combination of steep and flat parts with great views.

Beautiful view of Table Mountain and Cape Town from the picnic area.

The route takes you pass a 12 pounder Dutch canon that was once one of a chain of cannons stretching from the north as far as Citrusdal all the way to the east as far as Swellendam. I’m not from the Cape, so I’m sure how far that is. Sounds far though. If you’ve heard one canon, you can imagine how hectic it would’ve been if they were all being shot, even just as a call to defend a settlement.

12 pounder dutch canon on at the reserve that is shot periodically.

The canon is shot periodically on special occasions and holidays.  It can also be shot at other times for a fee on request. I’m not sure how much or why people do this? Birthdays parties, memorials? I don’t know, but that option is available to you, good luck with that.

Pine trees at the picnic spot overlooking the sprawling the city and mountain ranges.

The picnic area has been really nicely done. It has benches and sheltered spots for a stop at the end of your walk or just for a picnic. The area also has wheel chair access. There are views of both sides of the hill, including Table Mountain. While we were there, there were couples under the trees having ‘romantic’ picnics. If you are looking for an affordable place to spend the afternoon with your partner, it’s quiet and pretty enough. 

One of the larger pine tree trunks that have been felled due to the fungus.

There are a few Pine trees and tree trunks, making it a popular picture shot. If you look on all the socials one of these huge trunks is the spot. Although, after I read up about the fungus affecting the trees, I felt bad for the tree! I know it’s weird but shame man.

The pine trees here are affected by Pitch pine canker. “Pitch pine canker is a virulent and incurable fungal disease of Pine Trees. The disease has affected tress in America and is not affecting pine trees in the Western Cape. Many of the pine trees in the reserve have been died or have been felled for safety reasons. Over the next couple of years all the the trees will die.”

The environmental education centre at the foot of the reserve.

At the entrance, there’s access to an educational centre with a resource centre, library and a herbarium. In the garden there are various plants and information about how to incorporate those specific elements in your own garden. This includes things such as, how to attract pollinators and creepy crawlers to your garden; recyclable containers and water wise gardening suggestions. Inside, there is a hall available for meetings and conferences. 

 

Getting there

The entrance to the reserve is on Totius Street, Welgemoed.

Entrance Fee

R20 – Adults (18 and over) 
R10– Children (3 to 17), students and senior citizens (proof required)
Free – Children under 3 

 

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