Ever since it was proclaimed a reserve in 1957 the Fernkloof Nature Reserve has become a firm favourite for walks, hikes and bikes. The 60 kilometers (around 37 miles) of walkways and trails that zigzag through the reserve can take you to the picturesque Lemoenskop outlook point, the Three Dams, Galpin Hut, the waterfalls and several other beautiful and photo inspiring locations. These paths are lovingly maintained by the FNR (Fernkloof Nature Reserve) Committee, which consists of the local municipality, the Fernkloof Advisory Board and the Hermanus Botanical Society (BotSoc).
Over the last couple of years more areas have been added to the Reserve, including the Cliff Path Nature Area, the Mossel River Valley, parts of Klein River Lagoon and the mouth of Vogelgat River. Due to these inclusions Fernkloof Nature Reserve now boasts an uninterrupted reserve area of coast to mountain. The Cliff Path that’s now included wraps itself around the coastline of Hermanus and is perfect for land-based Whale Watching in season.
As if the pristine pathways weren’t enough the Committee has also given us the landscaped and colourful Fernkloof Gardens situated at the entrance to the reserve. This wheelchair friendly garden offers different “focus gardens” that contain different Fynbos and other plant life that are found in different areas around the reserve. There is also plenty of lawn space and shady trees for a scenic picnic or you can book an event here via the Fernkloof Reserve Office.
Also, if you find yourself falling in love with the indigenous flora around you during your visit then we suggest making your way to the Fernkloof Nursery across from the gardens. This quaint little cottage and garden area sells a lot of the flora you’ll find in the reserve, making it easy for you to take a piece of this experience home with you.
A little bit about the Fynbos
Fernkloof is proud to host six of the seven endemic plant families specific to the Cape Floral Kingdom. Originally called fijn bosch by early Dutch settlers, this diverse plant species comes in a variety of colours, shapes and sizes, all of which are environment-dependent. Every year more and more species are being identified and catalogued, adding to the 1600 + species that are currently in the reserve.
If you’d like to learn more about our famous floral family then please follow this link!
A little bit about our Fauna
The reserve’s landscape goes from flat and coastal to mountainous and forest filled, making it an ideal habitat for over 130 species of birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians. During your exploration of the reserve you might come across Grey Rhebok, Cape Grysbok, Klipspringer, Baboons, Mongoose and Dassies, whilst the more nocturnal and private Porcupine, Genet and Hare might be more difficult to find. The birds in the area are the most commonly spotted and you’re sure to see species such as the Cape Sugar Bird, Sunbirds, Rock Thrushes and Rock Jumpers. Raptors can also be seen in the area, including Jackal Buzzards and Black Eagles.
The reserve also hosts a Wildflower Festival in the last weekend of September every year, which you can enjoy with family and friends. There are several Eco-Friendly displays in the marquee near the entrance whilst intricate and beautiful displays are on show at the Fernkloof Hall a little ways up.