Elandsberg Nature Reserve

Elandsberg Nature Reserve

Just outside Riebeek Kasteel, in the Swartland region of the Western Cape’s Winelands district, you will find Elandsberg Nature Reserve, where guests to the luxurious Victorian homestead Bartholomeus Klip can enjoy walking, hiking, mountain biking, canoeing, birdwatching and educational nature drives. This pristine 4000 ha reserve is home to eland, springbuck, black wildebeest, zebra, bontebok, gemsbok, baboons, bat-eared foxes, caracal, multiple indigenous reptile and bird species, and has played a pivotal role in the Quagga project. It is also importantly a critical conservation area for two rare fynbos vegetation types, Swartland Alluvium Fynbos and Swartland Shale Renosterveld, both critically endangered habitats boast an extensive list of highly threatened and endemic plant species and provide refuge for many highly threatened species. One such important inhabitant is the endangered geometric tortoise, one of the world’s rarest reptiles. After a fire swept through Elandsberg in 2012 and burnt through most of the geometric tortoise habitat, a concerted and magnanimous effort by the reserve ensured refugia, enabling maximum recruitment and survival of the affected animals. Through ongoing research and protection, the reserve is working to ensure the survival of this endangered tortoise.

In recognition of its importance to conservation, Elandsberg Nature Reserve was the first reserve approached and willing to enter into CapeNature’s Biodiversity Stewardship Programme. It was declared a S23 Nature Reserve, in terms of the National Environmental Management: Protected Areas Act, in order to safeguard the reserve and all of its inhabitants in perpetuity and contributes significantly to the provincial and national conservation estate.

TMF’s ongoing support of CapeNature’s Biodiversity Stewardship Programme has proudly contributed to the restoration and protection of critical biodiversity areas such as the Elandsberg Nature Reserve.

Sarah-Leigh Watson

After qualifying with a BA in Journalism and African History from Rhodes University, Sarah went on to qualify as a FGASA registered Game Ranger where she spent time in the South African Lowveld pursuing her passion for wildlife photography and nature conservation. Sarah joined TMF as a private consultant in 2011, to manage the Fund’s communications and marketing needs. Having grown up in the shadow of Table Mountain, Sarah is deeply passionate about the conservation of the mountain and the broader Cape Floral Region.

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