The beginning of 2016 saw some very exciting and popular day and night interpretative walks at the Helderberg Nature Reserve.
The Friends of the Helderberg arranged five interpretative day walks, specifically looking at fynbos, indigenous trees, protea and birds. The night walks proved to be enormously popular, selling out very quickly.
Andreas Groenewald entertained and educated the nature lovers for most of the walks, with Jill Mortimer leading the bird walks, and the star-gazing event in March was also a great success.
Due to the success of these various walks, new dates have been announced for the day and night walks for the end of 2016.
Once again, Andreas Groenewald will lead all the walks (except the bird walk, which will be led by a member of the Somerset West Bird Club) – and a new introduction is the Sunset Supper Walks.
Upcoming day walks:
Walks are on the last Sunday of the month, with the exception of December.
* September 25: Birds (starts 7.30am; meet at the entrance)
* October 30: Fynbos (starts at 8am; meet at the Oak Café)
* November 27: Indigenous trees (starts 8am; meet at the Oak Café)
* December 18: Birds (starts 7am; meet at the entrance)
Walks last about two hours, are in the lower area of the reserve, and therefore not strenuous. Visitors need to wear comfortable shoes, and take a sun hat and something to drink.
Upcoming night walks:
Nigh walks are held on the Saturday closest to the new/full moon – cars may be parked inside).
* October 1: New moon (meet at the entrance at 7pm)
* November 12: Full moon (meet at the entrance at 7.15pm)
* December 10 (Full moon (meet at the entrance, 7.45pm).
Walks last two hours, and visitors need to wear comfortable shoes and take a torch.
Sunset supper walks:
There will be a gradual climb to the bench at the top of Leopard’s Loop, so a moderate level of fitness is required:
* October 15: Sunset walk (meet at the entry at 5.30pm)
* November 19: Sunset walk (meet at the entry at 6pm)
Wear comfortable shoes; take a supper snack and torch. Back in the parking area by 9pm at the latest.
If you would like to join in for one of these walks, book at the Visitor Centre in the reserve. The cost is R20 for adults, R10 for pupils..
If you are not a member of the Friends, you are also required to pay the normal entry fee to the reserve when booking – R20 for adults, R10 for seniors and R10 for children aged three to 17 years. Payment needs to be made in cash.
The Visitor Centre is open daily from 10am to 4pm, and can be contacted at 021 851 4060, or www.helderbergnaturereserve.co.za
* Anne Alessandri is the liaison officer for the internship programme at the Institute for Grape and Wine Sciences, Stellenbosch University.