Challenging hikes and pulse-racing kloofing!

The Hottentots-Holland Nature Reserve can be found 90 km from Cape Town in the Hottentots-Holland Mountains. The land consists of 70 000 hectares bordering Elgin in the south, Villiersdorp in the north, Stellenbosch mountains in the west and the Groenland mountains in the east. The main gate of this reserve is in Viljoen’s pass at Nuweberg, 11 km from Grabouw.

The Hottentots-Holland Nature Reserve is one of the 5 reserves that make up the Boland Mountain Complex of the Cape Floral Region (Kingdom), a UNESCO world heritage site.


The land in this reserve is very rugged with high peaks and deep valleys. An outstanding feature of this reserve is the unspoiled Palmiet River that runs through it. The reserve is also famous for its shale landforms that come in the shape of dome summits namely:

  • Somerset-Sneeukop
  • The Triplets
  • Victoria Peak


The conservation of the plants in the reserve plays an important factor in the reserve’s maintenance as a protected area. The reserve is custodian to a total of 1300 species of plants mostly fynbos and some very rare species.


The Hottentots-Holland Nature Reserve has recorded 110 bird species including a few raptors.


To maintain the reserve in its natural state several animals have had to be re-introduced into the reserve, such as:

  • Bontebok
  • Cape Mountain Zebra

Indigenous animals 

  • Common Duiker
  • Eland
  • Grey Rhebuck
  • Greysbok
  • Klipspringer
  • Leopards breed in these mountains but are very rarely seen
  • Red Hartebees


Huts are furnished with bunks mattresses and water and they have 4 rooms each that can be booked singly. Fires and braais are only permitted in demarcated areas.

  • Landdroskop Huts – consist of 2 huts with four rooms each
  • Boesmanskloof Hut


Weather conditions can be unpredictable and hikers need to make preparations for that. The reserve offers exceptional mountain scenery, natural pools for swimming, breath-taking views and wild flowers, as well as the following:

  • Day Hikes
  • Game drives - Rusbos Gate at the Franschhoek Pass
  • Kloofing
  • Mountian biking
  • Overnight hikes

Special Note

Hikers may be fined heavily if they transgress the following reserve rules:

  • Illegal entry
  • Littering
  • Picking flowers
  • Straying from marked routes

Historical Significance

The Hottentots-Holland Nature reserve is custodian of 2 historical structures:

  • Old Toll building
  • Ruins of the village that was used by workers who built the Franschhoek Pass

The reserve is also protecting two national heritage sites:

  • The Jan Joubertsgat Bridge that is still in use and was one of the first bridges to be built in South Africa
  • Oxwagon spore and cannons in the Gantouw’s Pass 


Please consult their website.


Sunday to Saturday, 07h30 - 16h00

Contact details

Cape Nature

Tel: +27 21 483 0190
Tel: +27 28 841 4826/4302
Cell: +27 82 413 5258
Email Website