The Swartberg Nature Reserve falls under the protection of Swartberg Mountain Complex which, in turn is one of the 8 protected areas of the Cape Floral Region. The Cape Floral Region is also one of the 8 areas that was declared a World Heritage Site in South Africa, by UNESCO.
The reserve covers an area of 121 000 hectares in a narrow strip from Gamkakloof on the west and Toorwaterpoort on the east, approximately 40 km form Oudtshoorn. To the south of the boundary, in about the middle of the reserve, is the town of De Hoek and the famous Cango Caves.
The Swartberg Nature Reserve borders the Gamkapoort Nature Reserve in the north and the Towverkop Nature Reserve on the west. This area of land is important as it links the areas between the Klein Karoo and Groot Karoo through pathways which include:
Swartberg Nature reserve is custodian to a variety of vegetation such as:
This valley in the Swartberg Nature Reserve cannot be missed when visiting the area. It is of great ecological, archaeological and cultural value and has been declared a Cultural Historic Site. This area is not accessible with a caravan as the roads do not accommodate caravans.The Gamka River runs through this area and offers fishing, good picnic areas and exploring of historical artefacts like the antique Norwegian Mill. No quad bikes or motorcycles are allowed without prior arrangement.