Limietberg (Hawequas) Nature Reserve, Boland Mountain Complex, Western Cape
Fun for the whole family as well as many hiking trails!
The Limietberg (Hawequas) Nature Reserve is an unspoiled area of 117 000 hectares in the Du Toitskloof Mountains close to Paarl in the Western Cape. The reserve borders on Franschhoek in the south, Groot Drakenstein in the east, and Voëlvlei Dam in the north. There are many hiking trails into the reserve. The Limietberg Nature Reserve is one of the five nature reserves that constitute the Boland Mountain Complex, one of the 8 protected areas of the Cape Floral Region (Kingdom). The Cape Floral Region is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Reserve is strictly protected and offers mostly hiking routes that usually start at the Reserve's Camp site, (Tweede Tol ) that is at the eastern end of the Bain's Kloof Pass on the R301 between Wellington and Worcester.
The two rivers that flow through this reserve, the Breede River and the Berg River nourishes and maintains the fynbos vegetation and the indigenous forests, before flowing to the catchment area of several dams:
There are many bird species in this area especially in the forest areas and two species that are particularly widespread in the reserve are:
- Cape Sugar Bird (Promerops cafer)
- Protea Canary (Serinus Leucopterus)
- Black Eagle
- Verreayx’s Eagle, (Aquila verreauxii)
- Ancient rock art
- Closed Manganese mine
- Graves of the convicts who built the Bain'skloof Pass Railway
- Du Toits Peak
- A Cross that was made and erected by Italian prisoners of war captured in North African in World War II
The main activity that this reserve has to offer the visitor is hiking in the exceptionally beautiful and diverse landscape.
- Day Trips
- Fishing - The Cape Piscatorial Society manages the rivers of this reserve
- Hiking trails (Consult the website for a map of the hiking trails)
- Rock Climbing - Only members of the Rock Climbing club and organised sports groups may participate in this activity because the terrain is very rugged and not for amateurs
Tweede Tol Camp & Picnic Site
Tweede Tol is a picnic and camp site area that only allows 120 people per day to use the facilities. It is devided into two distinct areas of camp site and picnic area. The camp site is the focal point of the reserve as it is from where the hiking trails take off and return.
The hiking trails of this reserve usually start and end at Tweede Tol and there are toilets and change rooms available with hot and cold showers. There are however hiking routes that start at Hawequas and end at Tweede Tol Camp and picnic site.
The camp site area is separate from the day visitors of the picnic area and it offers the following:
- 25 standard camp and caravan sites
- Braai/barbecue area
- Communal ablutions with hot and cold water
- Conservation fees are charged over and above the camp fees.
- Exclusive use of the Wolwekloof River swimming holes - waterfalls and crystal clear rock pools.
- Public Telephone
- Short hikes with exceptional views for the camp visitor.
- Six private fenced off camp sites with kitchenette, shower and toilet
- When campers leave, they pay the conservation fee and can move to the picnic area
Picnic Area Facilities
Day visitors (120 people per day) only pay a conservation fee to have access to the facilities of his site but may not take part in the Limietberg Hiking trails, swim in the Wolwekloof swimming holes or go into the camping site. However the picnic site has much to offer such as:
- Grassy patches and many trees
- Jungle gym for the children
- Shady picnic spots under beautiful trees
- Swimming in the Witte River swimming holes
- Toilet facilities for day visitors
- Braai/Barbecue facilities
Please consult their website.