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Welcome to the Bottelary Hills Renosterveld Conservancy (BHRC) website. The BHRC encloses the Bottelary Hills situated on the northern fringe of Stellenbosch, approximately 40km East of Cape Town, South Africa. These hills are home to fauna and flora species which are now endangered.

Concerned  landowners, together with Cape Nature Conservation initiated a conservation program to protect the remaining vegetation, rehabilitate sensitive areas and reintroduce species lost to the area. This lead to the eventual formation of the Bottelary Hills Renosterveld Conservancy to protect the area.

Stewie Smit ( “Oom Stewie” ) was the heart and soul of the Bottelary Hills Renosterveld Conservancy and spent his life farming in the area.

He fell in love with hiking and the outdoors while on touring the Cederberg Mountains as a student. His love for walking grew, leading him to the peak of Kilimanjaro at the age of 66! Not only was he a very successful grape-grower and winemaker, he brought back the idea of the “Wine route” after a visit to France and was co-founded the Stellenbosch Wine Route. Nature conservation was always his passion, hence the proclamation of a private nature reserve on the Koopmanskloof Estate around 20 years ago to preserve the natural fauna and flora of the area.
The reserve boasts a beautiful collection of Proteas.

“Oom Stewie” was the driving force behind behind the formation of the Bottelary Hills Renosterveld Conservancy, served as Chairman on the Conservancy Committee for many years and will be remebered for his enthusiasm for life and nature.