Outdoor enthusiasts can explore the rugged beauty of the Bottelary Hills on two guided hikes on Mooiplaas and Koopmanskloof wine estates on 15 and 16 October respectively.  Both hikes run through conservation areas on the slopes of the Bottelary Hills in the heart of the Cape Floral Kingdom.

Mooiplaas and Koopmanskloof were founding members of the Bottelary Hills Renosterveld Conservancy (BHRC) in 1992 to protect the remaining tracks of critically endangered Renosterveld fynbos species. Only 4% of the original Renosterveld still remains.  The BHRC currently has 50 landowner members that work together to promote conservation through sustainable farming practices, alien invasive clearing and Renosterveld regeneration.

Apart from stunning views, visitors could also sight game such as caracal, grysbok, grey duiker, porcupine, bat-eared foxes, Cape foxes and many bird species that are still prevalent in the Bottelary Hills.  Many of the fauna species are however nocturnal.

On Saturday 15 October guests can join a guided 3-hour hike and wine tasting led by Tielman Roos (owner and viticulturist of Mooiplaas wine estate as well as chairman of the BHRC).  Mooiplaas private nature reserve was registered in 1995 and in 2020 Mooiplaas became the first WWF Conservation Champion in the Bottelary wine ward.  The 5.6km circular hiking trail meanders through the 70-hectare Mooiplaas private nature reserve with its rich plant life and beautiful views.  Should you choose to linger a little longer, you’re welcome to book a cheese platter (R175 for two) and relax under the trees. Picnics are available at R430 for two. Bookings required at info@mooiplaas.co.za.

The guided hike on Sunday 16 October through a 98-hectare Koopmanskloof private nature reserve will take you to the highest point in the Bottelary Hills. Located at 476 meters above sea level, it offers uninterrupted views from Table Mountain to Paarlberg as well as the Drakenstein and Stellenbosch mountains.  On the opposite side lies the splendour of False Bay. “Koopman” is the Dutch word for trader and “Kloof” is a ravine, thus the direct translation is “Trader’s Ravine”.

Both hikes will start at 08h30 (registration at 08h00).  Numbers will be limited to 35 guests for Mooiplaas on Saturday (15 October) and 20 guests for Koopmanskloof on Sunday (16 October). Entry costs R200 per person and includes a hiking permit, wine tasting and a bottle of wine.  Children younger than 18 years can join for R50. Bookings via https://www.entryninja.com/events/78352-guided-hikes-bhrc. Funds raised will go towards conservation and community development in the Bottelary Hills Renosterveld Conservancy.

Easily accessible for day and weekend visitors, the BHRC offers a variety of activities that cater for families, nature lovers, outdoor enthusiasts as well as food and wine connoisseurs.  For more information visit www.bottelaryconservancy.co.za or follow us on Instagram @bottelary_hills_conservancy or Facebook @BottelaryHillsConservancyMTB.

For enquiries contact christel@bottelaryconservancy.co.za.