Limietberg Nature Reserve lies in the Du Toitskloof mountains near Paarl, forming a part of the greater Boland mountain range. The reserve stretches from Franschhoek in the south, eastwards towards Groot Drakenstein, and northwards as far as Voëlvlei dam, covering an area of some 117 000 ha. The terrain is rugged, with steep kloofs and deep valleys. Du Toits Peak at 1996m is the highest point within the reserve. Limietberg is an important water catchment for the Breede and Berg rivers which flow through the reserve, and feed the Wemmershoek, Stettynskloof, Theewaterskloof and Voëlvlei dams.
The weather conditions in these mountains vary from very hot and dry in the summer months, to extremely cold and wet during the winter, with snow on the higher peaks. Hikers are cautioned to heed weather reports, as many hikers have been caught out by dangerous and often unpredictable conditions. The mountainous terrain makes rescue operations very difficult!
The vegetation is predominantly mountain fynbos with remnants of indigenous forest in some of the wetter kloofs. Alien trees, including black wattle, hakea and pine have invaded sections of the reserve.
Various mammals occur, including dassie, klipspringer, baboon and the occasional caracal and leopard. Two endemic birds, the Cape sugarbird and the protea canary, as well as black eagle and various other raptors may be sighted. Three endemic and increasingly threatened fish species occur in the Berg and Breede river systems. Trout (an exotic species) were introduced prior to the establishment of the reserve, and occur in most of the rivers and streams.
A number of interesting historical features may be seen while hiking in the reserve. These include Bushman paintings, a disused manganese mine, the original toll road from Franschhoek to Villiersdorp known as Catspad, and a cross erected by Italian prisoners of war. In the Bains Kloof pass, graves can be seen of convicts who helped to build the road, while there was an old prison at the Tweede Tol campsite.
Day visitors for picnic to the Tweede Tol picnic area are no longer required to book their entry as this will be done on a strict first come first served basis.
Limitations will still be enforced, that is only 120 people will be allowed per day. It is suggested that members of the public get to the picnic area gate as early as possible to avoid disappointment.
Tourism reservations and bookings:
National callers: 0861 CAPENATURE (227 362 8873)
International callers: 0027 861 227 362 8873 / 0027 21 659 3500
For additional information please visit http://www.capenature.org.za